Shapps opens door for onshore wind – Octopus claims 2.3GW opportunity

RenewableUK has welcomed comments by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Grant Shapps, stating that onshore wind farms should go ahead in areas where they enjoy the support of local communities.

RenewableUK’s Executive Director of Policy Ana Musat said: “The Secretary of State’s support for new onshore wind projects in areas where local people want them is timely, as this technology is one of our cheapest sources of new power and one of the fastest to install, at a time we need to increase our domestic energy security to help billpayers.

“We’re calling for planning legislation to be amended as a matter of urgency to lift the de facto ban on onshore wind in England. The Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill offers an ideal opportunity to boost the UK economy by supplying households and businesses with low-cost and low-carbon electricity, enabling savings on bills to be reinvested into the economy.

“As this technology is supported by more than 70% of the public and over 80% of Conservative voters, we’re confident that most people will back Ministers in levelling the playing field and allowing onshore wind to compete alongside other sources of energy to drive bills down”.
Meanwhile Octopus Energy Generation indicated it could kick-start wind projects, saying its Winder ‘match-making’ platform for wind energy has identified 2.3GW of potential new British onshore wind energy in areas where it would be welcomed.
Winder analyses requests from communities to 15,000 members of Octopus’s ‘Fan Club’ (which provides cheaper power to communities close to its wind turbines when the wind is blowing), landowners registered via ‘Plots for Kilowatts’, suitable wind speeds, grid capacity to connect new renewable projects and environmental factors. It aims to accelerate the process of building new wind turbines
Building turbines on all of the identified locations would unlock investments of over £3.4 billion.

Zoisa North-Bond, chief executive of Octopus Energy Generation said: “The current system means it takes seven years on average to build and connect a new onshore wind turbine – but it’s possible to build it in a year. Winder shows we can massively speed up this process and make a difference by next winter. It’s possible to build more wind turbines where people want them, helping to end our fossil fuel reliance, lower energy bills and unleash economic growth.”