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UK removes barrier for more offshore wind capacity

London, United Kingdom - Britain's hundreds of offshore wind turbines can be closer to shore as the government has decided against creating a buffer zone in its attempt to meet its ambitious target for carbon emission cut targets.

Lord Hunt, Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), said on Wednesday it would allow 25 gigawatts (GW) - the equivalent of a third of UK's generation capacity - of offshore wind to be added in England and Wales. It has overturned a recommendation for creating a buffer zone in its territorial waters, which would have pushed wind farms more than 12 miles away from the shore. To meet its target of cutting carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 compared with 1990, Britain has launched a programme to expand its offshore wind farms, already the world's biggest, to around 33-40 GW by 2020. The government's decision will enable the Crown Estate, an independent body that owns most of the seabed around UK shores, to proceed with the Round 3 leasing for the extra 25 GW.

Source: IWR Online, Jun 06 2009