The UK government and industry representative have reached an agreement which aims to remove aviation and radar barriers to the major expansion of wind energy.
The memorandum of understanding follows the Prime Minister’s commitment to find a technical solution to aviation and radar objections to wind farms.
Under the 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 have agreed to explore innovative technological solutions to air defence and air traffic radar, as well as radar absorbent wind turbine technology.
They also aim to shorten pre-planning times, by introducing a web-based screening tool for the early stage of planning; establish a new aviation management board that reports directly to ministers; and work with industry to establish financial and staffing resources dedicated to finding solutions.
Business Secretary John Hutton said increasing renewable energy production in the UK is crucial to the fight against climate change.
“This agreement represents real progress towards removing a barrier to the expansion of wind power, while ensuring air safety and national security,” he said.
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“This will lead to faster consenting decisions and help us meet our challenging renewable energy targets.”
Defence Minister Derek Twigg said the agreement will help ensure the UK’s air safety and national security needs are not compromised.
By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh