[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 14 November 2005, 16:34 GMT
UK 'has high-quality wind supply'
UK wind farm
Opponents say wind farms are a blight on the landscape
The UK's wind is better for generating electricity than that of its rivals, according to a government-backed study.

Steady stiff breezes had meant a more reliable supply than the more extreme blusters of Denmark and Germany over the last 35 years, researchers found.

UK turbines had produced 27% of their maximum possible energy, compared with 20% in Denmark and 15% in Germany, the Oxford University study said.

Ministers want more turbines; opponents say they are an inefficient eyesore.

The study, for the Department of Trade and Industry, analysed hourly wind speed records collected by the Met Office at 66 locations across the UK since 1970.

'Wrong leaves, right wind'

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: "This new research is a nail in the coffin of some of the exaggerated myths peddled by opponents of wind power.

"We have a vast and dependable wind resource in the UK, the best in Europe."

German flags
German wind was less reliable, the study found

The government has a target of 10% of electricity supply coming from renewable sources by 2010.

The study found UK wind was "dependable", with availability highest at times of peak electricity demand - during evenings and winter.

The chance of turbines shutting down due to very high wind speeds was "exceedingly rare".

High winds affecting 40% or more of the UK would occur in around one hour every 10 years, and never affect the whole country, the study found.

However, opponents of wind farms say they scar the landscape and are responsible for the death of many birds.

Some campaigners say that alternative renewable supplies, such as wave power, would be more reliable.

Wind farms 'must take root in UK'
19 May 05 |  Science/Nature
Windfarms, energy and politics
19 May 05 |  Election 2005
Britons 'in favour of wind farms'
20 Sep 04 |  Science/Nature

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific