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Wind Farms

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 22nd July 2002.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of the United Kingdom's electrical power came from wind power in the last year for which figures are available; and what is being done to increase the amount of wind farms.

Photo of Mr Brian Wilson Mr Brian Wilson Minister of State (Industry and Energy), Department of Trade and Industry

In 2001, the last year for which figures are available, electricity generation from wind power in the United Kingdom was 965 GWh. This was 0.3 per cent. of total UK electricity generation for that year.

Wind energy, along with other forms of renewable energy, stands to benefit substantially from the introduction of the Renewables Obligation from 1 April this year. This places an obligation on electricity suppliers to supply a specified proportion of their electricity from renewable sources. The level of the Obligation is set to rise each year reaching a target of 10 per cent. by 2010, by which time its value could be up to £1 billion per year. The Obligation has been set up for a 25 year period (2002–27), providing the right climate for expansion of wind energy and renewable energy generally.

Wind energy, along with other renewables, also benefits from exemption from the Climate Change Levy.

The Government have assigned £74 million over the next three years for capital grants for offshore wind energy projects, where initial capital costs are greater, and the technology is less well established, than is the case for onshore projects. 19 schemes for the development of offshore wind farms have so far been granted leases of areas of the sea bed by the Crown Estate.

We are encouraging a positive approach to new renewable energy proposals, including new wind farm proposals, through regional renewable energy plans and targets.

National Wind Power's Windworks scheme offers farmers and landowners an opportunity to share in the profits of small-scale wind energy projects developed on their land.

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