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Wind Power

Volume 493: debated on Monday 8 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many wind turbines will be erected over the next three years; and what recent estimate he has made of the effect this will have on the level of UK carbon dioxide emissions in each subsequent year. (276627)

In line with Government targets for delivering 15 per cent. renewable energy by 2020, we do expect an increase in the deployment of renewable energy, including wind farms, over the next three years. The scale of the increase in wind turbines over this period will depend on how quickly the market brings forward projects, and developers are able to obtain planning consent or construct projects which already have consent.

As an indication of the potential increase in the amount of wind energy over the next three years, 181 onshore and offshore wind developments (7393.4 MWe) have already received consent and are awaiting construction. A further 194 onshore and offshore wind projects (7316.8 MWe) are currently in the planning system1. Those in the planning system may or may not be consented. The timing of construction of those wind farms that have been consented depends on the developers’ plans. Planning applications for further projects for wind farms may also come forward in this timeframe.

The effect that new wind farms will have on UK annual carbon dioxide emissions will depend on the speed of the build rate. It is estimated that in 2007 wind power saved 501 tonnes of CO2 per GWh of electricity supplied compared with emissions from all fuel sources, including nuclear and renewables2.

Our Renewable Energy Strategy consultation last summer estimated that meeting the 15 per cent. renewable energy target could save about 20 Mt CO2 a year in 2020 outside the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, and contribute around 50 to 55 Mt CO2 a year to meeting our ETS cap.

1 Source:

AEA Technology, May 2009

2 Source:

Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics (DUKES) 2008