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Wind Power

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many wind farms he expects to begin being constructed in each of the next five years. (259459)

In order for the UK to meet its share of the EU renewables target, we expect new wind farm projects to begin construction in the next five years. However, it is not possible at this stage to predict the exact number and timings.

There are currently 176 onshore and offshore wind developments (7855.1 MWe) which have received consent and are awaiting construction in the UK. The years in which these projects will begin construction depend on developers' plans.

Additionally, there are 224 onshore and offshore wind projects (7261.7 MWe) currently in the planning system. These may not all receive consent. However, a number of those that do receive consent may begin construction in the next five years. Further projects not currently in planning may also come forward in this timeframe.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many wind turbines he expects to begin being constructed in each of the next five years. (259507)

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to his question 259459 today regarding the number of wind farms expected to begin construction in the next five years. It is not possible to provide a precise figure for the number of turbines as this will vary by site according to factors such as location and wind speed. In addition, larger turbines are being developed, meaning fewer turbines may be needed.

However, taking an average turbine size of 3 megawatts (MW) it is possible to estimate the number of turbines which may be built for projects awaiting construction and those presently in the planning system.

For example, there are currently 7855.1 MWe of onshore and offshore wind developments awaiting construction. This would be equivalent to 2618 3MW turbines. For those in planning, 7261.7 MWe of onshore and offshore wind would be equivalent to 2420 3MW turbines. However, not all of these projects may receive consent.