United Kingdom renewable energy

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According to Wikipedia "The total of all renewable electricity sources provided for 14.9% of the electricity generated in the United Kingdom in 2013, reaching 53.7 TWh of electricity generated. In the second quarter of 2015, renewable electricity generation exceeded 25% and coal generation for the first time"

UK Renewable Energy Planning Database (REPD)

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) UK Renewable Energy Planning Database defines larger scale renewable energy sites in the UK. The database shows planning requests and their status. We are probably most interested in those that are operational or under construction.

The database provides a UK National Grid Reference for each location, but this is frequently inaccurate (+/-1km) as it may have been created early on in the planning process before the actual site location was decided. On occasion the given location may be on the nearest conurbation. Operational or under construction sites are often visible in aerial photography, in particular wind turbines which cast a clear shadow.

user:Jnicho02 is running a project to map wind farms, ground mounted solar farms, and renewable energy sites in the REPD and invites you to join in.

Energy sites are mapped as a relation which links wind turbines, transformer unit they connect to, and access tracks. See http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/rJW for a couple of examples.

As of September 2017 the REPD identifies larger renewable energy sites ('farms') in the UK. These are split into:

 select "technology type", "mounting type for solar", "development status (short)", count(*) as counter
 from ukgov_energy_planning
 where "development status (short)" = 'Operational'
 group by "technology type", "mounting type for solar", "development status (short)"
 order by counter desc
technology type operational
Solar Photovoltaics (roof mounted) 740
Wind Onshore 667
Solar Photovoltaics (ground mounted) 320
Landfill Gas 268
Anaerobic Digestion 113
Small Hydro 55
Biomass dedicated 52
EfW Incineration 46
Wind Offshore 31
Large Hydro 18
Sewage Sludge Digestion 8
Advanced Conversion Technologies 7
Tidal Barrage and Tidal Stream 5
Biomass co-firing 3
Solar Photovoltaics (floating) 2
Shoreline Wave 2

Suggested process and tags (onshore wind power)

Wind turbines are easy-ish to spot in aerial photos as they cast a shadow. The Newcorp progress map shows REPD sites and has a link to the location on OSM.

Different aerial photos: If a wind farm was constructed in the last couple of years then some aerial images might not show it. Take a look in Google Maps by searching for the grid ref. Try different layers in the ID editor.

As a last resort try finding the contractor's web site which may help you locate the site.

In the ID Editor, after submitting the edit to OSM it can be good to click on 'View on OSM' to view the changeset, then click on the link to the relation, e.g. Mynydd y Betws relation/7587679

energy 'farm'

A wind farm is *not* a polygon, it is a relation. Other activities can and do happen on the grass between the turbines (e.g. sheep grazing), so the 'farm' is actually a collection of turbines, access tracks, and substation.

tag value wiki
type site
site wind_farm
name the name of the wind farm (not including the words 'Wind Farm', 'resubmission', 'repowering', but do include 'extension')
repd:id 123 (the Renewable Energy Planning Database id)

A 'resubmission' is when a planning application is resubmitted. A 'repowering' is when a site has had old turbines replaced with new, more modern, ones. An 'extension' is where extra turbines are added on to an existing scheme.

Please map an 'extension' as a separate wind farm.

wind turbine

The ID editor does most of these by default. A number of existing nodes do not currently have generator:method='wind_turbine'.

tag value wiki
generator:source wind Tag:generator:source=wind
generator:method wind_turbine Tag:generator:method=wind_turbine
power generator
name the name of the individual turbine, e.g. 'turbine 1' (optional/unlikely)

Add a turbine to the wind farm relation role='generator'

Note: when adding things to a relation using the ID Editor the wind farm will only appear in the dropdown if another object already in the relation is visible in the edit screen. Sometimes, turbines are quite far apart. It can help to include the access tracks as you go.

If you want to tag with axis then what you probably think of as a wind turbine is Tag:generator:type=horizontal_axis

access tracks

Wind farms must have access tracks to get to the turbines. Often they are clearly for this purpose only, other times they may be existing paths.

Q: does it hurt for an existing footpath to be included in wind farm relation? The path may need to have a section broken so as to not include lots of other sections that aren't relevant.

Optionally add the tracks to the wind farm relation as role='access'

To now, I have only connected obvious access tracks

substation

Every wind farm has a substation where the turbines are connected to the main power cable

Add it to the wind farm relation role='substation'

Suggested process and tags (solar power)

Solar farms come in two forms: roof-mounted and ground mounted. There are a 740+ roof-mounted panels that produce 1MW+ and I don't propose to map them. I consider the 320 ground-mounted panels to be solar 'farms'. The Newcorp progress map shows REPD sites and has a link to the location on OSM.

Different aerial photos: Most solar farms was constructed in the last couple of years then some aerial images might not show it. Take a look in Google Maps by searching for the grid ref. Try different layers in the ID editor.

As a last resort try finding the contractor's web site which may help you locate the site.

Solar farms are mostly in the Midlands and the South

 select region, count(*) as counter
 from ukgov_energy_planning
 where "technology type" = 'Solar Photovoltaics'
   and "development status (short)" = 'Operational'
   and "mounting type for solar" = 'Ground'
 group by region
 order by counter desc
region count
South West 72
East Midlands 51
South East 43
Wales 40
Eastern 30
North West 25
West Midlands 20
Yorkshire and Humber 16
North East 9
Scotland 9
Northern Ireland 5

Suggested process and tags (offshore wind power)

Existing locations are often currently marked by polygons.

