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British Wind Sector Passes 6 Gigawatts Mark

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Britain’s wind sector has reached 6 gigawatts of installed capacity, says trade association RenewableUK, creating enough energy to supply 3,354,893 homes with electricity.

The 6GW mark was reached with the completion of the Ormonde offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Cumbria, which is now outputting up to 120 megawatts, enough to power 67,000 homes.

uk wind turbines

“This is a landmark achievement. There’s a great feeling of pride throughout the industry that we’ve reached a record high of 6 gigawatts, and there’s a further 19.5GW of capacity under construction, consented, or in planning,” said RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery.

“The Government’s Renewable Energy Roadmap is calling for 31GW of onshore and offshore wind combined by 2020, and we’re confident that we can deliver this if we continue to get the right level of Government support.”

According to the Chairman of Scottish Renewables, Jeremy Sainsbury, Scotland contributed almost 50 percent towards the overall total, and believes that Scotland “will continue to play a significant part in delivering capacity across the UK.”

“£750 million of new renewable electricity projects started generating in Scotland over past year, and Scottish wind energy is already making a significant contribution to UK and EU targets,” said the Scottish Government Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP. “We are working closely with the UK Government to ensure electricity market reforms continue to maximise opportunities to capitalise on Scotland’s unique natural resources.”

Contentious Timing

The report of the 6GW milestone was delivered at RenewableUK’s Annual Parliamentary Reception on Wednesday night, which was also the same day as  Policy Exchange — a centre-right thinktank — released a report which called on the British government to drop its renewable energy targets and its support for offshore wind projects based on their estimates that it would cost households an additional £400 by 2020.

The report was quickly dismissed by the government as “flawed”, but, in somewhat unconventional style, the British Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne branded the report as “nonsense on stilts” in an online question and answer session hosted by Which?.

Responding to a question regarding the report, Huhne attacked Policy Exchange’s methodologies and its motives for releasing such a report.

“There is no such increase in the cost to families, but what there are is a load of rather silly thinktanks trying to differentiate themselves in a crowded market by coming up with wild and woolly estimates to get headlines in the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph,” he wrote.

“They would save an awful lot of people some high blood pressure moments if their so-called economists bothered to pop in to DECC and get put right on some elementary A-level howlers. All our figures are there to see on the website, and we are committed to updating them every year. We have SAVED families money compared with the last government by removing the levies for carbon capture and storage and the renewable heat incentive. Overall, the impact of our policies on bills in 2020 is estimated to CUT bills by seven per cent.”

In other words, Mister Huhne is very confident in his dismissal of Policy Exchange’s report. Good on him!

Source: RenewableUK | UK wind turbines via frozenhaddock

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