Although wind power currently only accounts for around 10% of the UK’s electricity needs it has seen a huge expansion in development in the last 20-30 years. So, what are the disadvantages of wind-based power generation?
One of the fundamental issues affecting wind power generation is intermittency. No one can be certain when the wind will be blowing and when it will not. The main outcome of this is that a wind generator may be active at a time that it is not required and be inactive when needed.
An additional concern that wind energy encounters is that of grid instability. This means that during times of high use, grid systems that have a large amount of wind power are more likely to black out. This is due to them being unable to cope by reducing frequency in a manner used in conventional power plants.
Whilst both of these major negative issues can be resolved by implementing energy storage systems, this significantly increases the cost of the system. As a result, these are currently not particularly common.
Another negative for wind energy systems is that they are often limited by the grid infrastructure at the generation sites. This can lead to expensive work to upgrade the network or it may simply limit the size and effectiveness of the windfarm.