The future energy landscape laid out in the UK government’s recently published white paper received a significant boost with the recent release of latest statistics from the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA). At the end of the first twelve weeks of 2003, planning permission has been awarded for a further ten new wind projects totaling 567 MW.London, England – May 2, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Adding to this, planning consents achieved in previous years but not yet built means that the UK wind industry now has a banked total of 1.3 GW of new wind power ready for construction. This represents an investment of over £1 billion (US$1.6 billion) in the UK’s growing wind industry. When built, these wind farms will supply the equivalent of the annual electricity needs of 800,000 households, sufficient to power Birmingham, England’s second largest city, twice over – with electricity to spare. “This is not just good news for the UK wind industry, it’s also good news for Britain and for the environment. This puts us firmly on track to meet government’s high expectations of wind power,” said newly-appointed BWEA Chief Executive Marcus Rand. A target is already in place for renewables to meet 10 percent of the UK’s electricity supply by 2010. The government’s white paper suggests an increased contribution from renewable sources of energy to 20 percent by 2020, with wind power from deployment both on and offshore identified as the most likely “largest contributors to the renewables generation mix in 2010” and similarly for the 2020 20 percent scenario. The total new wind capacity approved for installation represents almost 4 billion units of clean, green electricity. Combined with the generation from projects already operational, this will increase wind’s share of the electricity mix to 1.4 percent, taking industry well on its way to its projections that as much as eight percent of supply in the UK could be met by wind power by 2010. “Obviously there is still much to be done to convert planning consents into real projects over the coming years, but these figures clearly demonstrate that wind power is more than ready to play its part in the move towards a low carbon economy,” said Rand. For a briefing on the latest statistics from BWEA including a list of new wind power projects due for construction in the UK, click the link below.