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Government urged to support onshore wind

Words: Laura Edgar
Wind farm / Shutterstock_110242874

In a letter to new energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng, onshore wind supporters have called on him to back the development of new onshore wind farms to help the UK achieve its net zero emissions target for the lowest cost.

The letter also urges the government to update planning rules to enable the most modern and efficient turbines to be used at suitable high wind locations in the UK. Guidance should also be set out to support the replacement of older turbines.

The letter highlights that the Committee on Climate Change has recommended that onshore wind be allowed to compete in Contracts for Difference, the government-backed auctions for power generation contracts.

The committee thinks that if the current block is lifted 35 gigawatts of onshore wind could be deployed by 2035 to help to meet the UK’s carbon reduction targets.

Signatories to the letter include the leaders of major companies in the sector such as ScottishPower Renewables, EDF Renewables, innogy, SSE Renewables, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Vestas, RES Group, Vattenfall, Statkraft and CS Wind, as well as trade associations RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables.

The signatories go on to note public support for wind farms, pointing to the government’s Public Attitudes Tracker which shows 79 per cent support for onshore wind.

RenewableUK’s chief executive Hugh McNeal said: “It’s great to see such a wide range of companies and organisations speaking with one voice in strong support of onshore wind. There are shovel-ready onshore projects across the UK that would bring in billions of pounds of investment, support thousands of jobs and even cut consumer bills. Onshore wind is the cheapest option for new power in the UK and it is essential if we want to achieve net zero emissions. We hope the new Government will take swift action to let onshore wind compete on a level playing field”.

The call for a new approach that supports onshore wind has also been backed by organisations beyond the signatories, including trade union Prospect, the National Farmers’ Union, the RSPB, the Federation of Small Businesses and the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC).

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