Thank you to all those who have contacted me about developing onshore wind.
I am fully in support of such development. I was one of several MPs who tabled a motion recently to the Environment Bill to this effect. As a consequence the Government launched a consultation about onshore wind with local consent.
I therefore welcome that the Government has introduced changes to the planning system in England so planning permission for onshore wind would depend upon a project commanding local support and being able to satisfactorily address any impacts identified by the local community.
The United Kingdom was the first major economy to legislate for net zero carbon emissions and since 2000, the UK has decarbonised faster than any other G7 country. Onshore wind is a key part of the Government’s strategy for low-cost decarbonisation of the energy sector and it will be integral to achieving net zero by 2050.
The Government has said that it will seek views on developing local partnerships for supportive communities to enable those who would like to host new onshore wind to benefit, for example through lower energy bills.
The latest round of the Government's flagship renewables scheme, Contracts for Difference (CfD), has provided funding for 24 onshore wind projects, delivering almost 1.5GW of capacity. This builds on years of renewables growth under the Government. Just 7 per cent of the UK's electricity came from renewables in 2010, yet in the first quarter of this year it reached 48 per cent and this CfD auction will allow us to go further in powering more of Britain from Britain.
Furthermore, the Hydrogen Strategy made clear that Scotland has a key role to play in the development of a UK hydrogen economy, with the potential to produce industrial-scale quantities of hydrogen from offshore and onshore wind resources, wave and tidal power, as well as with Carbon Capture Usage and Storage. The Energy Security Strategy also indicates that there will be 12,000 jobs in the UK hydrogen industry by 2030 – 3,000 more than previously expected.
More information on the Government's position can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/local-areas-supported-to-progress-on…
Let's look forward to supporting applications locally when they are lodged.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP