By FWi staff
FARMERS could benefit from a government commitment to ensure 10% of the UKs electricity comes from renewable sources, including around 5% from wind power, by 2010.
Plans have recently been mooted for up to 18 off-shore wind farms, but Alison Hill of the British Wind Energy Association, says on-shore schemes will still account for 2.6% of the target.
She says there has never been a better time to get involved with wind power.
“Generating companies are desperate to source more renewable energy, and will be financially penalised if they fall below a set quota.”
Dr Peter Musgrove, head of UK development at National Wind Power, says parent electric company Innogy will need to supply 1500mW of wind generated power by 2010 – at the moment it only produces 150mW.
Given that current turbines have an output of around 1mW each, sites for over 1000 turbines will have to be found.
He says proposed legislation changes should benefit smaller landowners.
“The previous non-fossil fuel objectives act made the process of achieving permission for a new site very expensive and bureaucratic; this meant the focus tended to be on larger wind farms.
“However, under the new renewables obligation act, which should come into force this August, the procedure will be much simpler and more transparent.”
This will make one- or two-turbine sites increasingly viable, he adds.
Farmers are paid depending how much energy is generated. The payment is approximately 1/mW/hour, an average turbine has an output of 3000-4000 mW hours per year.
But not every farmer can benefit; noise restrictions mean installations must be at least 300m away from housing, and not all areas are windy enough.