The UK Government has abandoned its opposition to subsidising new onshore windfarms, according to news published by The Guardian this morning.
Courtesy of NREL
The Conservative government scrapped support for new onshore wind farms four years ago, and has been heavily criticised by the industry and environmentalists ever since. However, according to a news story published in The Guardian this morning (2nd March), the government has now agreed to reverse its block against onshore wind projects by enabling them to compete for financial support alongside other renewable energy projects.
The move follows the government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. Experts within the government advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and across the industry believe that such a commitment will not be possible without a tripling of UK onshore wind capacity over the next 15 years. The decision to reverse the onshore wind block is expected to be announced officially by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) later today.
Alok Sharma, the secretary of state for business and energy, is expected to include onshore solar alongside wind in his announcement, on the basis that effective UK climate action requires “making the most of every technology available”.
“After years of campaigning, today we can finally celebrate the UK’s cheapest new energy source – onshore wind – being brought in from the cold” said Alethea Warrington, a campaigner at the climate change charity Possible, speaking to The Guardian. “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.”
The government’s de facto ban on onshore wind have caused the number of onshore wind projects in the UK to decline to their lowest level since 2011. This has generated reported warnings from the industry that the country will miss its climate targets unless it reverses the ban.