Plans to build wind turbines in Portland Harbour could be revived after the Government said it wanted to boost renewable energy.
The Energy White Paper says the country needs more offshore wind, wave and tidal power if it is to become a low-carbon economy.
It could mean that a controversial scheme to build 12 wind turbines off Portland, which has been shelved for two years, is re-visited.
E.ON UK, the company which has taken over the project from Powergen, says the new emphasis on renewable forms of energy would make it easier to build new wind farms.
A spokesman for the company has refused to rule out future developments off the Dorset coast.
He said: “The reason we stopped in the first place was because of the Olympic sailing events being awarded to Port-land and because there wasn’t the legal framework in place for offshore wind farms in the area. In the future what the paper will do is bring a little bit more stability so a company like E.ON can make long-term investments.
“But the plans for Portland are shelved and the short answer is that there are no plans to re-start the process at the moment.”
The scheme for 90-metre high offshore turbines in the harbour breakwater sparked opposition from many Portlanders.
Mayor of Portland, Tim Munro said: “As far as we know this hasn’t totally gone away and in theory we could see them coming back with another bid.
“I think many people are in favour of wind energy but turbines need to be out to sea where the visual and noise are not as serious.”
Plans by Portland Gas to build storage caverns beneath Portland have also been boosted by the Government announcement.
Andrew Hindle, managing director of Portland Gas, said: “There was nothing particularly new in the proposals but it is good from our point of view to know that the Government and its agencies back what we are doing.”
The Government said the country faced two big energy challenges – climate change and maintaining stable and affordable energy supplies.
The plan is to triple the amount of renewable energy used to make electricity by the year 2015.
Other measures include increasing the use of nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions.
By Paul Greaves
25 May 2007
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