Energetic week ahead as world’s largest wind farm gears up

Ellie Zolfagharifard, Senior Reporter

Swedish energy group, Vattenfall, is gearing up to bring online the world’s largest wind farm off the Kent coast, as it begins the final stages of testing.

Once complete, the company estimates that the Thanet wind farm could generate enough electricity for 200,000 homes and will boost the UK’s offshore wind capacity by over 30 per cent.

The announcement follows a statement from the National Grid which claimed that at one point last week 10 per cent of the UK’s electricity came from windfarms.

But some areas of the energy industry believe that focus needs to be shifted towards other technologies, particularly nuclear, if the UK is to meet its goal of an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

As part of this drive, the EDF Energy UK Suppliers Forum will meet today to discuss future designs for nuclear installations. EDF initially plans to build four new UK EPR reactors in the UK, with the first two at Hinkley Point, and two more at Sizewell.

Meanwhile a separate meeting by the British Nuclear Medicine Society will take place to discuss the benefits of nuclear technology in healthcare.

According to report from the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), cutting-edge radiotherapy treatments are still not widely available in the UK, despite the government’s commitment to make cancer outcomes amongst the best in Europe.

Tomorrow, the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee are set to discuss their terms of reference after MPs last week asked the committee to probe allegations of journalists at the News of the World hacking the phones of public figures.

Wednesday will see an announcement made on the 2010 James Dyson Award finalists. Contenders for the award include a mobile seat for the elderly, a battery that helps cyclists uphill and a smell-free sports bag. Take a look at Siobhan Wagner’s analysis of the US and UK bicycle entries here.

Keeping with developments in energy this week, Climate Change secretary Chris Huhne will hold a one-off oral evidence session on Thursday to discuss issues such as the impact of spending cuts, the draft national policy statements, carbon-capture and new nuclear build.