Solved

Where does your power come from?

  • 22 March 2018
  • 2 replies
  • 140 views

What % of the power comes from wind, solar or other sources? Are wind farms on or off shore? What is OVO’s stance on wildlife, like birds hurt or killed by windmills?
icon

Best answer by Transparent 22 March 2018, 11:35

Hi @Greenjam,
That's an interesting question.

The energy-mix in our electricity consumption depends on whether you are trying to look at an instantaneous snapshot (typically a half-hour period) or the overall statistics for the year.

If you look at this site it gives a breakdown into five broad generation categories for the whole of 2017.

This matches exactly what OVO themselves declare, but you can also compare it against other companies.

I don't know how OVO's Trading Team operate when bidding to buy electricity. They may not have details of whether wind-generation is on-shore or off-shore for example. Equally, the methods used in their bidding may be company-confidential of course!

I can answer a bit more clearly regarding wildlife because I have my own 1.7Kw micro-generation wind turbine, and was one of the sites in the UK chosen for an on-site analysis of possible damage to bats flying into the rotating blades.

We were visited by a researcher and a "bat-dog" over a three month period. The area around the turbine was divided into nine sectors of around 2500sq.m, each of which was searched for bat remains by the dog.

There was no evidence of any damage to bats from my turbine despite the fact that it is positioned in an area with a high bat population. We actually have 15 of the 18 species of British bats within 1Km of my site.

I further investigated this subject and was relieved to see that damage to flying creatures from wind-turbines of any size is statistically much lower than you might expect. This is thought to be because there is a limit to the the speed at which the fast-moving blade tip is designed to rotate. The lower is the tip/wind-speed ratio, the lower is the efficiency. This is why large commercial turbines are geared to move more slowly in high winds.

That's not to suggest that there isn't a problem with larger wind-turbines, but it can be minimised by design now that the parameters are known. If you want to know more, have a look at this PDF derived from a PowerPoint presentation by the Bat monitoring team at Exeter University.
View original

2 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Hi @Greenjam,
That's an interesting question.

The energy-mix in our electricity consumption depends on whether you are trying to look at an instantaneous snapshot (typically a half-hour period) or the overall statistics for the year.

If you look at this site it gives a breakdown into five broad generation categories for the whole of 2017.

This matches exactly what OVO themselves declare, but you can also compare it against other companies.

I don't know how OVO's Trading Team operate when bidding to buy electricity. They may not have details of whether wind-generation is on-shore or off-shore for example. Equally, the methods used in their bidding may be company-confidential of course!

I can answer a bit more clearly regarding wildlife because I have my own 1.7Kw micro-generation wind turbine, and was one of the sites in the UK chosen for an on-site analysis of possible damage to bats flying into the rotating blades.

We were visited by a researcher and a "bat-dog" over a three month period. The area around the turbine was divided into nine sectors of around 2500sq.m, each of which was searched for bat remains by the dog.

There was no evidence of any damage to bats from my turbine despite the fact that it is positioned in an area with a high bat population. We actually have 15 of the 18 species of British bats within 1Km of my site.

I further investigated this subject and was relieved to see that damage to flying creatures from wind-turbines of any size is statistically much lower than you might expect. This is thought to be because there is a limit to the the speed at which the fast-moving blade tip is designed to rotate. The lower is the tip/wind-speed ratio, the lower is the efficiency. This is why large commercial turbines are geared to move more slowly in high winds.

That's not to suggest that there isn't a problem with larger wind-turbines, but it can be minimised by design now that the parameters are known. If you want to know more, have a look at this PDF derived from a PowerPoint presentation by the Bat monitoring team at Exeter University.
Thanks for the comprehensive answer. Having seen the breakdown of energy mix, I guess that I need to work out which suppliers have a commitment to investing in renewable energies before making choices.

Reply