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We have around 2,000 operational wind turbines scattered across the UK. Black Law in Scotland produces 124MW of energy, enough for around 70,000 homes. Each turbine uses kinetic energy from the moving mass of air to turn the blades, and subsequently power the generator. But this can be an inefficient process; the turbines can only transform 30% of the possible energy from the air into electricity (you typically get 60% efficiency from a coal or gas power station).

The expense of wind generated electricity is discussed, along with issues such as siting the farms and integrating the generated power into the National Grid.
Class Clips
This clip is from:
Class Clips, Science 2 - GCSE
First broadcast:
2 March 2007

Classroom Ideas

Carry out an exercise in which a Scottish settlement is identified and a plan is devised to take it 'off-grid'. Divide the class into groups, each of which researches an electricity generating technology. This should be discussed in class and a proposal agreed on which technologies should be used. Students should consider the energy conversions that are involved in each case, the efficiency of the system involved, the benefits and costs. Factors that affect output could also be considered. The class should bear in mind that some of their plans might not result in a constant rate of generation, so they may have to consider rationing electricity use.

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