Move wind farms to shore, study says

Britain will only build one-quarter of the wind power capacity the country needs to meet its target of getting 15% of energy from renewable sources by 2020 unless the government allows wind farms to be built closer to shore, the Carbon Trust said.


Its report, "Offshore wind: big challenge, big opportunity" says current constraints could force Britain’s next round of offshore wind farms to be built 113 kilometres from the shore. That will generate less than a quarter of the 29 gigawatts Britain needs from wind turbines by 2020. The report also calls on the government to remove planning obstacles and resolve grid connection problems that are stunting growth.


"Slashing the costs of offshore wind must now be a priority for UK energy policy," Tom Delay, chief executive of the private, government-funded agency whose mandate is to drive cuts in Britain’s carbon emissions, told Reuters. "The Government must… unlock the most economically attractive sites for development… if we are going to meet our 2020 renewable targets and deliver significant reductions in our carbon emissions."


According to the report, allowing wind farms in shallower coastal waters could cut Britain’s renewable energy bill by 16 billion pounds (US$28.14 billion) and its carbon emissions by 14%.


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