Letter: Climatic hot air

Sir: I found the timing of your report about renewable energy ironic. On the day it was published I was visiting Border Wind's Blyth Harbour wind-farm in the North-east to demonstrate the Government's support and to see this innovative technology first-hand.

The Department of Trade and Industry's new and renewable energy programme already supports a wide range of projects related to wind energy aimed at both onshore and offshore development. Since the programme started, over pounds 70m has been invested in wind energy.

On coming into office this government inherited a figure of 2 per cent renewable contribution to UK electricity supplies. That figure will now rise to 5 per cent by about 2003. I want to see that figure rise to 10 per cent by 2010 and am determined we will get there.

On support for offshore wind developments, in September this year I took a major step towards generating electricity from offshore wind by launching a consultation document on greater support. We are monitoring the development of the offshore wind project at Blyth and assessing its commercial opportunities.

We have already taken more action to deliver renewable energy in our first 18 months than many even imagined possible.


Minister of State

Department of Trade and Industry

London SW1