United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Smoothing the waters

Under new government proposals designed to streamline the application process, all of the permits needed for building offshore wind farms in UK waters will be obtainable at a "one-stop-shop" at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). At present, companies have to make up to seven separate sets of applications to gain the consents they need from four different bodies. The government proposes the DTI receive one application from each developer and then manage the whole permitting exercise.

All the permits needed for building offshore wind farms in UK waters will be obtainable at a "one-stop-shop" at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under new government proposals to cut red tape. At present, companies have to make up to seven separate sets of applications to gain the consents they need from four different bodies.

The government proposes the DTI receive one application from each developer and then manage the whole permitting exercise. The DTI would also help find solutions to any problems. New energy minister Peter Hain says the proposals will smooth the path for offshore wind farms in England and Wales, making it more transparent and providing "a guiding hand for developers." He adds that £89 million of grants is being made available for demonstration projects -- including offshore wind.

"The government is doing everything it can to help industry meet its target of supplying 10% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2010, including encouraging a significant capacity of offshore wind farms." The DTI seeks responses to the proposals outlined in its consultation paper by April 23.

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