The UK’s spectacular growth in wind energy signaled by the Government’s Energy White Paper has been confirmed just three weeks after its publication. In the space of one week, consent has been awarded for a further 120 new offshore wind turbines, totaling more wind power capacity than was installed during the whole of the 1990s.London, England – March 20, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “This shows what great progress can be made when industry, Government and the public work together” said British Wind Energy Chief Executive Nick Goodall. As the industry awaits announcement of the next round of offshore development, energy companies and the investment community alike are bullish about the prospects for Britain’s biggest green industry. The results of the call for initial expressions of interest in building new offshore projects will be revealed at the industry’s special topic conference UK Offshore Wind 2003, being held in London next Wednesday and Thursday. “Britain is the windiest country in Europe and these locations provide the shallow waters currently needed for offshore wind technology,” said UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson. “As the most commercially viable renewable power source, it is vital that we harness the energy of the wind both on and offshore now. “One day, wind farms will become common-place and unremarkable,” said Goodall. “Soon, one in ten of our light bulbs will be powered by clean green energy from the wind and no one will bat an eye-lid at the news, or the sight of the latest wind farm. Consents such as these are proof that popular support for environmentally sound generation has never been stronger and that we, as a country are embracing wind energy more every day.” This latest dramatic increase in new wind power consents comes hard on the heels of what has been described as the ‘most successful year on record’ for the UK wind power industry when more wind power projects received planning permission during 2002 than were installed during the previous 11 years combined. By the end of 1999, 344 megawatts of wind power capacity had been installed in the UK. Recently however, consents have been awarded for a further three offshore wind farms, released by the Crown estate in April 1002. DTI consent was granted to Barrow Offshore and Kentish Flats on the 12th March, and Scottish Executive formally approved Robin Rigg today. With consents respectively up to 108MW, 90MW and 100MW, these projects combined represent 397MW. 637.22 new megawatts of wind power received planning permission in 2002, compared with the combined installed total of 552.2MW to the end of that year. Construction has started on the three offshore projects which already have consent, North Hoyle, Rhyl Flats and Scroby Sands. More details at the offshore link below.