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Planet Ark World Environment News UK offshore wind farms get green light, 20 mln stg support

Date: 04-Oct-02
Country: UK

"These developments are a major step forward for the UK offshore wind industry, and the clearest signal yet that UK manufacturing can play its part in the growing market for sustainable energy at home and abroad," UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson said in a statement.

The funding will be split equally between the two sites off the coasts of North Wales and Norfolk which are the first to gain full consent out of 18 potential projects identified by offshore developers.

National Windpower, part of UK utility Innogy, will operate the North Wales site, comprising 30 turbines and a total capacity of 90 megawatt (MW), to provide 50,000 homes with electricity. Innogy is owned by German energy company RWE.

Powergen, owned by German utility E.ON, will operate the other site, which will include 39 turbines and have a capacity of up to 80 MW to power 50,000 homes.

The 20 million pounds aid package is part of a wider 300 million pounds programme to boost the use of renewable energy such as solar, wind and biomass power and cut polluting greenhouse gas emissions on the energy-hungry island.

The burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) - widely blamed for global warming.

Britain aims to cut its CO2 emissions by 12.5 percent by 2010 on 1990s levels under a global Kyoto Protocol to cut greenhouse gases and curb gloabal warming.

It also plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 23 percent during the same period.

Under a Renewables Obligation the UK government wants electricity suppliers to take 10 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2010.

Britain currently takes 2.8 percent of its electricity from renewable energy.

The government also launched new guidelines for developers on where to locate their wind farms to avoid interfering with military and civil aviation operations. Radar can be disrupted by wind turbines.

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