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"We need to really speed up planning and consent for renewables and for network connections and for vehicle charging," says Emma Pinchbeck, the chief executive of trade association Energy UK.

"It takes 12 years to build a wind farm in this country, when it should take one.

This is a quote from BBC (https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-64440827). I don't what "when it should take one" means here. What does this "one" stand for? Is this an idiomatic expression?

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It means "when it should take one year".

This would be obvious in speech, because "one" would be stressed; but it's not so obvious in writing.

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  • Agreed - The stress pattern has to be understood to make sense of the sentence. "It takes 12 years, when it should take one. The expression is idiomatic. - E.g. "These curtains took 10 metres of fabric when they should only have taken 8." Feb 20, 2023 at 22:39
  • I appreciate your answer. The meaning would be abvious if "one" is stressed, indeed.
    – kuwabara
    Feb 21, 2023 at 0:06

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