A petition has been launched by pro-growth campaign group Britain Remade, calling on Government to drop the effective ban on new onshore wind schemes in England.
The petition comes as a response to the consultation announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in December last year, in which the Government pledged to relax the planning laws surrounding the development of new turbines – a move welcomed by the clean energy sector, given the relative low cost of this type of renewable energy and the support shown by the majority of the country for new installations.
The building of new onshore wind projects has been effectively banned in England since David Cameron’s government removed subsidy support and blocked developers from bidding for financial support for windfarms via the Contracts for Difference scheme in 2015. Changes to the planning system also meant that new schemes had to receive unanimous backing by local communities, leading to a 97% fall in the number of onshore wind installations receiving planning permission since 2016.
Two new onshore wind turbines have reportedly been built in England since 2020 – by comparison France has installed enough turbines to power two million homes, the USA added enough wind energy to power 22million homes and China expanded its onshore wind capacity to supply 60million homes with clean energy in the same time period.
Sam Richards, Founder and CEO of Britain Remade, said:
“It is ridiculous that during a cost of living crisis we have a ban in place stopping the building of new onshore wind farms – the cheapest source of energy available.
“Our research shows overwhelming support across Britain for new onshore wind turbines. For years, Government thinking has been at odds with what the public think. Those who back getting more energy from onshore wind can now send a clear and unambiguous message to those in power – drop the ban, unlock cheap clean energy and bring down bills.”
The petition backing onshore wind can be signed at https://www.britainremade.co.uk/windpetition.
The consultation on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework is set to be concluded by the end of April this year.