One of the best things that the UK has going for it, in terms of renewable energy, is how well it is set up for offshore wind production. This is something that many industry experts feel that the government should really use to their advantage. That is why the announcement of two new offshore wind farms being approved was a very welcome one.
Just last Friday, the UK government announced that they had given the go ahead for two new wind farms to be built off the Norfolk coast. Overall, this should help add about 1GW of capacity to the UK’s offshore energy production.
The wind farms that are going to be built will be located at Race Bank and Dudgeon in the Greater Wash area. According to official reports, this should bring the country’s total offshore wind capacity up to 6.6GW. Although this is great news, the UK still has a long way to go to reach its long term renewable energy goals.
The wind farm that will be located at Race Bank will be able to produce 580MW. The wind farm over at Dudgeon will produce just under that, at 560MW. Together, these farms should be able to generate enough electricity to provide power to some 730,000 homes in the UK.
Apparently, Centrica and Warwick Energy are the two companies that are developing these wind farms. It has been estimated that the project represents a massive investment of £3 billion. Centrica had been planning to develop another wind farm at Docking Shoal, but it has been turned down. Apparently, it was rejected because of its potential impact on Sandwich tern colonies in this area
Centrica did not agree with this ruling. In fact, the energy company said that the project has already included considerable costs, and they have been awaiting planning consent for more than three and a half years, only to be denied.
Charles Hendry, who is the energy minister, supports the two new wind farms that will be developed. He said that these two new projects will not only bring the UK considerable amounts of clean energy, but it will increase investment and jobs as well. Furthermore, with the other application from Centrica being denied, the UK has shown that it is mindful of other consequences, such as the impact on bird populations.