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Key role for North East in wind power plans

Date 12 Dec 2007

The North East could play a key role in leading the way on wind produced energy, according to a renewable energy expert from Durham University. Professor Peter Tavner, Head of the School of Engineering, has suggested that government plans to have all home electricity provided by wind power by 2020 are an achievable target which the North East can both benefit from and help accomplish.

The plans, announced on Monday, involve the installation of up to 7,000 offshore turbines around the UK to boost wind produced energy 60-fold within 13 years.

Professor Tavner said: "Offshore wind power has a strong potential for the North East of England because of the wind resource off our coast, the expertise and facilities in the region and the close proximity of the National Grid in Teesside, Wearside, Tyneside and Northumberland. We are an island nation; we have a lot of wind and we are ideally placed to meet these energy challenges."

He suggested that the developments could create thousands of job opportunities in the region: "These offshore turbines could meet the energy commitments and they will require maintenance and contract work which the North East can benefit from. "Obviously we have to be careful of the onshore impact. We have a beautiful coastline and people will not want these turbines so close they ruin that, but they are a very real solution.

"This is a challenging but achievable target which the North East should take up with relish and in which Durham University intends to play a major role."

For more information on the government's energy plans, visit the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform website at

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