A Windy Cheshire?
Targets for renewable energy in Cheshire assume a high proportion will come from wind energy in both small and large turbines.
Small scale wind turbines are already in use across the County being used to supply highway signs and other low power uses which are not connected to the national grid system. Planning permission has just been secured for the first Windsave system in Cheshire-with installation underway in Autumn at Ashton Hayes Primary School in Chester.
Planning permission is also being sought for the latest Swift wind turbine at Teggs Nose Country Park near Macclesfield.
Large scale wind production may be limited in the county due to our low lying topography and generally low wind speeds.
Wind in Cheshire is generally low, somewhere in the order of 4-5m/s (at 25m). Higher wind speeds are achievable in the Peak District fringes and across the Sandstone ridge-this coincides with landscape protection designations of national park and areas of special county landscape value.
There is currently a significant debate about the future generation of electricity in the UK. The Energy White Paper provided positive support for small and large scale renewable energy production with the move to a low carbon future.
The role of nuclear is also being debated at the current time.
A recent survey indicates that the public is sceptical about the case for large scale new nuclear new build and would generally support the principle of wind farms to fill the potential energy gap. Further information on the survey.