New figures from the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) show that the rate of development being undertaken by the wind energy industry could account for at least 8% of total UK electricity supply in 2010.
The calculations were carried out as part of the industry body’s submission into the ongoing review of energy policy.
‘There is an imperative need for the UK to secure new forms of energy generation and reduce emissions,’ says BWEA Chief Executive Nick Goodall. ‘Now, more than ever, it is clear that wind power can play a crucial role in meeting both these objectives’.
By 2010, the UK will have lost 7% of electricity supply from nuclear generation due to the closures of BNFL Magnox plant. BWEA’s calculations show how this could be replaced by wind power, at the lowest cost to consumers.
The time has come to finally silence the claims of critics of wind power, says BWEA. Many respected entities, including NGC, state that wind power can provide at least 10% of total UK electricity supply without incurring any disruption to the system, or requiring any back up. Equally, it is now widely accepted that wind power plant in the UK generates electricity at some of the lowest prices in Europe.
Given that the UK has a wind resource equivalent to several times the entire country’s electricity needs, there is enormous potential for development over and above the 10% target. BWEA is therefore calling for an initial extension of the Renewables Obligation to 20% by 2020, and is confident that wind power, particularly the offshore sector, will meet these targets.
However, if the UK is to achieve this level of generation capability, then BWEA points out that certain key measures will need to be taken; most importantly, a concerted plan of action from Government on planning, access to the grid and a secure and predictable market. Government must also send a clear message to regional and local agencies and to the public of the need for this positive change in UK electricity supply.
The BWEA submission to the Energy Review is available to view online at http://www.bwea.com/ref/bweapolicy.html