United Kingdom Reaches 1000 MW Wind Barrier

The UK wind energy industry has now installed over 1000 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity – making it one of only eight countries in the world to have surpassed this figure. The official opening of the most powerful wind farm in the UK to date, the 39 turbine 58.5 MW Cefn Croes wind farm in Ceredigion in Wales, brings the total to 1037.7 MW from 1273 turbines, which together generate sufficient electricity to meet the needs of well over half a million households – or a fifth of homes in greater London.

“Wind energy in the UK has now firmly arrived,”said Marcus Rand, CEO of the British Wind Energy Association. “The industry is experiencing record growth and will continue to grow both on and offshore over the coming years as it plays its key role in helping to meet the Government’s climate and renewable targets. Breaking the gigawatt barrier comes in a record year of growth for the UK wind industry, with a total of 18 new wind projects totalling some 500 MW of capacity expected to be officially commissioned by year end, taking UK wind generation to over 1 percent of UK electricity supply, and on track for expectations of the sector. “We anticipate a further six gigawatts of new wind projects will be up and running in the UK by the end of 2010, split evenly between on and offshore developments,” Rand said. “Achieving this objective will deliver energy security, environmental and industrial benefits for the UK.” The UK wind industry is projected to meet some three quarters of the Government’s target for renewables by 2010, representing an investment of GBP 7 billion (USD 12.7 billion) into the sector, according to a survey carried out by the BWEA. The news that wind broke the gigawatt barrier coincides with the release of a new opinion poll carried out as part of BWEA’s Embrace the Revolution campaign, which was launched in Wales this week. The research shows that an overwhelming majority of people in Wales – three quarters – agree that wind farms are necessary to help meet the country’s current and future energy needs. The Cefn Croes wind farm is owned by Falck Renewables Limited, a leading European developer of wind projects and a subsidiary of the Falck Group based in Milan. It is operated by Cambrian Wind Energy, a subsidiary of Falck Renewables, and was developed by the Renewable Development Company (RDC)

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