United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK hits 1GW in offshore and as political leaders clash on renewables

UK: The UK has passed the 1GW point in online offshore capacity, extending its leadership of the sector.

Leadership debates: renewables was high on the agenda
Leadership debates: renewables was high on the agenda

The figure was passed yesterday when E.ON brought online its Robin Rigg and Gunfleet Sands wind farms. The UK has had the largest offshore capacity since it overtook Denmark in 2008.

Additionally 4GW of capacity is in construction or with planning consent while around 40 GW of capacity at various stages of development.

At the same time the UK was also recognised as one of the fastest when it comes to approving wind developments, alongside Belgium and Italy. Spain and Portugal were among the slowest.

Wind energy development in the UK is on something of a high at the moment following recent announcements by Clipper, Siemens and Mitsubishi of plans to build manufacturing facilities in the country. The subject was also covered on last night's televised prime ministerial candidate debate running ahead of May's general election.

Labour leader Gordon Brown accused his Conservative counterpart David Cameron of being against onshore wind farms while going on to say the UK's energy strategy needs to combine nuclear and oil and gas with renewables.

In response Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said there was little point developing nuclear power as it would take too long and be too expensive. Instead, the money should be used developing wind and other renewable energy sources, which are a cheaper alternative to nuclear power.

Cameron pointed out the government's own figures pointed to the UK facing power cuts in 2017 and that the country also needed to further develop renewable energy. He criticised the government's energy plan over the last 10 years as lacking in direction.



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