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2 May, 2007 - 14:26 By Staff Reporter

Answer could be blowing in the wind for landowners

The answer to making land assets work harder for landowners in the eastern region and beyond could be blowing in the wind, according to property consultant Carter Jonas, whose rural division based in Cambridge is heading up the firm’s newly-launched Energy Team.The Energy Team has been formed to bring together the range of land, planning and development expertise across the firm’s 18 offices to help landowners capitalise on the opportunity to capture the wind and turn it into a profit.

Experts say that the UK is home to some of the best winds in the world and wind power has been identified as being the single greatest contributor to the UK Government’s renewable energy target by 2020.

Wind could also be a source of revenue to the landowner in the right location, with calculations of approximately £6-9,000 per onshore turbine per year for the first 10-12 years of a lease and increasing thereafter.

There is also an estimated £1 billion pot of indirect subsidy available which is being directed towards various technologies which include wind farming.

The Carter Jonas Energy Team is currently involved in negotiations for wind farms with a potential installed capacity of 1,750 megawatts but the firm acknowledges that it is not all plain sailing.

Issues such as wind speed, suitability of location for installations, access and maintenance, environmental issues, MoD radar, proximity to residential dwellings, grid connections, in addition to sourcing a suitable wind farm developer with a proven track record must be considered.

Plus, as recent high profile cases locally in Cambridgeshire illustrate, there is legitimate opposition to wind farm development that can only be reconciled with specialist advice.

Carter Jonas reports that its offices across the country are experiencing an increase in business activity from both landowners and wind farm developers about the business potential of the renewables sector.

Andrew Watkin, a partner who heads up the Carter Jonas Energy Team from the Cambridge office, said: “Coming together as the new Energy Team, and headed-up from our Cambridge office, we can bring together our rural asset management experience and our planning and development expertise to offer clients a route into this expanding business sector.”

• In January 2007 there were 131 operation onshore wind farms in the UK, 28 under construction, 77 with planning consents and 211 in the planning pipeline (Source: The British Wind Energy Association)

• Military or civil aviation radars should be at least 30 kilometres away from any potential site, and dwellings at least 500 metres away

•The energy used in manufacturing and erecting a turbine is offset in 3-6 months of its operation and at the end of its lifetime – typically 30 years – a turbine can be removed with no lasting environmental effects.

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