Fleet News

Storm brews over wind farm expansion

WIND farms are at the centre of a political storm over the future of Britain's power needs.

The Government is committed to ensuring that one-tenth of electricity is generated from renewable sources by 2010.

But the science and technology committee in the House of Lords accused ministers of not taking the target seriously. It said too little cash was being invested and demanded more focus on the expansion of wind power and similar schemes.

However, there is growing criticism about the impact of wind farms on the environment.

A leading Government scientist has called them 'eyesores' that will never supply enough energy.

Currently, there are about 1,000 wind turbines, but expansion could add 2,000 inland and 6,000 around the coast.

Opposition has come from groups affected by the plans, including a new scheme led by television presenter Noel Edmonds. He heads up the Renewable Energy Foundation, which says wind farms will irreversibly damage the landscape for a 'pittance of power'.

A recent study commissioned by the Royal Academy of Engineering showed coal, gas and nuclear power stations produce power for between 2p and 3p per kilowatt-hour, compared with 5.4p for power from land-based turbines. Offshore turbines would cost 7.2p per unit.

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