New Labour Government Reverse Onshore Windfarm Ban in United Kingdom

One of the first actions of the UK’s new Labour government has been to lift a ban on onshore wind farms, paving the way for more wind energy projects in the future. Since 2015, onshore wind developments in the UK have been regulated by incredibly strict planning requirements, that essentially rendered all projects impossible. Now this red tape has been lifted so that onshore projects will fall under the same requirements as other types of renewable energy infrastructure.

The government’s policy statement on the matter read:
‘Delivering our clean power mission will help boost Britain’s energy independence, save money on energy bills, support high-skilled jobs and tackle the climate crisis. We are therefore committed to doubling onshore wind energy by 2030. That means immediately removing the de facto ban on onshore wind in England in place since 2015. We are revising planning policy to place onshore wind on the same footing as other energy development in the National Planning Policy Framework.’

While this decision has not come as a surprise, as it was promised in Labour’s election manifesto, the speed at which the reversal has been actioned has pleasantly surprised climate campaigners and energy experts. Emma Pinchbeck, chief Executive of Energy UK echoed this saying, “it’s excellent to see the new government prioritise planning reforms as a key enabler for economic growth and enhancing our energy security.’ It is hoped that the decision will help towards increasing the UK’s renewable energy output and also reduce energy bills for the nation’s citizens.

Research from Renewable UK has also highlighted the positive impact this will likely have on the country claiming that an additional 30 gigawatts of onshore wind by the end of the decade will boost the economy by £45bn and create 27,000 jobs.

While the new government still have much to do to ensure the country will reach its climate targets, the priority placed on onshore wind so early on can be seen as a step in the right direction for the renewable energy sector of the United Kingdom.

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