The Role of Aesthetics, Visual And Physical Integration In Building Mounted Wind Turbines - An Alternative Approach

Sharpe, Tim; Nathwani, Jatin and Ng, Artie, eds. (2010) The Role of Aesthetics, Visual And Physical Integration In Building Mounted Wind Turbines - An Alternative Approach. In: Paths to Sustainable Energy. InTech, pp. 279-300. ISBN 9789535159674 (

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There context for addressing energy use in the built environment includes: the climate change agenda; concerns about peak oil supply; increasing fuel costs; costs of de-carbonising grid supply; and security of supply for certain regions. All of these highlight the value and need for renewable energy supplies. The context for the increased development of renewable energy is clear. The balance of evidence coming from the scientific community concerning the threats and impacts of anthropogenic climate change is now widely accepted (IPCC 2007). This had led to an economic analysis of the actions needed to address these problems (Stern 2007), which identify the benefits of early action. In addition to the climate change agenda, other drivers in the form of concerns about peak oil supply in turn leading to scarcity and increasing fuel costs, the costs of decarbonising grid supply, and security of supply for certain regions all highlight the value and need for renewable energy supplies. To address these problems, a range of policies and technologies are being developed to reduce consumption and to provide a greater generating capacity of low carbon and renewable energy. This requires action at a range of scales and across industries, from national generators to individual consumers. The built environment has particular responsibilities with respect to its demand for energy and resources. The majority of the population live in urban environments and buildings account for about 50% the UK energy consumption, and housing produces 27% of CO2 emissions (Boardman 2007). Furthermore, the need for a national grid to serve the built environment, which also results in transmission losses, is also a factor. Energy consumption is based on both space and water heating, and electrical use for lighting, appliances, etc. These demands can be reduced by measures such as improved insulation and air tightness, and this is typified through approaches such as Passivhaus design, which aims to reduce fabric and ventilation losses to a minimum. Further reductions can be made through the use of efficient appliances and controls, but even with these measures residual electrical loads remain. Wind energy is one of the most mature renewable technologies. The development of large scale wind farms both onshore and latterly offshore, provides a significant proportion of the UK renewable energy generation capacity. It is also one of the most visible, and thus in some quarters, contentious generators. However, the use of wind generation in urban environments has increased in scale in recent years and provides significant potential. This chapter discusses the policy drivers and approaches that are forming this market at present.