UK: 20,000 wind turbines – plus a 15% rise in electricity bills

Times of London: The cost of household electricity bills is expected to rise by up to 15 per cent if Britain is to meet compulsory climate change targets announced yesterday. Under the European Commission’s proposed measures for renewable energy supplies and lower carbon dioxide emissions, Britain will be required to increase its proportion of renewable energy from 1.3 per cent in 2005 to 15 per cent in 2020 – the equivalent of 20,000 wind turbines being erected in the countryside and offshore if Britain is to meet the target.

The investment required to get Britain’s energy supplies anywhere near the target mean that electricity prices are likely to rise 10-15 per cent by 2020 even before other inflationary factors are taken into account. Britain’s 15 per cent target is below the average 20 per cent for the European Union’s 27 member states but it is the toughest in Europe because it requires the greatest level of change. Britain now has the third-lowest levels of renewable supplies and only Malta and Luxembourg are worse.

Wind, solar, tidal and other renewable energy companies were offered a huge fillip by the proposals, with Maria McCaffery, the chief executive of the British Wind Energy Association, describing wind energy as the next North Sea oil. She said: “Britain could be a world leader in renewable energy if we have the will to make this vision a reality.”…

Photo from the Renewable Energy Systems.

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