The Thanet Offshore Wind Farm on the Eastern most point of Kent, is the largest such project in the whole world. It is comprised of 100 wind turbines, generating 300 MW of clean electricity. This is estimated to be enough to power 200,000 homes per year. Quite something!
The project was begun in 2008, and construction finished last year. Now Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for Kent and the South East, has secured £150 million from the European Investment Bank to help fund the wind farm.
Apparently this large-scale project has helped the UK to achieve the EU’s target of 15% of electricity being generated by renewable’s by 2020. Although of course it’s brilliant that we’ve hit this target, it strikes me that it was not high enough if it could be reached this easily with 9 years to spare. 15% is after all not that much. I like to hope we’ll have reached at least double that by 2020, personally.
However this is nonetheless fantastic news. The company responsible for the farm, Vattenfall, is not a predominately green company. They are a corporate energy company generating with nuclear, gas and coal as well as wind, hydroelectric and biomass. I know you won’t be expecting me to celebrate the combustion of scarce and dirty fossil fuels, but this fact does at least show that renewable power is now an economically sound option. An option that is sensibly taken by run-of-the-mill companies just searching for a profit margin, not trying to save the world while accidentally going bankrupt.
We’re getting there, if a bit too slowly.
Image is from Google Images and does not depict the wind farm in question.