EU scrambles to keep up with UK in new wind farm push: ‘Need more!’

Anas Sarwar hits out at Sturgeon over offshore wind plots

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EU lawmakers said permits need to be approved far quicker than current levels so the energy source can be rolled out quicker than the slow pace it is currently rolling along at. It approved a response to the European Commission’s offshore renewable energy strategy, publishing a report arguing that the energy source needs to be scaled up quickly if the bloc is to meet its climate targets.

Morten Petersen, the chief lawmaker for this issue, said: “Offshore wind is the key to reaching our climate objectives.

“If we are to have a chance to live up to our climate targets, we need more renewable energy, much more in fact.

“[Permitting] takes too long at the moment. If we do not do it in a different and much faster way, we will not reach our targets.”

Mr Petersen added that the bloc needs to step up if it wants to improve its energy infrastructure so it is well placed to deal with the influx of renewable technologies that should be coming online.

It could be implied here that the bloc should be doing more to meet its significant potential for offshore wind.

The European Commission has set an ambitious target of reaching 60 gigawatts by 2030 and 300 gigawatts by 2050.

But the issue over permits appears to be holding the bloc back.

The lawmakers argued that there is an “urgent need to speed [permitting] up in order to reach the 2030 and 2050 goals”.

They also added that member states need to “urgently simplify the relevant procedures and coordinate their efforts”.

Meanwhile, the UK appears to be making impressive progress with offshore wind.

In fact, it generates more electricity from offshore wind than anywhere else in the world and remains at the forefront with this renewable source.

Britain, already a manufacturing giant in this arena, saw a Korean firm invest £300million in a new wind turbine factory earlier this week.

South Korea’s SeAH Wind will pump funds into a new 90-acre site in Teesworks, next to the River Tees, to make the steel foundations for turbines.

Wind farms serve as a critical part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for the UK to be net-zero by 2050.

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Mr Johnson previously outlined his 10-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” and pledged to transform the UK into the “Saudi Arabia of wind”.

To get there, it plans to quadruple current offshore capacity to 40GW by 2030.

According to the UK Wind Energy Database, the UK has the most offshore wind installations at 28.9 percent.

In 2021, wind energy generated an impressive 21.4 percent of the UK’s electricity, according to the National Grid.

While Europe does want to boost its offshore wind capacity from its current level of 12 GW to at least 60 GW by 2030, it appears it is facing stiff drawbacks while Britain races ahead.

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