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WAY FORWARD FOR ENERGY SIGNALLED - GREEN LIGHT FOR RENEWABLES

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There is strong popular support for renewable energy sources such as wind ...
There is strong popular support for renewable energy sources such as wind

farms, energy minister Stephen Timms told BBC Radio Four's Today programme

this morning.

As well as the offshore developments, onshore wind generators will have to

be doubled, he said. 'There are environmental issues that need to be

addressed and the planning system is doing that for us', he said. 'But the

principle is very widely supported. We just need to turn that into reality'.

He was commenting prior to underlining the government's commitment to a carbon-free energy future.

Speaking at the 25th anniversary conference and exhibition of the

British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), the minister reaffirmed the

government's commitment to the renewable energy industry with

£59m of new funding for offshore wind farms.

Six offshore wind farms will share the capital grant:

-Burbo, in Liverpool Bay, 6.5km from the Wirral Coast - £10m

-Rhyl Flats, North Wales - £10m

-Lynn, 5km offshore from Skegness, Lincolnshire - £10m

-Gunfleet Sands, 7km off Clacton-on-Sea, Essex - £9m

-Cromer, 7km north of Cromer - £10m

-Inner Dowsing, 7km north of Cromer - £10m

Today's announcement comes as a new survey is published highlighting

unprecedented levels of public support for renewable energy. 90% of

the British public think it is a 'good idea', with two thirds

favouring renewable energy sources over fossil fuels.

Mr Timms said:

'We have placed the environment at the heart of energy policy. We all

understand better now our impact on the natural environment. Climate

change, and its effects, have become real to us all, and reducing its

impact is a responsibility shared by everyone.

'We are now on a path to achieve the fastest growth rate of any

country in Europe in our renewable energy sector over this decade. 25

years ago, few would have imagined that by 2010, we would be looking

at UK wind ge nerating capacity being able to power 1 in 6

households.'

The minister addressed the conference on the second day of his

week-long tour of renewable projects around the UK. On Monday he

visited the UK's first major offshore wind farm - North Hoyle, near

Rhyl, operated by National Wind Power - due to start pumping power on

to the grid before Christmas. Later today he is due to visit Ocean

Power Delivery, Methil, Fife to see construction of a ground-breaking

wave power generator.

Today's news was welcomed by the renewables industry. Marcus Rand,

chief executive of the BWEA, said:

'Today's announcements emphasise yet again the commitment of the

government and the British public to build a new industry for Britain

that will provide cheap, clean electricity for millions of homes

across the country and thousands of new jobs in the green industrial

revolution.'

Notes

1.Attitudes and Knowledge of Renewable Energy amongst the General

Public was prepared for the Central Office of Information on behalf

of the DTI; Scottish Executive; National Assembly for Wales;

Department of Enterprise, Trade andInvestment (Northern Ireland).

2.The six projects awarded funding will have a combined capacity of

531MW, enough to power 350,000 homes. Each wind farm will consist of

30 turbines. Construction is expected to begin in 2004/5. All the

capital grants announced today are subject to final State Aids

clearance by the European Commission.

3. The six operators are: Burbo - SeaScape Energy Ltd; Rhyl Flats -

NWP Offshore Ltd; Lynn - AMEC Offshore Wind Power Ltd; Inner Dowsing

- Offshore Wind Power; Cromer - Norfolk Offshore Wind; Gunfleet Sands

- GE Gunfleet Ltd.

5.For information about North Hoyle offshore wind farm, visit

www.natwindpower.co.uk/northhoyle

6.For information about Ocean Power Delivery and the Pelamis

project, visit www.oceanpd.com

7.The government's white paper on energy was published in February

and sets a strategic framework for energy policy over the next 50

years, including a commitment to produce 10% of energy from renewable

sources by the year 2010. For more information, visit

www.dti.gov.uk/energy

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