News of the month.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) stands
in the way of offshore wind development due to fears that the turbine
blades could interfere with air defence radar systems.
The Ministry has objected to plans for scemes in England
and Scotland as they are close to a testing ground for low-flying military
"Where we are testing planes we need to minimise the risk to aircraft
and personnel," the spokesman for MOD reported.
The MOD is looking
to appose an offshore project in the Irish Sea at Southport, where a scheme
has been proposed by wind energy company EnergieKontor.
Other proposed sites
arevat Shell Flat and include Danish energy company Elsam, Royal Dutch/Shell
and CeltPower, a joint venture between Scottish Power and Japanese trading
consortium Tomen Corp.
"These sites are near Warton where British Aerospace
undertakes aircraft training for the RAF (Royal Air Force)," said
the MOD spokesman.
The MOD is also trying to block the 80 MW Kielder
wind farm in northern England on similar radar grounds.
The project's developer, Ecogen, said yesterday
it was asking the courts to review the Department of Trade and Industry's
decision to stop the scheme, taken on MOD advice.
In contrast to this, the government sees offshore wind
power as a key part of its strategy to boost the use of green energy and
helping to reach the target of generating 10 percent of Britain's electricity
from renewable sources by 2010.
Could blades really
interfere with Radar Systems?
The MOD's main concern is that the
turbine blades on the 100 metre towers, could show up on radar systems
and look like flying aircraft.
Green ISP says that if the MOD can,t tell the difference
between a windmill and a Jet Fighter then what chance have we got of
relying on them to defend the country, if that is what they are ther
Blackpool airport which is closer to one wind farm project farm
than the objecting MOD base has not anticipated any problem, and the
company is in talks with the MOD on the issue.
Britain has installed about
400-500 megawatts of wind generating capacity, nearly all of it on the
land, compare this to Germany's total capacity of around of 7,000 megawatts.
wind power companies are concerned that in countries like Germany, Spain
and Denmark wind power has been developed without compromising defence
systems, and it only seems fair to suggest that the MOD may be over-reacting,
when they should be looking for developing more suitable and advanced
radar systems to take the inevitable development and building of more
wind related energy generation.