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Blowin’ in the wind – UK small turbines set to double

The number of small wind turbines in the UK is set to almost double by 2009 to 27,866 installations, but renewable energy trade association the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) says the government needs to do more to back the burgeoning sector and make the planning process easier.

Small wind turbine systems are those with a rating under 50kW, and can be either building mounted or free standing. The BWEA claims a small wind turbine with a power rating of 11kW – and a bit of wind behind it, no doubt – and a life span of 20 years can pay for itself in five years.

Alex Murley, BWEA small systems manager says:

“With large economic and export opportunities at stake, the UK is in an ideal position to support a strong manufacturing industry in a fast growing global sector, with the potential of delivering tens of thousands of UK based jobs.”

One of the barriers to this growth is the tough planning process for getting approval for these wind turbines.

Hurley adds:

“Two years after government promised to tackle this issue, industry, local authorities and consumers are still waiting for detailed planning guidance and Permitted Development Rights to be issued.”

The full BWEA Small Wind Systems UK Market Report 2008 is here.

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