A mighty wind

Figures released today by the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) show that the UK wind industry is poised for major expansion, with 22 new wind projects due to be built this year.

New figures released today by the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) show that the UK wind industry is poised for major expansion.

Projects totalling over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of new capacity, representing an investment of some £1 billion, will be built over the next two years. According to the BWEA, this will take the total installed capacity in the UK to well over 1,500 MW by the end of 2005, generating enough electricity from the power of the wind to meet the needs of almost one million UK homes.

A survey carried out by BWEA shows that 22 new wind projects are due to be built this year, representing 474 MW of new wind capacity, over four times the total installed last year.

The list of new build includes 21 developments onshore and a new offshore wind farm at Scroby Sands, the UK’s second large-scale development at sea, off the coast of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.

BWEA also undertook a survey of five major developers establishing their predictions for build in 2005. The results indicate further growth of the industry next year with a predicted 560 MW of projects being built onshore and offshore in 2005, taking new build over the next two years to over a gigawatt with the wind industry supplying 1.3% of total UK electricity needs.

‘These figures are really encouraging as they show at long last that we have now entered the phase of delivery,’ commented Marcus Rand, Chief Executive of BWEA. ‘The next two years will be critical for our industry. We must build up a significant head of steam so that we can deliver the build rates required to hit our national renewable targets and help in the fight to combat climate change.’