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UK Government lifts opposition to onshore wind projects



The UK Government has announced a reversal of its opposition to subsidise new onshore windfarms after four years of refusing support.

The UK is set to reverse its opposition to onshore wind farms, creating new opportunities for developers and professionals
(Image via Peter Franken/Unsplash)

The decision will allow onshore developers the opportunity to apply for new Contracts for Difference (CFDs) in a 2021 auction, which is expected to result in several new wind projects by the mid 2020s.

A block against onshore windfarms was put in place in 2016 to appease local campaigners who complained the turbines were impacting the appearance of the landscape. The block prevented onshore wind developers from bidding for a price guarantee on electricity they produced. Local protestors were also given a definitive say in the planning process for new wind farms.

Environmentalists have long believed the decision, which made it virtually impossible for wind farms to gain planning permission, was irrational in the face of a growing need for renewable energy. 

Now the government has removed the block, allowing onshore wind farms to bid for subsidies alongside solar and offshore wind projects. The decision will come into effect in time for a new auction scheme that is due to take place next year. 

Pro-onshore wind campaigners have celebrated the decision. Alethea Warrington, a campaigner for pressure group Possible, said:

“We can finally celebrate the UK’s cheapest new energy source – onshore wind – being brought in from the cold.

“As our cheapest source of clean energy, onshore wind is hugely popular with people in the UK, who understand that we need to use all the tools in the box to tackle the climate crisis.”

It’s expected that the decision will lead to several new projects in development in the coming years, expanding the number of jobs in the sector while also reducing energy prices. 

The energy company Scottish Power have long been anticipating a U-turn on the decision, with plans already revealed for a major expansion of onshore windfarm projects in Scotland, delivering up to 3GW of energy. 

Chief executive Keith Anderson said:

“Onshore wind is a crucial tool in tackling climate change – it’s cheap, it’s clean and it’s quick to build. As a responsible developer, we work hard to secure the support of local communities.”

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Recent Comments
Why do we have to ruin the countryside when offshore wind farms can provide the energy we require. The companies proposing onshore wind farms aren’t concerned about the disruption such eyesores that they will create they are just thinking about their fat profits. I despair at the endless greed disguised as acts of progress.
Mark, 04 March 2020
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UK Government lifts opposition to onshore wind projects - Time to read 2 min
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