British wind energy companies have built up a £3.2 million aviation fund to invest in technologies to solve problems such as the potential for wind turbines to interfere with civil and military radar readings. Objections by aviation bodies are blocking 4700 MW of wind energy projects in the planning system, capacity crucial to the UK meeting its renewables targets. As most of the easiest and less complex sites for wind farms in Britain are developed, even more projects are likely to stall in future unless aviation issues are dealt with. The bulk of the objections come from NATS En Route Ltd, which controls civil air traffic throughout the UK, with the rest lodged by the Ministry of Defence and individual airports. Now, the Aviation Investment Fund Company Ltd is to look at potential technical fixes to the disturbance caused by rotating turbine blades on radar screens and its 14 members have already identified a number of likely mitigation measures. The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) hopes that further developers who are affected by aviation obstacles will step up and help and put money into the fund to finance solutions that will help the industry as a whole. The fund follows a memorandum of understanding signed last year between the industry, government and aviation interests to find and fund solutions.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol