News Release from RenewableUK


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New poll shows majority of Scottish voters support building more onshore wind

Polling published today by RenewableUK reveals that most Scottish voters support building more renewable energy projects in Scotland to tackle climate change. 74% said they would think favourably of a political party which puts a strategy in place to do this, with only 6% against.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

70% of voters said that, in the last Holyrood election in 2021, they voted for a party they expected to build more renewable energy in Scotland, with only 3% believing the party they chose didn’t support renewables. Well over half (60%) said they had voted for a party supporting onshore wind, with only 3% against.

Although a majority of voters for every political party were found to support new renewable development, support was particularly high among SNP voters, with 88% wanting more projects built in Scotland. 74% of SNP voters said they had voted for a party supporting onshore wind in the last election, with just 1% against.

The polling comes at a critical time for the future of the onshore wind industry in Scotland, as the Scottish Government makes its final decisions on its Onshore Wind Policy Statement and future planning guidelines. The polling also found that 51% of Scots and 58% of SNP voters would be disappointed if the strategy failed to build the new onshore wind projects which Scotland needs to tackle climate change.

Despite this high level of public support, research by RenewableUK shows 4.8 gigawatts of new onshore wind is stuck in the planning system because the Scottish Government and local authorities have yet to decide whether to grant consent to these new projects.

Nearly half of this capacity (2GW) has been awaiting a decision for over 3 years.
Scotland currently has 8.65GW of onshore wind fully operational, so the projects awaiting determination represent more than double its current installed capacity.

As a key step forward towards the UK’s commitment to reach net zero emissions as fast as possible, RenewableUK is urging Scottish Ministers to set a target of installing 12GW of new onshore wind capacity by 2030, bringing Scotland’s onshore total to 20GW.

In our response to the Scottish Government’s current consultation on onshore wind policy, we are also calling for a reform of the planning system to support this increase, by making the need to tackle climate change a primary guiding principle for all plans and decisions, and by resourcing decision-makers appropriately so that they can act in a timely manner.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Dan McGrail said: “This polling demonstrates that voters in Scotland overwhelmingly support political parties which are pro-renewables and pro-onshore wind. The Scottish Government has a clear mandate to consent projects in a timely way to tackle climate change. We’re urging ministers in Holyrood to unblock the pipeline of much-needed new onshore wind capacity as a matter of urgency, by bringing in new guidelines which underpin the need to act fast against the climate emergency.

“This will build on the legacy of the COP26 agreement in Glasgow, when the eyes of the world focussed on Scotland as a leader in decarbonisation. Building new onshore wind projects is also one of the cheapest ways to generate new power, so in the long term these projects will also help to reduce the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels, including volatile international gas prices”.    

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RenewableUK, Scotland, poll, renewable energy, project, climate change, strategy, political party, support, onshore, offshore

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