Members of Parliament are unaware of both the low cost and popularity of onshore wind power in Britain – even as the Government moves to further expand offshore wind expecting the sector to reduce household bills, according to the latest polling. The YouGov survey, commissioned by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, shows that just eight percent of MPs know that onshore wind farms are now the cheapest way to add electricity generating capacity in the UK. Alarmingly, 12 percent believe that large nuclear power stations, like Hinkley Point C, provide the cheapest new capacity. The poll also shows that MPs consistently overestimate opposition to onshore wind. The most recent Government survey shows that just two percent of the population strongly opposes the technology – but only nine percent of MPs think that the figure is less than five percent. More than half of MPs – 52 percent – believe the level of strong opposition to be above one in five. The MPs’ survey comes as a separate poll of the British public, by YouGov for RenewableUK, revealed that a majority of voters support lifting the Government’s de facto ban on new onshore wind projects.
Ecologist 26th July 2018 read more »
Projects to upgrade or ‘repower’ existing onshore wind farms in England that are coming to the end of their initial lifespan could potentially start securing approval from local planning authorities under rule changes published by the government this week. The move means that while new onshore wind farm developments are being largely denied an effective route to market, projects to boost the power output and extend the lifespan of older, less efficient or less technologically advanced turbines installed in previous decades could now secure planning permission in England. However, while the planning door is now theoretically open for such projects, financing barriers remain, as onshore wind developers are still barred from taking part in Contracts for Difference (CfD) auctions, despite evidence that onshore wind farms represent the lowest cost form of new generating capacity available in the UK. The rule changes set out in the government’s revised National Planning Policy Framework on Tuesday explain that local authorities should now approve planning applications to repower existing wind turbines “if its impacts are (or can be made) acceptable”.
Business Green 26th July 2018 read more »