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Durham team leads multi-million pound study into wind power

Date 17 Sep 2006

Durham scientists are taking the lead in a £2.55 million research project into wind energy for the future. Engineers at Durham University are leading members of an expert team to investigate how to improve the cost-effectiveness of large scale wind turbine systems in the UK. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), the project is part of the fifth phase of the £40 million Supergen Sustainable Power Generation Programme which is using world-leading experts to research the future of electrical power generation.  Known as the Wind Energy Technologies Consortium, the Durham-led group will use the funds for a four-year project researching ways to improve the reliability and availability of wind energy, reduce the cost of energy production and facilitate the siting of turbines in off-shore locations. Principal Investigator, Professor Peter Tavner of Durham University's School of Engineering said: "While many are familiar with the idea of wind power it still contributes a relatively small amount to UK's overall energy needs, partly because it can be difficult to agree sites for wind turbines on land. The offshore wind resource is much larger but the costs of building and maintaining off-shore wind turbines are currently seen as high. Over the next four years we are going to look at engineering solutions that could create large-scale wind turbine systems that are both cost-effective and reliable and could generate a significant proportion of the UK's energy needs. With many countries waking up to the urgency of finding alternative sources of energy to the world's dwindling oil and gas resources this project couldn't have been more timely. "For more information on energy research go to

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