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Industry reacts to onshore wind measures

The renewable energy sector has expressed concern about the latest planning rules affecting onshore wind.

Under the proposals in the Energy Bill, onshore wind farms with an installed capacity of 50 megawatts or greater will be determined at local authority level in England - unlike other large energy infrastructure projects, which are decided at Ministerial level.

The changes may affect Wales too, though this has yet to be confirmed.

RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said: “Singling out one of the most popular and lowest cost forms of energy technology for different treatment in the planning system sends a worrying message to investors across the energy sector.

“Onshore wind is committed to being a good neighbour to the local communities in which it is hosted, providing substantial economic advantages to the region including the ground-breaking community benefits it pays, so we are confident that Local Authorities should recognise the value of these projects.

“However, we do hold concerns for the potential for delay of these significant infrastructure projects, so it is very important that Local Authorities are given full support and resourcing to enable them to make swift decisions”.

The Guardian announced that ater this week, the Department of Energy and Climate Change will announce that the existing subsidy scheme for onshore wind power will be closed a year earlier than it was due to.

Infinis Energy chairman Ian Marchant told The Guardian: “If the RO is terminated early without reasonable grace periods in place, not a single energy or large scale infrastructure project in the UK will be safe going forward.”

 

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