The Challenge of Remote Locations for the Renewables Industry
Renewable energy sources tend to be in remote or hostile locations. Any land-based installation has to deal with the planning process and meet the inevitable objections from local residents and countryside campaigners. This is one of the reasons why land-based wind farms tend to be situated in isolated spots, on hilltops and moors away from settlements and livestock.
Secondly, remote locations are simply better natural environments to generate renewable energy. Wind farms are sited offshore or on remote hilltops because that’s where they’re most efficient – where the wind is strongest. Similarly, solar energy is more accessible in higher, more remote locations where people choose not to settle and tidal power has to be harvested out at sea.
“Customers rarely know exactly what they’re being billed for or what to expect and this makes it impossible to set – and keep to – precise budgets.”
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Finding a suitable location
One of the biggest challenges in the renewable energy industry is finding a suitable location. To justify the investment involved in building and installing a wind turbine array, a prospective site has to meet stringent requirements with regard to wind speed and frequency. Too little wind and the array won’t deliver the required amount of power; too much wind and the array is vulnerable to damage.
Similar feasibility calculations apply to solar and tidal installations, all of which require careful and prolonged monitoring to ensure the energy yield from a particular site justifies the investment.