The UK offshore wind power programme: A sea-change in UK energy policy?
The British offshore windfarm programme presages the emergence of Britain as more of a leader than a laggard in renewables, the latter being the status it has hitherto endured in comparison to countries such as Denmark, Germany and Spain. Britain looks increasingly likely to exceed 20% of electricity being supplied from renewable energy by 2020, provided there continues to be adequate financial incentives for renewable energy. This turnaround is associated with increased British concerns about energy dependence on imported natural gas as well as pressure from EU legislation. However there are many planning pressures that countervail the drive for offshore wind power. British planning policy on offshore wind is distinctive (compared to other EU states) for its pragmatic, 'criteria based', approach that appears to favour offshore wind power development. The extent of the British offshore wind power programme is likely to depend heavily on consumer reactions to price increases caused by the offshore wind power programme.
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