Message to UK government: ‘Keep onshore wind promise’

Concerns are mounting that Downing Street could fail to deliver on the cheapest form of energy production Britain can invest in, prompting a new open letter.

Signed by a number of NGOs, community energy companies, business leaders and public figures, the document – addressed to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero – criticises the lack of credible plan to lift a de-facto ban on the technology. 

landscape photography of grass field with windmills under orange sunset

UK Government rules rolled out in 2015 have rendered onshore wind a hugely problematic area for potential providers and developers. Essentially, a single complaint about any new windmill or windfarm can block the entire projects. This has resulted in a 96% drop in new turbines approved in England over the past eight years, which some describe as an unofficial ban.

‘Ending the ban on onshore wind is an essential step if the Government is serious about its commitment to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,’ the open letter said, highlighting that new changes to legislation, as proposed in National Planning Policy Framework currently under consultation, will be inadequate to deliver the necessary change of approach. 

Signatories of the open letter include TV cook, author and presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Ecotricity founder Dale Vince, RSPB Interim Director Nick Bruce, and Caroline Lucas, Green party MP for Brighton Pavilion. 

Earlier this month, Energy UK warned policymakers about the growing risk Great Britain will be left behind on clean energy transition. Find out about the lack of funding for renewables here.

Image: Karsten Würth


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