News of the month.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) stands in the way of offshore wind development due to fears that the turbine blades could interfere with air defence radar systems.

The Ministry has objected to plans for scemes in England and Scotland as they are close to a testing ground for low-flying military jets.
"Where we are testing planes we need to minimise the risk to aircraft and personnel," the spokesman for MOD reported.

The MOD is looking to appose an offshore project in the Irish Sea at Southport, where a scheme has been proposed by wind energy company EnergieKontor.

Other proposed sites arevat Shell Flat and include Danish energy company Elsam, Royal Dutch/Shell and CeltPower, a joint venture between Scottish Power and Japanese trading consortium Tomen Corp.

"These sites are near Warton where British Aerospace undertakes aircraft training for the RAF (Royal Air Force)," said the MOD spokesman.

The MOD is also trying to block the 80 MW Kielder wind farm in northern England on similar radar grounds.

The project's developer, Ecogen, said yesterday it was asking the courts to review the Department of Trade and Industry's decision to stop the scheme, taken on MOD advice.

In contrast to this, the government sees offshore wind power as a key part of its strategy to boost the use of green energy and helping to reach the target of generating 10 percent of Britain's electricity from renewable sources by 2010.


Could blades really interfere with Radar Systems?

The MOD's main concern is that the turbine blades on the 100 metre towers, could show up on radar systems and look like flying aircraft.

Green ISP says that if the MOD can,t tell the difference between a windmill and a Jet Fighter then what chance have we got of relying on them to defend the country, if that is what they are ther to do.

Blackpool airport which is closer to one wind farm project farm than the objecting MOD base has not anticipated any problem, and the company is in talks with the MOD on the issue.

Britain has installed about 400-500 megawatts of wind generating capacity, nearly all of it on the land, compare this to Germany's total capacity of around of 7,000 megawatts.

UK wind power companies are concerned that in countries like Germany, Spain and Denmark wind power has been developed without compromising defence systems, and it only seems fair to suggest that the MOD may be over-reacting, when they should be looking for developing more suitable and advanced radar systems to take the inevitable development and building of more wind related energy generation.

March 2004