The UK government has reduced plans for onshore windfarms in a strategy to ensure the UK’s energy security.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reduced the plans for more wind farms, which generate tens of thousands of megawatt-hours of electricity every year in Copeland.
The removal of targets for land-based wind turbines has been criticised by Labour, which had called for a relaxing of the planning regulations around onshore developments before Mr Johnson published his energy strategy last week.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures show Copeland produced 60,809 megawatt-hours the equivalent of 61 gigawatt-hours of electricity through its 43 onshore wind turbines in 2020.
This was up from 53,616 MWh the year prior and from 49,746 MWh in 2014, when records began. Among five recorded renewable energy sources, onshore wind ranked first in the area.
RenewableUK’s chief executive Dan McGrail and Ana Musat, head of policy at Aldersgate Group, a non-profit alliance of business leaders lobbying for a sustainable economy, urged the Government to reconsider changing onshore wind farm planning rules.
Mr Mcgrail said: “We need to make use of every tool in the box to boost our energy independence, so it’s right that Government is looking again at planning rules so that onshore wind can proceed in parts of England where there is support, as it’s the cheapest source of new power and the quickest to build.”
The Government’s energy strategy aims to boost new nuclear power, offshore wind and hydrogen, but stops short of increasing onshore wind capacity.
Mr Johnson said onshore wind farms are controversial because of their visual impact, saying they “will have a very high bar to clear”, but is targeting 50 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, up from previous commitments of 40.
Ms Musat added: “Beyond this strategy, a greater focus on deploying onshore wind as the lowest cost renewable technology and a greater emphasis on improving the energy efficiency of buildings should be key priorities for government.”
Copeland MP, Trudy Harrison, was reached out to for comment but was unable to respond at the time this article was written.
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