11 July 2005 – A new report issued by the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) has been issued to promote the development of wind power in the UK. The report aimed at planners and policy-makers says that wind power will be part of the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while enhancing energy security.
The UK Government’s target is to increase the contribution of renewables to UK electricity to 10 per cent by 2010 and 20 per cent by 2020. The SDC report contains information on wind power in order to help policy-makers and planners balance genuine local concerns with wider environmental and social needs.
SDC chairman Jonathon Porritt said, “Climate change will have a devastating impact unless urgent action is taken to boost the contribution of renewables alongside energy efficiency measures. We believe wind power is a critically important part of the overall energy mix, and hope that this authoritative guide will ensure wind power is harnessed in the most responsible way to ensure that emissions of carbon dioxide are reduced.”
As well as acting as a practical guide for those involved in wind farm development, the report highlights that the UK has the best and most geographically diverse wind resources in Europe – more than enough to meet current renewable energy targets. It emphasises that planners and decision-makers should involve communities in effective public consultation from an early stage so that their concerns are successfully addressed.
Commenting in the report foreword, Sir Tom Blundell, former Chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, says, “I am pleased to note that the SDC report confirms that wind is both the cheapest and one of the most abundant of the UK’s renewable resources. At current levels of gas prices, and certainly if credit is given for its carbon-free status in line with current Government estimates of the social cost of carbon, it is already cost-competitive with gas-fired electricity on the best onshore wind sites, and seems likely to be the cheapest of all forms of power generation by 2020 on such sites, even without a carbon credit.”