The UK countryside will be dotted by more than 1,200 brand new wind turbines in the coming year. The Daily Telegraph reported that 763 onshore wind turbines are due to be set up by the end of the year with 4,366 presently in operation.
Furthermore, 7,843 turbines have already been approved and awaiting erection, taking the total number of turbines slated for construction to 10,000. Currently, wind power provides 10% of the country’s total electricity needs adding up to 8.2GW of power, which is sufficient enough to power up about 4.5 million homes per year.
Last year, even though some regarded the wind turbines as being blighting to the landscape, this did not deter the local council from giving their consent to the erection of more turbines for the very first time in over five years.
A reduction in subsidies and flexible planning rules are some of the factors which have contributed to the surge in the erection of wind turbines. Renewable UK revealed that last year the rate of approval for the erection of wind farms increased by 50%, adding that it was a welcome trend and that was coupled with the ongoing strong support for clean energy, with more than 60% of the total population being in favour of the ongoing growth in the wind energy sector.
However, the Renewable Energy Foundation’s director, Dr. John Constable is of the opinion that the increase is attributed more to the impending decrease in subsidy. He added that the country’s wind energy deployment, both off and on shore was ahead of the learning curve and that it needed to slow down so as to avoid placing an insupportable burden on the consumer and to also avoid risking a lot of investment.
The Minister for Energy, John Hayes, said that the wind farms being put in place were sufficient enough and that by 2020 the government will have the capacity to generate 13GW of power using onshore wind turbines.