Small wind systems continue to grow

Three years of interrupted growth for small wind systems in the UK will continue into 2009 according to a new report

Three years of interrupted growth for small wind systems in the UK will continue into 2009, according to a new report. This growth will allow the UK to retain the mantle of world leader in small systems technology. However, the 80 per cent growth is driven not just by technological improvements, but also by realisation that there are huge energy savings to be made by deploying small turbines.

The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) identified very strong annual growth for small wind turbines in terms of units installed, with the government being urged to streamline planning and come out with much stronger backing for the burgeoning sector.

“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,” Alex Murley, BWEA small systems manager, said.

At the same time, there was continuing consternation at the government's lack of clear guidance to local planning authorities, which would assist those who wish to generate their own renewable energy. In 2006, as part of the Micro-generation Strategy published by the DTI (now DBERR), there was a commitment to address planning as a barrier to deployment.

“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,” Murley said.

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