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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 December, 2003, 01:20 GMT
Britain unveils wind energy plans
wind turbines
Fifteen new wind farms will be built
Plans to develop some of the world's biggest offshore wind farms in the UK have been outlined by the government.

They will be located at 15 sites in three areas - the Thames Estuary, Greater Wash, and the North West.

They are expected to produce seven per cent of the UK's energy needs by the end of the decade.

The announcement comes just weeks after the Government announced measures to boost financial support for renewable energy.

Energy Minister Stephen Timms said the proposals proved the government was committed to a greener future.

He said: "This is the biggest expansion of renewable energy anywhere in the world, and demonstrates that we are serious about moving towards a cleaner, greener future.

'Challenging target'

"The Energy White Paper committed us to providing 10% of our total energy needs from renewable sources.

"These new wind farms will not only put us firmly on the path to meeting this challenging target, but will help us to meet our aspiration of generating 20% of our energy from renewables by 2020."

This is a win, win, win for our industry, our environment and our economy as these 15 projects should create thousands of new jobs and provide clean power
Marcus Rand, British Wind Energy Association
Mr Timms said the response from developers wishing to build the farms, which should provide electricity for four million homes, had been "overwhelming".

Details of the sites, together with the developers chosen to build them, can be seen on the website of the Crown Estate, which leases the seabed around the UK.

The British Wind Energy Association, which represents almost 300 companies, welcomed the announcement.

Its chief executive, Marcus Rand, said: "We have the best wind resource in Europe and this announcement puts the UK in the fast lane to becoming a world leader in developing it offshore.

"This is a win, win, win for our industry, our environment and our economy as these 15 projects should create thousands of new jobs and provide clean power for one in six UK homes."

The new Energy Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, will enable developers to build wind farms more than 12 nautical miles out to sea, beyond territorial waters.


SEE ALSO:
Call to keep wind farms in check
12 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Inquiry expected over wind farm
27 Nov 03  |  Cumbria
Wind farm plans on show
20 Nov 03  |  Somerset


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