THE SCOTTISH and Welsh authorities have given approval for several wind farm developments costing £250m and capable of supplying power to about 200,000 homes.

Among the developments is a 30-turbine offshore plant capable of generating 108MW to be located on the Scarweather Sands, off Porthcawl, reports the Financial Times.

But two more of then will be on-shore at Farr and Braes in Scotland.

According to the British Wind Energy Association the UK currently has a generating capacity of 770MW with a further 2700MW approved for development.

The BWEA has estimated that the UK generating capacity will need to be increased to 8000MW by 2010 if the government is to meet its target of 10% of the country‘s energy needs coming from renewable sources.

Objections from the military, civil aviation authorities and local residents have resulted in long delays in developers receiving planning permission.

In an attempt to increase the number of wind farms receiving approval the government introduced planning guidelines requiring local authorities to “promote and encourage” renewable energy schemes.

The BWEA told the paper that it was “delighted with the progress” that had been made since the introduction of planning guidance during the summer.

“To date this year, 30 new wind energy projects have been consented, equating to a 75% approval rate,” the BWEA told the paper.

“Meaning that in one year, as much has been consented as was constructed during the industry‘s 13 year history.”