Exclusive: Number of new onshore wind turbine planning bids drops to zero

by Search Gate staff. Published Tue 15 Sep 2015 15:28, Last updated: 2015-09-15
Will the last person in the onshore wind industry please turn off the lights
Will the last person in the onshore wind industry please turn off the lights

For the first time since the start of the UK’s renewable energy drive, planning teams across England and Wales did not receive a single application for consent to build an onshore wind turbine last month, according to DECC’s own official figures.

The shock statistic follows the decision by Energy Ministers to withdraw subsidy support for the sector early as it targets the renewable energy industry with a series of cost-cutting measures.

Campaigners have described the damaging milestone as green energy’s “Black August” as DECC’s official figures also reveal a drop of planning applications across all forms of renewable technology, including solar and biomass, to just 30 – just one-third of the total number for August, 2014.

Despite the bleak month for new applications, there are currently 222 plans for onshore wind turbines, representing over 6GW of green energy, remaining in the system and awaiting a planning decision.

DECC’s Renewable Energy Planning Database (REPD) charts the progress of projects that will count towards its legally binding EU target of delivering 15% of the UK’s energy from renewables by 2020.

Greenpeace UK chief scientist Dr Doug Parr said: “Today is a good day for a minority of wind farm-hating MPs and Ministers who have fought hard to kill off the cheapest form of clean energy available, and a bad day for the millions of UK consumers who will be saddled with higher bills as a result.

“Does David Cameron really want to go down in history as the Prime Minister who undermined cheap wind and popular solar power, sold Britain off to the frackers, threw coal a lifeline, and locked consumers into paying billions in subsidies for Hinkley? With a crucial climate summit looming, Cameron is running out of time to turn this disastrous climate legacy around.”

And Alasdair Cameron, Renewable Energy and Climate Campaigner at Friends of the Earth, added: “Sadly this is not unexpected. Combined with plans to end rooftop solar and energy efficiency this Conservative Government has launched an all-out assault on the green economy.”

“The UK now risks falling badly behind other countries – like China, Germany the USA and Japan – that are forging ahead with renewables, all the while rolling out the red carpet for fracking and nuclear.”

“We need to stand up and show our support for renewable energy, and stop Osborne locking us in to outdated, expensive and dirty technologies, while putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk.”




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