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UK gov greenlights 450MW wind farm

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UK energy minister Malcolm Wicks (who did a brief turn as science minister just before Mr. Blair got his eviction notice from No. 11 stepped down) has given his blessing for a 450MW wind farm to be built off the coast of Cumbria, 14km from Walney Island. Wicks also gave the nod to the overhead connection line that will link a planned 1000MW wind farm in the Thames Estuary to an onshore substation in Kent.

The Cumbria wind farm is expected to have between 93 and 152 turbines, according to the government announcement. By the time it is completed in 2013, it will generate enough clean energy for approximately 360,000 homes.

Wicks says the news proves that the government is committed to renewable energy, despite recent leaks suggesting that its commitment is less than ironclad. "Actions do speak louder than words," he said in a statement.

The leaked report set out ministerial plans to persuade Eurocrats to let us off our pledge to switch to 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020.

The British Wind Energy Association, a lobby group representing the much of the UK's renewable energy industry, said that the leaked information is "threatening to destabilise the pioneering EU targets for 2020". It qualified its criticism, though, saying that it was ready to judge the government on its actions, rather than on speculation and leaked reports. ®

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