Sir Kevin Barron says Government ‘ban’ on onshore wind projects is wrong

Sir Kevin BarronMP. Photo: Richard Maude.
Sir Kevin BarronMP. Photo: Richard Maude.

Since 2015 the Government has blocked new onshore wind projects by preventing them from accessing a route to market and imposing unique planning barriers to their construction in England, writes Sir Kevin Barron.

I believe this effective ban on onshore wind, introduced with little effective consultation, Parliamentary debate or legislation, is short-sighted, not evidence-based and has been a retrograde step in our efforts to tackle climate change.

Further-more, as the Government’s independent adviser, the committee on climate change has highlighted, it is also increasing the cost of energy.

New onshore wind installations in the UK fell by nearly 80 per cent in 2018 – the lowest level since 2011.

And the Government’s own figures show a 95 per cent decrease in applications for new onshore wind capacity since June 2015.

At the same time, popular backing for onshore wind is at its highest level yet, with the Government’s most recent survey showing it has the support of 79 per cent of the public.

Onshore wind offers one of the cheapest ways to generate renewable energy.

Doubling the UK’s onshore wind capacity to 30 gigawatts by 2030 would provide power for five million homes.

It would also generate 60,000 new jobs and transform the UK into a global hub of wind power manufacturing.

To continue to block its development is reckless.

Britain needs to revive its onshore wind industry.

I will continue to oppose policies holding back onshore wind and support the creation of a thriving renewables industry across the UK.