Britain moves toward future of wind power
"Britain's tiny wind-power industry is in the midst of a major expansion, with vast wind farms being constructed from the Scottish highlands to the Welsh countryside. More are on the way, thanks to new government rules requiring power companies to seek renewable energy sources.
The wind sector will have to grow even more quickly if Britain is to achieve its goal of getting 10 percent of all electricity from renewable sources by 2010, part of Prime Minister Tony Blair's plan to confront the threat of global warming.
Backers tout gusty Britain, one of Europe's windiest nations, as a natural home for wind energy. The same stiff breezes that turn Londoners' umbrellas inside out, they argue, could light homes and run refrigerators and air conditioners around the country.
"There's more wind than anyone knows what to do with," boasted Alison Hill, spokeswoman for the British Wind Energy Association. "Our wind speeds are much higher [than elsewhere in Europe]. I'm sure anyone who lives here will tell you that for free."
Britain has lagged far behind its Continental neighbors in developing ecologically friendly power sources, but Mr. Blair's government is taking seriously the need to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that come from burning fossil fuels and are blamed for warming the planet."