Wind Power To Bypass Nuclear Power In UK By 2012

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The UK wind power industry will be celebrating today as it achieves an important milestone – 4 gigawatts of installed wind energy capacity across the nation.
 
According to the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), the UK wind power sector now powers the equivalent of all Scotland’s household needs, or 2.3 million homes.
 
The 4 gigawatt mark was realised with the final commissioning of three wind farms – a 38MW wind farm at Longpark, a 30MW facility at Dun Law and the first phase of Dong Energy’s 173MW Gunfleet Sands offshore wind farm.
 
The UK added the latest 1GW of capacity in less than a year. It took 14 years to deliver the first gigawatt in 2005, 20 months to the 2nd gigawatt and 18 months for the 3rd. 
  
Industry experts predict the UK will reach 6 gigawatts by the end of next year and the sector is gearing up to reach the Renewable Energy Strategy target of 30GW of wind energy by 2020. This goal is entirely achievable given over 12GW of wind farm programs are now either operational, being built or already with planning permission. When the current round of projects is completed by 2012, wind energy in the UK will have overtaken nuclear power in installed capacity.
 
There is also an additional 9GW worth of projects in planning; but waiting for approval. However, BWEA warned that onshore approvals by local councils have now fallen to a new low, with just 25% of applications being approved, compared to over 70% for other major projects such roads, housing and supermarkets.
 
Adam Bruce , BWEA Chairman, said even in the midst of the UK’s worst recession in a generation, the industry was "more than doing our bit to help deliver a low carbon, high growth future for the UK."