News Release from RenewableUK


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Scottish Onshore Wind Sector Deal can provide blueprint for all of UK

RenewableUK says the Scottish Onshore Wind Sector Deal which was signed today could be replicated throughout the rest of the UK, to secure investment and jobs in clean tech and ensure that consumers benefit from lower electricity bills.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

The deal was signed this afternoon by industry and the Scottish Government at the Onshore Wind Conference 2023 in Edinburgh, organised by RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables. It sets out a series of key measures which will help the Scottish Government to reach its target of 20 gigawatts (GW) of onshore wind by 2030 - more than double Scotland’s current operational capacity of 9.38GW. These include a commitment that it will take no longer than a year for Scottish onshore wind farms to go through the planning system, engagement with local communities at the earliest opportunity to agree a package of community benefits and greater recycling of turbine components to make the supply chain even more sustainable. 

RenewableUK’s Head of Onshore Wind James Robottom said: “It’s great to see the Scottish Government and industry working together so closely to create thousands of jobs and attract millions in private investment in onshore wind, which is one of the UK’s cheapest sources of new power. This sends a clear signal that Scotland is open for business for onshore wind, bringing certainty to investors and enabling the industry to build up new supply chains.

“The Scottish Onshore Wind Sector Deal is an excellent blueprint which could be replicated throughout the UK, to drive down electricity bills and boost our energy security. A well-resourced and efficient planning system is needed in every part of the UK to enable new projects to go ahead where they have local support. We also need UK-wide measures to support vital investment in new grid infrastructure so that projects can connect up faster”.

Jess Hooper, Director of RenewableUK Cymru added: “We will be watching with keen enthusiasm to see the positive effect this Sector Deal has on supply chain companies, project development and local economic benefit. Given our industrial demand centres and supportive Welsh Government policy, there is a huge potential in Wales to be realised from onshore wind. An equivalent deal here would build investor confidence, sending a clear signal that Wales is open for business to onshore wind to achieve our net zero targets and create the thousands of job opportunities on offer.”

Renewable UK has published a new EnergyPulse report at the conference, showing that the UK’s onshore wind pipeline of projects at all stages of development has grown by more than  1.5GW in the last 12 months, from 37GW to 38.54GW. The pipeline includes projects which are fully operational, under construction, consented, in the planning system or at an early stage of development. 78% of these projects are in Scotland.

Image: RenewableUK

The report forecasts that Scotland’s contribution to the UK’s operational onshore wind capacity will increase from 60% (8.3GW) in 2020 to 75% (20.7GW) by the end of 2030.

Conversely, England’s share is forecast to fall from 21% in 2020 to 11% in 2030.

It also shows that 93% of new onshore wind capacity submitted for planning approval since 2016 has been in Scotland (11.6GW of a total of 12.5GW submitted UK-wide).

The de facto ban on onshore wind in England announced in 2015 still remains largely in place, despite the UK Government’s declaration earlier this month that it was lifting it.

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