Last year, EDF awarded contracts for a significant portion of its windfarm supply chain to Indonesia, ignoring the opportunity to invest and develop local manufacturers in Fife, despite the windfarms being located just off its coast. The offshore wind sector has nonetheless set a target of 60% British content in windfarms by 2030, up from roughly 50% today. A more concerted effort from government and business alongside trade unions could help achieve that target while creating green jobs and supporting the clean growth of towns and cities across Britain’s coast. The striking omission in the prime minister’s speech was any mention of onshore wind – a technology that is currently the cheapest way to produce energy in the UK but has been crippled over almost five years through government policy. The onshore wind sector did receive a minor reprieve earlier in the year, when the government agreed to allow onshore wind to participate in competitive auctions, but rigid planning rules mean that an equally guilt-free source of electricity might miss out on powering a green industrial revolution. The Conservatives continue to harbour a misapprehension that onshore wind faces opposition from constituency voters, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The renewable energy auctions next year will support more onshore wind, but most of it is likely to only be in Scotland.
Guardian 7th Oct 2020 read more »