DORSET may need four wind farms in order to meet a renewable electricity generation target set for 2010, it has been claimed.

A spokesman for sustainable energy agency, Regen South West, said around 30 megawatts of power could come from two new sites proposed for East Stoke and North Dorset if they get the go-ahead.

But two more similar sites would be needed elsewhere in the county to meet a target set in the 'REvision 2010' report on renewable electricity generation in the South West.

The report was produced by the Government Office for the South West and the South West regional assembly.

The report says Dorset should be generating 68 to 84 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources, including wind turbines, by 2010.

Regen South West's communications manager James Reddy said the county currently generates around 12.5 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources, mainly sewage and landfill gas.

He added: "A wind farm at Silton near Gillingham could generate around 12 megawatts of electricity from six turbines.

"The 'Alaska' site at East Stoke, for which developers are still seeking planning permission, could generate a further 18 megawatts from three turbines.

"The county would need another two schemes of a similar size to these to meet the targets for 2010 set out in this report."

Mr Reddy stressed that Regen South West, which is partly funded by the South West Regional Development Agency with the aim of reducing carbon emissions, has not spoken to anyone regarding a third or fourth wind farm site in the county.

The comments came as government ministers prepare to unveil plans later this week to build around 4,000 more onshore turbines around the country.

The president of the Dorset branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England Terry Stewart said: "The campaign is strongly in favour of renewable energy and wind turbines where they do not impact very substantially on natural landscapes.

"The proposed farm at East Stoke is right next door to a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and would be visually intrusive as would the planned farm near Gillingham."

He added: "It's wrong for wind turbines to be put in and near designated AONBs and many other areas are often lowland and don't generate enough wind speed for the to work."