WIND FARMS in the UK will cover the energy requirements of one in six households by 2010, said Patricia Hewitt, secretary of state at the Department of Trade and Industry on Monday (November 22).

In comparison, a fifth of all electricity generated in Denmark already comes from wind energy.

Speaking at the European Wind Energy Conference in London, Ms Hewitt said that the government means business about renewable energy, with levy-funded support to the sector expected to be worth £1bn a year by 2010.

“We are fully committed to renewable energy. We want to break down the barriers to energy market access for producers of renewable energy, and we are trying to capture the imagination of groups and individuals who may be interested in investing in the renewables sector,” Ms Hewitt said.

She added that investors are already backing renewable energy in the UK to a considerable extent, since they realise that the Government is behind the industry.

Stating that there is widespread popular support for renewable energy, Ms Hewitt said that people should not object to projects which will deliver this kind of energy on the basis of false information.

“The available evidence does not support claims about noise problems from wind turbines, for instance, but we have nonetheless commissioned an extra study to look into the issue,” Ms Hewitt said.

She emphasised that wind is not an unreliable power source, particularly from off-shore wind farms where wind supply is constant.

Nonetheless, the Government still wants to see more investment also into on-shore developments.

“We can‘t just abandon our on-shore wind farm plans. We need them to reach our 2010 targets for renewable energy,” Ms Hewitt said.