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Wind power takes off with new agreement on radar and aviation

13 August 2008

An agreement has been reached between Government and industry which aims to remove aviation and radar barriers to the major expansion of wind energy that has been outlined by Business Secretary John Hutton.

Wind power takes off with new agreement on radar and aviation
Wind power takes off with new agreement on radar and aviation

The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by government departments, agencies and industry follows the Prime Minister's commitment to find a technical solution to aviation and radar objections to wind farms.
In this agreement, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for Transport, the Civil Aviation Authority, NATS and the British Wind Energy Association agreed to- Explore innovative technological solutions to Air Defence and Air Traffic radar, as well as radar absorbent wind turbine technology; shorten pre-planning times, by introducing a web-based screening tool for the early stage of planning; establish a new Aviation Management Board which reports directly to Ministers; and, work with industry to establish financial and staffing resources dedicated to finding solutions.

Business Secretary John Hutton said "Accelerating the deployment of renewables is crucial in the fight against climate change and will increase the amount of energy the UK produces on its own shores.
"This agreement represents real progress towards removing a barrier to the expansion of wind power, while ensuring air safety and national security. This will lead to faster consenting decisions and help us meet our challenging renewable energy targets."

Defence Minister Derek Twigg said "This MoU reflects the proactive stance that the MoD is taking to progress and resolve the complexities behind wind farm projects, whilst ensuring that the nation's air safety and national security needs are not compromised. The agreement identifies future work streams that need to be undertaken in a collaborative manner across Government and Industry."

NATS Operations Director Ian Hall said: "NATS supports most wind farm projects and we are already working with developers to find a strategic solution to cases where we have safety concerns, we welcome this agreement as a framework to meet targets for wind power generation whilst maintaining the safety of aircraft and passengers."

In addition, BERR and Ofgem will today publish the next consultation document on the new offshore electricity transmission regime. This is a further step forward in the expansion of renewable energy to offshore wind farms. The consultation seeks views on the detailed changes needed to license the offshore grid.

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