jueves, febrero 14, 2008

UNITED KINGDOM: British plans for wind turbines contested by defence ministry

Britain's defence ministry has raised objections over proposals to ramp up the proportion of the country's energy produced by wind farms, because of concerns over the impact of the turbines on military radar, The Times reported on Monday.

A spokesman for Britain's business ministry conceded there had been "issues" regarding potential sites for wind farms, and military radar systems.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD), however, insisted that all applications for new wind farms would be assessed on a "site-by-site" basis.

"The MoD is committed to government targets for renewable energy and whenever possible we seek to work with wind farm developers to find a mutually acceptable solution," an MoD spokesman said.

According to The Times, the defence ministry has objected to at least four proposed sites for wind farms on Britain's east coast because they make it impossible to spot aircraft.

The newspaper noted that, in written evidence to a planning inquiry in October, Squadron Leader Chris Breedon, a senior ministry expert, wrote that wind turbines disrupt radar coverage so that aircraft flying overhead cannot be detected, and noted that this occurred "regardless of the height of the aircraft, of the radar and of the turbine."

Just two percent of Britain's energy comes from renewable sources at present, and wind produces only half a gigawatt of power -- the government hopes to increase that to 33 gigawatts by 2020.

Source: Agence France Presse

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