News Release from RenewableUK


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Government’s decision to unlock onshore wind underlines their commitment to reach net zero emissions

RenewableUK is welcoming the Government’s announcement that cheap onshore wind projects will be allowed to compete for contracts to generate clean power. Onshore wind has a key role to play in helping the UK meet our net zero emissions target at the lowest cost for consumers.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

A new Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction will allow cheap renewable sources like onshore wind and solar to compete for contracts which enable new projects to be financed – the first such auction since 2015. In order to meet our net zero emissions target, the Committee on Climate Change advised Government that the UK needs to quadruple the amount of power we generate from renewables. Last year, in the absence of these contracts, just one new onshore wind farm was completed in the UK.

Further detail on the size and timing of the auction is needed, but it is expected that the auction would deliver new capacity at the kind of low prices seen last year in a similar auction for offshore wind, which secured contracts at below the current wholesale price of electricity.

A new auction will allow the pipeline of shovel-ready onshore wind projects – those that have already gone through the planning system and secured consent – to compete for contracts to provide new renewable generation capacity. It is vital that the UK secures new power sources to meet net zero and avoid an energy gap as coal power ends in 2024.

The popularity of onshore wind has grown in recent years and the latest Government polling shows 78% public support, with just 6% opposed.

New onshore wind can bring billions of pounds of new infrastructure investment that will create new jobs and benefits to help level the economy. Already onshore wind powers the equivalent of over 8 million homes a year and the industry supports over 13,000 UK jobs. There is widespread backing from business and environment groups for developing low cost onshore wind, including the CBI and Make UK, as well as the National Farmers Union and the RSPB.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said: ““The Government is pressing ahead with action to meet our net zero emissions target quickly and at lowest cost to consumers and businesses. Backing cheap renewables is a clear example of the practical action to tackle climate change that the public is demanding, and this will speed up the transition to a net zero economy. As one of the UK’s cheapest power sources, new onshore wind projects will be a huge boost for jobs and investment in local economies across the UK”.

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RenewableUK, onshore, government, net zero emission, UK, commitment, energy, clean power, key role, auction, energy gap, CfD

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