Welcome step forward for onshore wind in England
Andy Fewings gives his thoughts on UK Government's announcement today (Tuesday 5 September) on the 'streamlining' of planning rules to allow onshore wind projects in England to be approved more quickly.
“Today’s announcement doesn’t come as a surprise because the Government’s current position, a defacto ban on Onshore wind, has been untenable for two key reasons – UK’s energy security and household bills (particularly in a cost of living crisis). The de-facto ban on onshore wind farm development would mean that, at the current pace of development, it would take the UK 4,690 years to increase its onshore capacity by 30 gigawatts – a target the Government wants to reach in just seven years.
“It is the inevitability of a relaxation that means here at Bidwells, where we deal with the full project lifecycle on behalf of clients from site identification onwards, we have seen a slow but gradual uptake in interest for early stage onshore wind projects in England. But investor confidence needs a much bigger boost to see the full benefits of a successful onshore wind industry in England to the wider UK economy.
“Although the announcement is a welcome step forward for onshore wind in England, we will need to see the full details. Whilst it is critical that the current planning restrictions – where a single person has the power to prevent a potentially nationally significant renewable energy development going ahead – are relaxed, it is already apparent that the Government’s proposed changes won’t go far enough to put onshore wind on a level playing field with other energy sources.
“Against a backdrop of rising costs in the supply chain, planning uncertainty is a key barrier to attract investment, generate jobs, and facilitate the transition to Net Zero and reach Energy Security in the UK. We urgently need a planning system that is both pragmatic and enabling for all energy generation technologies.”
Coverage has appeared in reNEWS and Bloomberg newswires: Government clears way for English onshore wind - reNews - Renewable Energy News