Simon Clarke MP, the former Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has received significant support for an amendment to lift the de facto ban on onshore wind farm developments dated 23 November.
The amendment has gained support from those in government including former Prime Ministers Liz Truss and Boris Johnson. Another is Alok Sharma, president of COP26, who argued that onshore wind is “one of the cheapest forms of renewable power and will help to bolster the UK’s energy security”.
The amendment aims to ensure that local planning authorities are able to grant onshore wind applications for new onshore wind generation sites that have not been used before and to allow the repowering of existing onshore wind installations.
In doing so, this will provide a boost to the UK’s renewable sector and help kickstart onshore wind generation across the nation.
Should the amendment be approved, the clause calls for a revision of the National Planning Policy Framework within six months.
Despite being one of the cheapest methods of generating clean energy, onshore wind has been hampered over the last decade by planning constraints amounting to an effective ban.
Support measures had been included in the UK Government’s prospective Growth Plan which at the time had been welcomed by the energy sector with it see as a major development in spearheading the green revolution in the UK.
Earlier this month, Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, threw his weight behind the development of new onshore wind and renewables in a bid to reduce energy bills.
In a meeting with RenewableUK chief executive and deputy chief executive Dan McGrail and Melanie Onn, the leaders agreed on the urgent need for reforming the planning system in England to enable onshore wind farms to go ahead, alongside wider measures to boost renewables and cut bills.
The association disclosed that due to the current planning system in place in England, there has been a 95% drop in the amount of onshore wind capacity being built in the region.
In a tweet, Ed Miliband, Shadow Climate and Net Zero Secretary, indicated that the amendment was a “start” however maintains a high restrictive planning regime for onshore wind developments.
RenewableUK revealed in September via its Onshore Wind EnergyPulse report that the UK’s overall pipeline of onshore wind projects had increased by over 4GW in the last twelve months.
According to the report, the UK pipeline for onshore wind projects has increased from 33GW in October 2021 to 37GW today. This is an increase of 4GW showcasing the rise in popularity for renewable energy generation.