Monday, 6 April 2009

UK wind farm investment cut

Some concerning news out last week, reported in both The Times:

Britain’s ambition to become a global leader in renewable energy suffered a major setback last night when the world’s biggest investor in wind power said that it was slashing its investment programme.

The announcement comes less than two months after ministers backed a string of huge gas-fired power stations, prompting concern that the Government cannot fulfil its promise of a green energy revolution.

Iberdrola Renewables’ decision to cut its investment in Britain by more than 40 per cent, or £300 million — enough to build a wind farm powering 200,000 homes — is the latest obstacle to Gordon Brown’s target of generating 35 per cent of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Lifting it to that level from the current 5 per cent would cost an estimated £100 billion. But wind energy investments have collapsed as funding dries up in the credit crunch and the price of oil, gas and coal has fallen. Delays obtaining access to the national grid and planning permission have compounded the industry’s woes.

and The Telegraph:

It came a day after Ed Miliband, the Climate Change Minister, angered rural campaigners by saying opposition to wind farms is as socially unacceptable as failing to stop at a zebra crossing.

His comments were made at the screening of a new climate change documentary, The Age Of Stupid, in London.

He said: "The Government needs to be saying, 'It is socially unacceptable to be against wind turbines in your area – like not wearing your seat belt or driving past a zebra crossing'.''

His comments came as a report by a coalition of countryside campaigners said the expansion of wind farms threatened some of Britain's most scenic countryside.

However, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds this week called for a vast increase in the number of wind farms in the UK after a study found far more could be built without damaging wildlife.

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