Three wind turbines were installed in 2007 and have displaced 26% of the island’s annual fuel consumption since then. The second group of three wind turbines arrived last September, and are also 330 kW variable pitch wind turbines manufactured by Enercon of Germany.
Falklands officials predict that the 6 wind turbines will displace 40% of imported fuel and supply 40% of total electricity generated on the Falkland Islands. The UK Government has a goal for 20% of electricity in the UK to come from renewable energy by 2020.
As well as reducing the carbon footprint and protecting the pristine environment of the Islands, the increase in renewable energy has reduced the cost of electricity by £0.06/kWh for residents.
The second group of wind turbines has been installed at Sand Bay, 10 km from the capital of Stanley and 1 km across the valley from the first three wind turbines. The third phase of the development will be using the wind turbines to charge a 2 MWh battery when the wind blows to ensure that energy output is more constant.
Renewable energy in the Falklands
The Falkland Islands has planned the use of wind energy since 1996 and worked with the Falkland Islands Development Corporation (FIDC) to develop the renewable energy grant scheme. Proposals for the Sand Bay wind farm were unveiled in 2006 and, at a recent European Union seminar, the Falklands were named in the leading group of Overseas Territories in terms of the percentage of electricity from renewable energy resources.
A large majority (85%) of farms now have 24-hour power from renewable energy sources in the Falklands.
The Islands have experimented with solar and hydroelectric power, but these sources cannot match the performance or cost effectiveness of wind energy, the Government explains. The Falklands will examine the potential of energy storage and heat pumps to optimise wind power and further reduce the consumption of fossils fuels.