Scottish onshore deal a ‘blueprint’ for UK

The Scottish Onshore Wind Sector Deal could be replicated throughout the rest of the UK, to secure investment and jobs in clean tech and ensure that consumers benefit from lower electricity bills.

Signed at the Onshore Wind Conference 2023 in Edinburgh, organised by RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables, the deal sets out a series of key measures which will help the Scottish Government to reach its target of 20GW of onshore wind by 2030, more than double Scotland’s current operational capacity of 9.38GW. These include a commitment that it will take no longer than a year for Scottish onshore wind farms to go through the planning system, engagement with local communities at the earliest opportunity to agree a package of community benefits and greater recycling of turbine components to make the supply chain even more sustainable.

RenewableUK’s head of onshore wind James Robottom said: “The Scottish Onshore Wind Sector Deal is an excellent blueprint which could be replicated throughout the UK, to drive down electricity bills and boost our energy security. A well-resourced and efficient planning system is needed in every part of the UK to enable new projects to go ahead where they have local support. We also need UK-wide measures to support vital investment in new grid infrastructure so that projects can connect up faster”.

Renewable UK has published a new EnergyPulse report at the conference, showing that the UK’s onshore wind pipeline of projects at all stages of development has grown by more than 1.5GW in the last 12 months, from 37GW to 38.54GW. The pipeline includes projects which are fully operational, under construction, consented, in the planning system or at an early stage of development, with currently 78 per cent of these projects in Scotland.

The de facto ban on onshore wind in England announced in 2015 still remains largely in place, despite the Government’s declaration earlier this month that it was lifting it.

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