United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Utilities commit big money in anticipation of UK Renewables Obligation

Britain's electricity companies are vying to invest in renewable energy in anticipation of the UK Renewables Obligation which will require electricity suppliers to source 3% of their power from renewables in 2002, rising to 10.4% by 2010. United Utilities is to invest some £200 million in new renewable energy including two wind farms -- one offshore and one onshore, landfill gas, biomass and small scale hydro. According to United's Christian Pegrum, the company is looking particularly at encouraging community funds to help finance its onshore project. He said United already owned some 10% of all renewable projects developed so far under the previous non-fossil fuel obligation. ScottishPower is perhaps the most ambitious wind developer. It has repeated its aim to commit £400-£500 million to renewables over eight years to build at least 500 MW of wind by 2010. Earlier this year, the company built the UK's first unsubsidised wind farm, bringing its renewables capacity to 100 MW. It expects to complete a 30 MW wind farm on Kintyre this year and has plans for two large wind farms in Scotland -- 240 MW near Glasgow and 120 MW in South Lanarkshire. Scottish and Southern Energy is to put £450 million into renewables, including a move into wind. Most of this, £250 million, is for refurbishing some of its existing 54 hydro plants, but £200 million will finance wind farms -- mostly in Scotland. The company is tendering for turbine suppliers for its first wind farm -- 12 MW at Tangy.

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