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£100bn wind farm investment

Good news on wind farms:

The rights to build wind farms off the coast of Britain up to 50 times the size of the biggest present plants are expected to be handed to consortiums of major utilities.

The 5,000 megawatt Norfolk development will be three times larger than the giant London Array farm under construction in the Thames Estuary – due to be crowned the biggest in Europe when the first of its 341 turbines start working in 2012.

Another utility consortium called Forewind, including RWEnpower Renewables, Scottish & Southern Energy, Statkraft and StatoilHydro, is believed to be the frontrunner for the even bigger 10,000 megawatt Dogger Bank plot in the North Sea.

Only a handful of offshore wind projects are currently generating electricity, with capacities of 60 to 200 megawatts each. But Britain's total output must grow to 33,000 to 40,000 megawatts if it is to generate a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. The country will have to spend £100bn on developing offshore wind capacity if it is to hit climate targets.

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