Magazine article Geographical

The UK's Leading Windfarm Developer: Seventy Five Years Ago, Scotland Led the Evolution of Renewable Energy in Britain, Making Use of Its Unique Geography and Engineering Talent to Undertake the Large-Scale Development of Hydro-Electric Power. Now Scotland Is at the Forefront of a New Drive to Generate 10 per Cent of the Nation's Electricity from Renewable Sources by 2010. (Geographical Promotion)

Magazine article Geographical

The UK's Leading Windfarm Developer: Seventy Five Years Ago, Scotland Led the Evolution of Renewable Energy in Britain, Making Use of Its Unique Geography and Engineering Talent to Undertake the Large-Scale Development of Hydro-Electric Power. Now Scotland Is at the Forefront of a New Drive to Generate 10 per Cent of the Nation's Electricity from Renewable Sources by 2010. (Geographical Promotion)

Article excerpt

Scotland has the best wind resource in Europe and ScottishPower has taken a determined lead in the renewables renaissance.

The company is expanding its portfolio of 11 windfarms in the UK and Eire--with a total output of about 150 megawatts--by adding another 800MW of capacity by 2010. It has developments totalling around 500MW in the planning process--more than any other UK developer. These include three of Europe's largest sites--a 150-turbine site of up to 400MW at Harestanes in Dumfries and Galloway, a 322MW development at Whitelee Forest near Glasgow and a 134MW windfarm in Lanarkshire on the site of a former opencast coalmine--along with several smaller sites in the 20-30MW range. Between them, the three large farms could generate enough energy for around 500,000 homes, helping offset more than a million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Wind energy will play a key role in meeting both the UK government's target for renewable energy and the Scottish Executive's even more ambitious vision of meeting 40 per cent of Scotland's energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. However, a key success factor will be the ease and cost-effectiveness with which windfarms can be connected to the grid.

Until now, windfarms have been located in remote, rural areas, but ScottishPower believes there is merit in building developments closer to population centres, particularly in already 'developed' sites such as regenerating brownfield sites or utilising industrial land more productively.

The renewable-energy industry in the UK is predicted to create a market worth 1.5billion [pounds sterling] by 2010, providing excellent opportunities for the manufacturing industry.

ScottishPower aims to create economic, environmental and social benefits with each new development--a strategy recognised in 2002 when it was named Business in the Community's Company of the Year. Construction of its Beinn an Tuirc windfarm in Kintyre injected 3million [pounds sterling] into the local economy, and subsequently it established a Community Fund that supports environmental, educational and charitable projects in villages close to the site. …

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