Offshore wind is harder to map than onshore. If you only have the approximate position from REPD then there are no landmarks to orientate yourself whilst searching aerial photos. Aerial photos of the sea are often at night.

According to REPD there are currently 31 operational offshore wind farms in the UK:

 select '| ' || "ref id" || ' || ' || "site name" || ' || ' || "no. of turbines" || ' || ' || "address" || ' || ' || "operational" || ' || ' || ST_AsGeoJSON(ST_Transform(the_geom,4326),4)
 from ukgov_energy_planning
 where "technology type" = 'Wind Offshore'
   and "development status (short)" = 'Operational'
   order by "no. of turbines" desc
ref id name turbines address operational OSM
2511 London Array Phase 1 175 12 miles 20km off the Kent and Essex coasts 2013-04-06 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/218433470
2543 Gwynt y Mor  160 Liverpool Bay 13-15km offshore  2015-06-18 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/294422650 no tags
2510 Greater Gabbard Wind Farm 140 Near the Suffolk Coast 26km out to sea 2012-09-07 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/113729838
2519 West of Duddon Sands 108 Off Duddon Sands, Cumbria. East Irish Sea 2014-10-30 http://www.openstreetmap.org/node/2362978617 turbines + cables, no polygon or relation
2499 Thanet  100 11km off North Foreland Kent 2010-09-16 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/113739834
2512 Sheringham Shoal  88 between 17 and 22 kilometres off the Norfolk coast, north of the seaside town of Sheringham. 2012-10-29 1.1479,53.1353 can't find, Dudgeon?
2513 Centrica Lincs 75 8 Km of Skegness 2013-07-24 0.4981,53.1842 can't find
2544 Humber Gateway A 73 8km from Yorkshire Coast 2015-05-30 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/331863739
2500 Walney 1 51 14km off Walney Island, Irish Sea 2011-05-30 -3.5158,54.0394 http://www.openstreetmap.org/node/2362978645 no polygon or relation
2506 Walney 2 51 14km off Walney Island, Irish Sea 2012-04-06 -3.609,54.0807 http://www.openstreetmap.org/node/2363140365 no polygon or relation
2545 Westermost Rough A 35 25 km north of Spurn Head at the River Humber estuary. 2015-05-26 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/341804043
2539 Burbo Bank Extension Burbo Bank 2 32 Burbo Flats, Liverpool Bay, approximately 6.4km 4.0 miles from the Sefton coastline and 7.2km 4.5 miles from North Wirral. 2017-04-27 -3.27,53.48 may be mixed with http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/327949356
2546 Barrow  30 7km Walney Island, near Barrow-in-Furness 2006-04-01 -3.2983,53.9915 lots round here, not sure
2490 Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Scheme 30 Gunfleet Sands 4 miles offshore from Holland-on-Sea Nr Clacton-on-Sea Essex 2009-07-24 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/113739835
2492 Kentish Flats  30 Saltend, Thames Estuary, North Sea 2005-09-10 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/114323074
2494 North Hoyle  30 7.5km Prestatyn & Rhyl  2003-12-01 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/136369186 non-standard tags
2509 Ormonde Offshore 30 10km off Barrow on Furness, Heysham 2012-02-22 -3.4386,54.0889
2498 Scroby Sands  30 3km NE Great Yarmouth, Norfolk 2004-03-01 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/114328399
2496 Robin Rigg East 30 9.5km Maryport_8.5km off Rock Cliffe  2010-04-28 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/291146217 not split
2497 Robin Rigg West 28 9.5km Maryport_8.5km off Rock Cliffe  2009-07-18 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/291146217 not split
2514 Teeside Offshore Wind Farm 27 Coast of Coatham Sands at Redcar, the nearest within a mile of the beach 2013-08-31 -1.0955,54.6453 can't find
2493 Lynn 27 5.2km Skegness  2008-03-15 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/114320195
2491 Inner Dowsing  27 5.2km Ingoldmells  2008-04-20 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/114320194
2495 Rhyl Flats  25 8km Abergele, five miles off the North Wales coast in Liverpool Bay 2009-12-28 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/136368935
2487 Burbo Bank 25 Burbo Flats, Liverpool Bay, approximately 6.4km 4.0 miles from the Sefton coastline and 7.2km 4.5 miles from North Wirral. 2007-10-18 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/327949356
2489 Gunfleet Sands II  18 5 Miles from the Essex coast at Frinton-on-Sea 2009-07-24 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/218287943
2504 Kentish Flats 2 15 Kentish Flats Offshore extension 2015-09-14 1.08,51.45 can't find but should be next to Kentish Flats
2488 Gunfleet Sands - Demo Extension 2 off the Essex coast 2013-04-19 http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/368344994
2486 Blyth Offshore  2 1km off Blyth Harbour  2000-12-01 -1.4901,55.1361 can't find
2485 Beatrice Demonstrator 2 Beatrice Offshore Platform 2007-07-17 -2.8884,58.2528 can't find
2528 Levenmouth demonstration turbine Fife Energy Park 1 Fife Energy Park Test Site off the coast of Methil in Fife 2014-03-31 -2.958,56.1607

Some that are under construction: Dudgeon http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/415308338 Galloper Array http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/113729835 Rampion http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/448730721

Progress

Newcorp progress map