SINCE October sightseers on the hills above Edinburgh have gawped at a brand new landmark. Across the Firth of Forth, on a test site, stands the biggest wind turbine in Britain. The tips of its blades rise 196m above sea level. Its rotor sweeps an area twice as large as the london Eye. This monster and others like it are bound for the North Sea—part of the biggest and most ambitious offshore wind programme in the world.

Britain gets more electricity from offshore wind farms than all other countries combined. In 2012 it added nearly five times more offshore capacity than Belgium, the next keenest nation, and ten times more than Germany. Its waters already contain more than 1,000 turbines, and the government thinks capacity could triple in six years. Boosters think Britain a global pioneer. Critics say ministers are flogging a costly boondoggle.

Read the full story via Renewable energy: Rueing the waves | The Economist.

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