British Waterways is planning to build 50 wind turbines alongside canals and rivers throughout the UK. The public corporation is collaborating with Partnerships for Renewables to explore opportunities for wind energy and small-scale hydro power along its 2200 mile (3540 kilometre) network of waterways, docks and reservoirs. Its target is to build 50 turbines with a capacity of 100 MW over the next five years. It is the first large public body to link up with Partnerships for Renewables, which was set up by the Carbon Trust to develop green energy projects with the public sector. Stephen Ainger of Partnerships for Renewables says the public sector owns more than 10% of the land in the UK, but has found it difficult to translate this resource into renewable energy generation. "We believe that this announcement marks the beginning of a trend in the public sector to embrace the potential of renewable energy generation, and it is great to see that British Waterways has demonstrated the vision to become a torch bearer for others to follow." Robin Evans, British Waterways' chief executive, adds: "If we successfully develop this resource it would mean that the nation's canal network would generate more than ten times more electricity than it consumes." Income from the turbines will be reinvested into maintaining the waterways.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol