By Ben Cohen
Let's hope this isn't just rhetoric:
LONDON (Reuters) -
Every home in Britain could be supplied
by wind power alone in 2020 by making full use of the
wind-swept seas around the country, Energy Secretary John
Hutton said on Monday.
has some of the best wind conditions for generating
carbon-free electricity in the world but high construction
costs and a sluggish planning process has limited its growth.
There are 8 gigawatts of offshore wind farms planned in the
UK, but the government thinks another 25 GW could be added to
that by 2020, Hutton said in a statement.
"This potential major expansion will be subject to the
outcome of a strategic environmental assessment. But if we
could manage to achieve this, by 2020 enough electricity could
be generated off our shores to power the equivalent of all of
the UK's homes." he said.
"The challenge for government and for industry is to turn
this potential - for our energy and economy - into a
cost-effective reality. This will be a major challenge."
The government recently streamlined the planning system to
help get new energy projects approved more quickly and has
changed the way renewable energy is supported to favor offshore
wind and wave energy over cheaper onshore wind turbines.