UK aims for all domestic power from wind by 2020
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
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.