Government to make it easier for onshore wind farms to be approved
Following MPs’ return from their summer break and prior to voting on the Government’s Energy Bill today, it appears that Rishi Sunak is being compelled to lift the longstanding ban on onshore wind farms. This about-face comes amid mounting pressure from a rebellious group of Tory MPs who are backing an amendment to the Bill which would facilitate the removal of the ban on new onshore wind.
Limits to onshore wind farms, which had been in place since 2015 under David Cameron, require local authorities to unequivocally demonstrate that local community concerns have been fully addressed.
However, as the UK grapples with ambitious carbon reduction targets and strives to transition to cleaner sources of energy, the ban increasingly became a point of contention in delivering onshore wind.
Environmental groups and renewable energy supporters argue that onshore wind farms are a crucial component of the UK's efforts to combat climate change. It is considered that the ban hindered progress in meeting renewable energy goals.
The mounting consensus on the need for more renewable energy sources and the growing urgency of the climate crisis have intensified the pressure on Sunak to relent from the previous stance he held on the matter.
It is understood that ministers wish to see a loosening of the restrictive nature – but also maintaining and respecting local communities. Whilst negotiations are still being undertaken it is understood that they plan to lessen the burden by requiring matters to be satisfactory addressed, as well as acting on concerns and suggestions to allow community support.
This move is expected to reignite increased investment in onshore wind projects across the country. It also signals a shift in the UK government's approach to renewable energy, aligning it more closely with global efforts to combat climate change.
The pressure applied to Rishi Sunak to overturn the onshore wind farm ban underscores the growing recognition of the urgent need to address climate change and transition to sustainable energy sources.