The Largest Wind Farm inthe World Opens inthe Thames Estuary
By Cynthia Taylor
Prime Minister, David Cameron, has hailed the opening of the London Array as ‘a great day for Britain’; the Array is expected to power 470,000 homes.
The London Array has sufficient capacity to power 2/3rd of the homes in the whole of Kent; the Array has 175 turbines that are set in the Thames Estuary, which makes it the largest official off-shore wind farm in the world.
On Thursday, 4th July, 2013, the Prime Minister cut the ribbon, that officially opened this enormous renewable energy project, it is hoped by energy industry sources, that the government would renew its enthusiasm for renewable power, especially after the Tory Backbencher’s animosity towards wind farms.
Mr. Cameron has said that this was a ‘great day for Britain’ and also a large win for renewable energy. At the Opening Ceremony, he continued that the London Array has shown that is possible to build large renewable projects for energy in Britain. He continued, that when it came to clean energy, the UK had the clearest investment climate worldwide.
The consortium owners of the project are Dong Energy from Denmark, E.ON from Germany and Masdar from Abu Dhabi. The Array has a capacity of 630MW, sufficient power for 470,000 homes. The Array has been fully operational since April, however on Thursday it was officially opened. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Greg Barker, the Climate Change Minister. The consortium has predicted that the wind farm will save 925,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
Maria McCaffery, From RenewableUK said in a statement that there was a strong signal from the top of the political establishment, this will help to put an end to the negative response from the naysayers who, she said, have failed to appreciate theenormity of the opportunity for Britain. She also said that the UK needs to maintain their pole position in the off-shore wind industry, in order to realise the full benefits both environmentally and economically.
The recently launched London Array has ‘taken the crown’ from the previous world largest off-shore wind farm which was the Greater Gabbard project of 500MW, situated on the East Anglian coast..
The UK now has over 3.6GW of off-shore capacity of wind power and it is expected that it will have about 18GW by the close of the decade.
John Sauven, Greenpeace’s Executive Director, has welcomed this news and said that the London Array has demonstrated the ability of the UK, to be able to deliver large scale projects of renewable energy.
Mr. Sauven, however, urged the Prime minister to accelerate the efforts by government to tackle climate change, as well as cut emissions, across the whole of the energy sector, and he said they could do this by targeting the energy bill, which will decarbonise the electricity sector by the year 2030.
He states that the UK was now the world leader in this industry, which he said some had dismissed previously as ‘nice to have’. However, he said that if the off-shore wind was to continue providing economic growth, and jobs, as well as reaching price parity with Nuclear by 2020, Mr. Cameron will need to do more than just cut ribbons, he has to give the energy sector certainty in the long term by cutting out carbon altogether.
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