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BBC Wales's Miles Fletcher
"There will be full local consultation hefore any of the schemes can go ahead"
 real 56k

BBC Wales's Miles Fletcher
"The turbines will be three miles out to sea - overcoming objections of noise and visual instrusion"
 real 28k

Thursday, 5 April, 2001, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Wind farms to fight 'greenhouse effect'
wind turbines
Giant wind turbines will be built around the British coast
Plans to construct three offshore wind farms in Wales have been welcomed by environmentalists.

Friends of the Earth have described the government decision to build 18 turbines across the UK as encouraging.

Peter Hain, Energy Minister
Peter Hain is committed to energy projects
Two sites in north Wales have been chosen - North Hoyle off the coast of Prestatyn and Rhyl Flat, off Colwyn Bay.

There is one site in south Wales - Scarweather Sands off Porthcawl.

Planning permission will have to be sought for each development.

FoE climate campaigner Mark Johnston said: "These projects will make a major contribution to cutting the pollution from fossil fuels - the major cause of climate change."

Government ministers claim the wind farm programme will help put Britain on target to generate 10% of its electricity by 2010.

Importance

Details of the chosen sites around England and Wales, where the turbines will be built, have just been released.

Some critics have described the move as little more than a gesture, but Energy Minister Peter Hain says the new sites show how important the government regards green energy.

"These projects alone will power around a million households, so it is a very significant contribution to our energy supply," he told the BBC.


These projects will make a major contribution to cutting the pollution from fossil fuels - the major cause of climate change

Mark Johnston, Friends of the Earth

"People want us to move away from dirty power stations to ones which are clean and green and self-sustained. "It will give us a greater balance to our energy supply and move us forward."

A total of 260m will be injected into renewable energy projects over the next three years in an attempt to meet targets.

Giant wind turbines will be built on the sea bed in sites around England and Wales under a licence scheme drawn up with the owners of Britain's coastline, Crown Estates.

Research for Greenpeace has suggested wind power could generate 36,000 jobs across the UK.

Power for 1m households

But the Countryside Council for Wales has warned that developments in the wrong area could damage the landscape or wildlife and proposals could be contested at public inquiries.

The Wales Tourist Board added that it opposed "the development of offshore windfarms adjoining the coastline, which is either within a National Park, desginated Heritage Coast, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or National Marine Nature Reserves".

Wind power in the UK currently produces enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 250,000 households and saves the emission of almost 1m tonnes of carbon dioxide.

It is predicted the new sites will generate enough power for more than 1m households - but that is still only 1% of the country's needs as a whole.

Research has shown that the UK is the windiest country in Europe with enough wind to power the country three times over.

But some scientists have said renewable energy resources can not be developed quickly enough to meet requirements.

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See also:

06 Mar 01 | UK Politics
Blair pitches for green vote
04 Jun 99 | Sci/Tech
Willow fuels farmers' hopes
30 Aug 00 | Scotland
Wind farm opposition 'blows over'
31 Jul 00 | Wales
Anger at wind farm ruling
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