UK aims for all do­mes­tic power from wind by 2020

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HE UK plans to open up off­shore ter­ri­tory to in­stall wind tur­bines for gen­er­at­ing power suf­fi­cient to sup­ply all house­holds by 2020, curb­ing reliance on coal- and gas-fired plants that emit air pol­lu­tants such as car­bon diox­ide.

Sites with a com­bined po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate 25 gi­gawatts of elec­tric­ity may be of­fered by that year, in ad­di­tion to the 8 gi­gawatts made avail­able in two pre­vi­ous ten­ders, the De­part­ment for Busi­ness, En­ter­prise & Reg­u­la­tory Re­form says in an emailed state­ment.

The Gov­ern­ment will con­duct an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact study be­fore de­cid­ing on the third of­fer, it says.

The Euro­pean Union aims to in­crease re­new­able en­ergy’s share of to­tal gen­er­a­tion to 20 per cent by 2020.

It plans to pro­pose how that tar­get should be ap­por­tioned among mem­ber states next month. In­vest­ment in re­new­able power, in­clud­ing so­lar and wind, is meant to re­duce CO emis­sions that are blamed for cli­mate

2 change.

State sup­port for wind en­ergy may en­cour­age tur­bine man­u­fac­tur­ers to pro­duce more off­shore equip­ment, Nick Medic, a spokesman for the Lon­don-based Bri­tish Wind En­ergy As­so­ci­a­tion, or BWEA, says.

‘‘ De­vel­op­ers see there is a firm com­mit­ment,’’ Medic says. ‘‘ Blade sup­pli­ers and tur­bine mak­ers are ready to en­ter the mar­ket.’’

Siemens AG and Ves­tas Wind Sys­tems A/S are the only tur­bine sup­pli­ers to have ‘‘ a cred­i­ble off­shore pedi­gree,’’ ac­cord­ing to a BWEA re­port pub­lished to­day.

Multib­rid, the Ger­man off­shore wind­tur­bine maker that’s 51-per cent owned by Areva SA, and Re­power Sys­tems AG, the wind­mill builder con­trolled by Su­zlon En­ergy, may gain a sim­i­lar rep­u­ta­tion by the end of 2011, the BWEA said.

As many as seven more may qual­ify by 2015, it said.

De­vel­op­ment ar­eas ob­tained in the sec­ond round of off­shore site al­lo­ca­tions in­clude the 1,000-megawatt Lon­don Ar­ray project be­ing de­vel­oped by Royal Dutch Shell and E.ON AG.

So far, 394 megawatts of off­shore ca­pac­ity is op­er­at­ing at six wind farms in the UK, ac­cord­ing to the BWEA. That com­pares with 1,905 megawatts of on­shore wind-gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity.

‘‘ I want to en­sure the UK re­mains one of the best places for re­new­able busi­ness,’’ John Hut­ton, the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for busi­ness, said in the state­ment. ‘‘ The chal­lenge for gov­ern­ment and for in­dus­try is to turn this po­ten­tial, for our en­ergy and econ­omy, into a cost-ef­fec­tive re­al­ity.’’

The UK will miss its own tar­get for pro­duc­ing 10 per cent of its elec­tric­ity from re­new­able sources by 2010, said Richard Slark, a di­rec­tor of Poyry En­ergy Con­sult­ing, re­cently.

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