Saturday, January 09, 2010

Accelerating Wind Power in the UK


While the US effectively twiddles its collective thumbs on the issue of offshore wind power (with installations such as Cape Wind Project in Nantucket Sound endlessly delayed), the UK is forging ahead with a massive investment in offshore wind farms. The British government has approved the building of wind farms in nine development zones capable of generating more than 32 gigawatts of power, as detailed in this article from the Environment News Service.

Justin Wilkes, policy director of the European Wind Energy Association, said the projects announced today, once built, "will multiply by 10 Europe's offshore wind energy capacity."

"These are European companies building a European industry and generating some 45,000 European jobs. It takes Europe closer to exploiting the power of our seas and developing a brand new European offshore wind industry," said Wilkes. "Offshore wind is Europe's largest untapped energy source. There is enough wind across Europe's seas to power Europe seven times over."

The power that will be generated by the developments announced today is part of the more than 100 GW of offshore wind power currently being planned by European utilities, developers, and governments, mostly in the North Sea.

Proposed projects in the US, as shown by this map created by, show potential, but we lag significantly behind the European countries that have installed wind turbines offshore.