Is The Real Change About To Happen?
The winds of change are blowing in England as the government introduces a series of ground-breaking measures aimed at accelerating onshore wind projects with the support of local communities. These changes, which came into effect on 5 September 2023, signify a significant step towards a cleaner, greener, and more secure energy future for the UK.
Key Highlights of the New Measures:
Streamlined Planning Rules: The government has streamlined planning rules, granting local communities a more prominent role in shaping the future of onshore wind projects. This empowers local areas to have a greater say in how these projects are considered.
Increased Community Involvement: Suitable locations for onshore wind projects can now be identified through various means, including community input. The process of allocating sites has been expedited, ensuring that the entire community has a voice, rather than just a few objectors.
Local Decision-Making: Local policy on onshore wind will continue to be determined by elected local councillors who are accountable to their communities. Projects will move forward when they can demonstrate local support and address planning concerns raised by the community.
Incentives for Communities: Communities that support local wind farms may benefit from cheaper energy. The government has proposed enhanced benefits and rewards for communities backing onshore wind farms, with details to be outlined in the coming months.
These measures align with the UK’s commitment to achieving Net Zero emissions and further strengthen its position as a global leader in renewable energy. As of 2022, renewables accounted for 42% of the country’s electricity generation, a significant increase from 7% in 2010.
The government’s dedication to expanding renewables has already attracted over £120 billion in investment since 2010, fostering the growth of innovative industries like floating offshore wind and tidal power. Moreover, the UK is already home to the world’s four largest offshore wind farms.
The announcement coincides with the return of the Energy Bill to Parliament, a landmark piece of legislation that will pave the way for a cleaner, more affordable, and more secure energy system fit for the future.
These changes to the National Planning Policy Framework mark a pivotal moment in the UK’s journey towards a sustainable energy future. By giving communities a stronger voice in the development of onshore wind projects, the government is fostering a sense of ownership and collaboration that will undoubtedly drive the nation closer to its Net Zero goals.
Stay tuned for further updates on these ground-breaking developments as the government responds in full to the National Planning Policy Framework later this year. Together, we can harness the power of wind and local support to build a greener and more sustainable tomorrow.