Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), produced from burning fossil fuels lead to the serious problems in global warming in particular and climate change in general. Because of this, ways on how to limit and reduce carbon-based gases emissions are embodied in the international Kyoto Protocol in combating the serious problems with global warming. United Kingdom (UK), as one of the counties cooperating in the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions, is now serious in developing clean energy from renewable sources as alternative to expensive importation of energy products for the country’s expected power demand.
Among those renewable source of energy, wind is best to consider since the country has many coastlines and offshore areas where strong winds and usually sited. Not all part of the country is connected to the nation grid for electricity supply. Despite of this, small-wind turbine system can still provide expected residential power demand in a grid separated areas. With this, a more secured electricity supply, prices and distribution against losses are observed and virtually eliminated. INTRODUCTION Overview
Renewable sources of energy should be utilized, not to be exploited, in order to generate clean, affordable and secured energy against losses from its distribution. One of these is the utilization of wind energy using small-scale wind turbine system in stronger wind locations and away from obstructions. As one of the greatest challenges in the country, UK is promoting clean utilization of energy to meet the national power demand in a zero CO2 emission technology, under the ordeals of Kyoto Protocol. Statement of the Problem
In this paper, the author will investigate up to what extent can wind turbines be utilized in domestic buildings in United Kingdom (UK). Objectives of the Study The study generally aims to consider the wind pattern in UK with a view of the application of wind turbines to domestic buildings. Specifically, this study aims to determine the potential capacity of wind turbines as renewable source of energy. Significance of the Study Results of the study will help the people of UK to consider the potential capacity of wind turbines as one of the renewable sources of energy.
In general, the results of the study will help in evaluating the suitability of utilizing wind turbines in UK domestic buildings. CHAPTER 1: GLOBAL WARMING 1. 1 Overview Global warming is the experiential temperature increase of the Earth’s near-surface air and bodies of water due to the absorbed solar radiation and increase in accumulated greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. It is related to climate change which is its general term. (Global Warming, 2007).
The solar radiation is partially absorbed and reflected back into space. About 30 percent of it is bounced back by clouds, reflective ground surfaces, and ocean surf while the remaining 70 percent is absorbed by air, land masses, and bodies of water. This absorption makes life on Earth possible. But, to avoid continuous warming of Earth, land masses and oceans emit thermal radiation, which is largely long wave infrared energy, and returns back into space; thus, allowing the Earth to cool (Weier, 2002).
The over accumulated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere prevented thermal radiation from leaving the Earth since these carbon-based gases stay longer in the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), since the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels have increased 31 percent and methane levels have increased 151 percent in the atmosphere resulting to the drastic increase in temperature. The estimated increase in surface temperature has been between 0. 4°C to 0. 8°C (Weier, 2002). 1. 2 Brief History of Warming
Global warming is thought that started during the period of Industrial Revolution and the invention of the internal combustion steam engine because this time was the peak of utilizing heat energy to power up most commercial machines. It was 18,000 years ago, after the occurrence of Pleistocene Ice Age, when most places in North America, Europe, and Asia were buried beneath layers of thick glacial ice (Hieb and Hieb, 2006). During that time, most of the Earth was frozen and wasteland. Glaciers and extreme deserts covered over half of Earth’s surface where forests are rare.
Until, the Earth had warmed sufficiently over the last 15,000 years to halt the advance of glaciers giving way to grasslands, woodlands and forests; and sea levels worldwide began to rise (Hieb and Hieb, 2006). The periods of temperature variation of Earth occur in cycles. This is better understood by considering a certain period, for instance a year, to be occurring in a larger range of period. That is, a cycle of 40 years exist within larger-scale cycles of 400 years, which in turn exist inside still larger scale cycles of 20,000 years, and so on (Figure 1-1).
Pollutants which are emitted artificially, like aerosols for instance, can affect the ambient temperature near the earth surface due to improved sunlight reflection back to the outer space. This phenomenon happened mostly during the middle part of the twentieth century (Global Warming, 2007). Between 1400 A. D. to about 1860 A. D. , the Earth was experiencing cooler climate that’s why callous winters, shorter growing seasons, and a drier climate became the dominant problems. It has been the cause to food production before including crop destruction like the Irish Potato Famine (Hieb and Hieb, 2006).