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Wind farms languish in planning despite government promises

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More than 200 proposed wind farms are still awaiting planning approval, it has been revealed, despite the government's promise to fast-track such schemes.

At least 222 wind farms are awaiting the green light, with many delayed by up to five years, in spite of Prime Minister Gordon Brown calling for major infrastructure projects to be speeded up in the planning system with the new planning reform bill.

The news follows the recent delay of E.ON’s Humber Gateway wind farm, which is bogged down in the planning system due to its effects on shipping routes.

Speaking to the Guardian, E.ON project manager Chris Sherrington said: ‘When built this wind farm will be one of the biggest in the UK and will play a vital role in the fight against climate change.’

Britain is already struggling to meet the EU target of producing 20 per cent of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2020. However, the UK is struggling to hit even the reduced target of 15 per cent, with the current level standing at just two per cent.

Back in November 2007, Brown said: ‘The government will do more to remove the planning and other obstacles that are currently holding renewables back.’

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