7 July 2012
UK gives huge boost to offshore wind capacity
Consent was given today by the British Government for the construction of two wind farms off the Norfolk Coast with a combined capacity of over 1 gigawatts (GW).
An offshore wind-farm at Scroby Sands, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK. © Frederick Sneddon
The two wind farms at Race Bank 580-megawatt and Dudgeon 560-megawatt in the Greater Wash could generate enough electricity to power around 730,000 homes. The projects represent around 3 billion pounds (USD4.7 billion) of investment.
This means that 6.6 GW of offshore wind power is now either operational, under construction or consented in the UK. The country currently has 1.9 GW of operational capacity. The renewable energy roadmap published last year set out that the UK could have up to 18 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2020.
"These two projects will not only bring us considerable amounts of clean energy, but significant investment and jobs too," said Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy.
"We have also shown that we are mindful of other consequences, such as the impact on bird populations, in deciding that it would not be appropriate to consent all three applications."
An application for a third project at Docking Shoal, also off the Norfolk Coast, has however been refused due to the potential impact on seabirds in the area. These birds (Sandwich terns) are specially protected by environmental legislation.
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