Britain cleans up its future energy plans

Britain’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last week gave approval for 15 offshore wind farms.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  December 30, 2003

Britain’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last week gave approval for 15 offshore wind farms in the second phase of its plans to expand renewable energy sources in the country. Over 2000 turbines will appear in shallow sea water along the Thames estuary east of London, as well as sites off the coast of north west England, according to Marcus Rand of the British Wind Energy Association. Amec, Scottish Power, Warwick Energy and London Array, a consortium which includes Powergen and Shell WindEnergy, were among the developers named by the DTI. Construction is expected to begin over the next few years, with the first power generated in 2007. The government expects the sites will eventually produce enough electricity to power one in six UK households. Once up and running it will take seven to nine years for a turbine to re-coup its start-up costs. Stephen Timms, the British government’s energy minister, said that the windfarms demonstrated Britain’s commitment to generating green energy. “The Government is committed to providing 10% of total energy needs from renewable sources by 2010,” he explained. London Array will develop two sites off the coast of Essex and Kent, at a cost of around £1 billion (US $ 1.76 billion). “We could ultimately supply the equivalent of a quarter of London’s electricity,” London Array said in a statement last week. The consortium’s 300-turbine farm, planned as part of a four-phase project, would have capacity to generate 1000 megawatt hours of power. Warwick Energy, which plans to develop sites in the east and south east of England, said plans for a 160-strong turbine farm will cost around £600 million (US $1.06 billion). Each site will have the capacity to generate 300 megawatt hours.

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