News: Onshore wind energy set to outperform estimates

By 2010, the onshore wind industry will generate 50% more electricity than previously predicted, and will have installed 6,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity, a new report predicts.

This will produce almost 5% of the UK's electricity supply and displace up to 13 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, according to the BWEA.

The report Onshore Wind: Powering Ahead claims to be the most comprehensive and realistic assessment ever undertaken of the UK's onshore wind industry.

It predicts that onshore wind energy will be delivering nearly half of the Government's 2010 renewable energy target.

The report takes into account potential barriers such as the planning process, decision-making and grid capability, to provide the most realistic assessment of onshore wind's contribution to the energy mix by 2010.

The results show that 2006 is a record year for the UK wind industry with 665 MW scheduled for completion by year end. Combined with currently operating capacity and existing consents, a total of 3,000 MW is already confirmed for delivery by 2010. This new research identifies a further 3,000 MW which is forecast to be consented and built by 2010, bringing the total to 6,000 MW.

Whilst the report castigates delays in the planning process the new analysis proves that planning is not holding back progress. However planning delays in Scotland are now spiralling to nearly three years, the report said. With Scotland is expected to make the greatest wind energy contribution, benefiting from the best wind resource, delays are clearly a concern.

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