The Renewable Obligation is the main financial support scheme for large-scale generators of renewable electricity. The renewable obligation is set at a level which varies year by year. The level of the obligation is not the same as a target. The obligation is set at a level Loughton web design company of electricity supply from renewable sources just above that which the government expects the market to deliver.

The renewables obligation has been extended recently (UK pre-budget report).

The Alistair Darling MP has stated that the Government's desire remains, despite the economic downturn, not to let the current economic conditions impact negatively on spending on renewable energy and other environmental projects.

"Action to achieve environmental goals remains a high priority", he stated in his address to Parliament. Of key importance, the pre-budget report states the Renewables Obligation will be extended until "at least 2037", in order to encourage increased investment in renewable energy technologies.

The extension has been granted in order to make sure that investors will be able to plan with confidence for the future. The most important point here being that over the next ten years the market will grow to deliver the ever increasing number of renewables schemes that are needed to achieve the target for 2020. Electricity distribution and sales companies are encouraged to source increasing percentages of the electricity they sell (5.5% in 2005/06 which needs to rise to 15.4% by 2015/16) from renewable sources.

The Renewables Obligation is popular with the public. In fact it is designed so as not to affect consumer bills in any significant way. It acts as an internal incentive for the supply companies to buy a fair, and growing, share of renewable power including the relatively more expensive renewables such as biomass and some novel marine technologies.

Within the next few years renewable electricity generated from wind farms will meet the needs of an additional three million UK homes. Using the latest turbine technology, only 2,000 onshore turbines would be sufficient to meet this target, or a fewer number installed offshore where wind force is greater.

Wind farms are going to be the major beneficiaries of the RO in the short to medium term. Greenpeace has coined the term "'power stations at sea'" which we think sums it up beautifully. "It's the only technology that exists in sufficient capacity to make a dent on the challenging nature of the targets," say the experts.

In 2004 there were six offshore wind farms in operation in the UK which then saw another seven under construction and planning submitted for a further four. The pace has hotted up a lot recently and now many more are planned and being built.

The first offshore wind farm was the North Hoyle Loughton web design company installation, built in 2003 and located in the Irish Sea off the coast of North Wales. Current large wind turbines are many times as tall as churches or trees, being over 100m to tip of blade. These wind turbines are on the scale of large industrial plant and can cover large areas.