Environment

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Martin Cleaver/AP
Wind turbines on the Hagshaw Hill wind
farm in South Lanarkshire,
Scotland (AP)

Scotland Plans Europe’s Biggest Wind Farm

July 21, 2008 01:39 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Scotland announced plans to build the largest onshore wind farm in Europe, positioning the country as a leader in the worldwide push for renewable energy.

30-Second Summary

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Ministers of the country have approved the plan to construct a 152-turbine wind farm in Clyde, South Lanarkshire. The Clyde wind farm will provide electrical power for 320,000 homes, generate 200 jobs during construction and 30 permanent positions once completed.

Construction is set to begin before the year’s end, and projected to finish in 2011. Another large wind farm is already under construction south of Glasgow.

First Minister Alex Salmond said, “We have put renewable energy at the heart of our vision of increasing sustainable, economic growth.” Scotland aims to derive 31 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2011, and 50 percent by 2020.

Throughout the European Union and the United States, proponents of renewable energy have become increasingly outspoken.

In January 2008, the EU announced legally binding carbon reduction plans, requiring each member state to increase sources of renewable energy, such as wind, wave and solar power.

In the United States, Al Gore and billionaire Texas oil tycoon, T. Boone Pickens, have promoted renewable energy recently. Gore passionately urged the United States to become 100 percent carbon free within the next decade.

The Pacific Northwest has stepped up efforts to use wind power, but expensive power lines must be constructed to accommodate the increased wind wattage. In Texas, wind power is thriving, and is provided to consumers at a lower cost than conventional energy forms.

It seems the only caveat associated with wind power is its impact on the landscape. To be most effective, wind farms must be constructed on hilltops, an issue decried by some Scots.

Headline Links: Wind is winning fans

Background: Renewable energy in the United States and EU

Related Topic: Texas leads the way

Reference Material: How wind works; American Wind Energy Association

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