Wind farm boom boosts renewable energy output
By Anthony Clark
Posted 31 October 2012
The wind industry is on track to power one in 10 homes by 2015, coming second only to natural gas as the largest single source of UK electricity by 2020. The latest projections from trade association RenewableUK come during a record-breaking year for wind power, both in terms of planning approvals and deployment.
From June 2011 to September 2012 the UK’s wind energy capacity grew by a quarter (1,825MW). Also, for the first time in five years there was a rise in the amount of onshore wind capacity being approved at local level – with decision times 10% quicker than the previous 12 months.
RenewableUK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery said: “We have taken significant strides forward – the evidence is laid out clearly in our State of the Industry report. 2011-12 saw overall capital investment in the offshore wind industry rise by 60% to £1.5bn and a record amount of onshore wind capacity approved. These strong figures underline the importance of a secure trading climate to attract investment, especially in difficult times.
“That’s why it’s so important that the framework provided by the Energy Bill, currently under parliamentary scrutiny, must be right. Although we still have a long way to go to meet our challenging targets, we are firmly on track and gathering momentum”.
In the last quarter of 2011, the proportion of electricity in the UK coming from renewables reached more than 10%, its highest proportion ever. Wind power contributed the majority of this and is expected to provide up to 7% of the UK’s electricity by the end of this year – taking the UK closer to the target of 15% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020.
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