Wind Farm Project Halted

WORLD

Expansion plans at the London Array, one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, have come to a sudden halt. Owners blame concerns about migrating birds. (BBC)

Use our resources to better understand the debate about offshore wind farms.

The London Array is one of the world's largest offshore wind farms. The farm consists of 175 turbines in the turbulent waters of the Thames estuary of the North Sea, about 11 kilometers (7 miles) off the coast of Kent, England. The London Array supplies electricity to parts of London, England, a city of more than 8 million people. Photograph courtesy London Array Limited

The London Array is one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms. The farm consists of 175 turbines in the turbulent waters of the Thames estuary of the North Sea, about 11 kilometers (7 miles) off the coast of Kent, a county in southeast England. The London Array supplies electricity to Kent and parts of London, England, a city of more than 8 million people.
Photograph courtesy London Array Limited

Discussion Ideas

  • Read the BBC article, then read through our activity “Stakeholder Debate: Wind Energy.” Adapt the activity’s analysis for the London Array debate.
    • Who are the stakeholders in the debate about the slowed expansion of the London Array?
      • London Array Limited, a consortium of three energy companies: DONG Energy (a Danish company), E.ON UK Renewables (a British company) and Masdar (an Emirati company based in Abu Dhabi)
      • Manufacturers. These include Siemens Wind Power (the Danish company which supplied the turbines), Aarsleff (another Danish company that constructed the turbines’ piling and foundations), Future Energy (a Norwegian-Belgian venture that designed and constructed the onshore electrical substation), and Nexus and JDR Cable Systems (French and British companies which supplied the cables from the array to the substation).
      • Consumers. The London Array supplies electricity to homes, schools, businesses, and hospitals in Kent, a county in southeast England with a population of almost 2 million. The wind farm also supplies parts of Greater London, an administrative area that includes the city of London and its suburbs.
      • Government. According to another article, the “UK is the world leader in offshore wind, but that is partly because few other countries have shown an interest in the technology, which is more expensive than onshore wind turbines.”
      • Global Environment. Wind energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. “Climate change is the biggest long term threat to wildlife and we need an urgent transition from fossil fuels to low carbon renewable energy. Wind power is a vital part of our renewable energy mix,” according to a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the UK’s largest conservation organization.
      • Local Environment. The project is unable to guarantee the protection of the area’s red-throated divers (more commonly known as red-throated loons in North America). Red-throated divers are not endangered, but the Thames estuary is home to about 6,500—about a third of the birds’ population in the UK.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s