Onshore Wind

The renewable giant with a small carbon footprint

Representing one of the most cost-effective and efficient renewable energy technologies, onshore wind is a clean, safe, and reliable way of generating electricity that, once all infrastructure is put in place, produces no greenhouse gas emissions.

As the global climate worsens and fossil fuels become increasingly scarce, renewable energy sources are becoming ever more important in meeting our future energy needs, and wind power is no exception.

Whilst achieving consistent power generation can be challenging on land, onshore wind turbines' infrastructure and maintenance costs are almost half the cost of their offshore counterparts. Onshore wind farms also provide a quick return on investment, with payback often occurring within just two years on average.

Onshore and offshore wind farming are crucial components of the energy transition as they will enable us to decarbonise our energy grid and mitigate the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

Lee Hudson

Expert Advice

Looking for an expert at Gibson Watts to offer you tailored advice? Arrange a meeting with Lee today.

Fuelling the transition to a zero-emissions future

Onshore wind turbines generate electricity by harnessing the kinetic energy of the wind, which causes the blades of the turbine to rotate. A generator then converts this energy into electricity that can be used to power homes, businesses, and other electrical systems.

Wind turbines are typically mounted on a tower to make them more exposed to the wind. This allows the blades to capture more energy as they are able to reach higher wind speeds. The height of the tower can also be adjusted to optimise the turbine's energy production.

Advancements in turbine technology have led to greatly improved system performance and efficiency and lower component costs, allowing wind energy to compete effectively against more established but harmful sources of energy.

Reaching new heights in wind power

The following technological advancements are helping to unlock the full potential of onshore wind power:

Wind turbine scaling
To make wind power more efficient, bigger is better. Turbine sizes have increased dramatically over the past decade, with the advancements in turbine size attributed to the increase in hub height and rotor diameter:
Hub height: This is the distance from the ground to the middle of the turbine's rotor. The higher the hub height, the more wind exposure the turbine gets due to the higher altitude. In 2015, the average hub height of an onshore wind turbine was 82 metres. By 2030, this metric is estimated to increase to 115 metres, drastically improving wind energy capacity.

Rotor diameter: This is the width of the circle made by the wind turbine’s blades. Currently, the average rotor diameter of an onshore wind turbine is 127.5 metres. However, by 2030, the diameter is expected to increase to 135 metres. With a larger rotor diameter, wind turbines can cover a wider area, increasing the capacity to capture more wind.

Energy storage
The intermittency of renewable sources is one of the biggest holdbacks to the energy transition, but energy storage solutions are the key to stabilising these fluctuations in supply and demand. This technology can store electricity during low electricity demand and release it back into the grid during high demand, ultimately supporting the balance of the system and enhancing the dependability of wind power.

New innovations such as these will not only boost the potential of onshore wind but will help us decarbonise heavy industry and transport sectors.

An industry set for exponential growth

Over the last decade, many countries have turned to wind power to satisfy their energy demands, with the number of wind turbines growing by 17% and their production capacity rising by 200%.

Wind power is set to reach new heights and contribute to global economic recovery by delivering a record number of new installations in the next few years - an additional 470 GW of wind capacity is forecasted worldwide by 2025 (including 70.4 GW of offshore wind).

In addition to providing affordable, clean and zero-carbon electricity, this increase in wind capacity will bring tremendous socioeconomic benefits.

Finding leaders within the onshore wind industry

With climate change initiatives and increased funding, the wind industry is expected to generate 3.3 million new jobs by 2025.

We are determined to continue playing a crucial role in pushing onshore wind even further into the mainstream of energy sources. From wind turbine technicians to energy yield analysts, we are committed to finding the brightest talent for forward-thinking companies.

Countries such as the US, Germany, Spain, and the UK have planted their flag firmly on the onshore wind farming scene. Our offices in the US and in Europe allow us to fully commit to delivering our clients the best talent in this fast-paced and rapidly developing industry.