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Scotland Signs Blueprint Deal With Onshore Wind Industry

The Scottish government has signed a deal with the private sector to meet its target of reaching 20GW of onshore wind by 2030.

The Onshore Wind Sector Deal has been hailed as providing a “blueprint” for the rest of the UK.

The goal of the agreement is to support the Scottish government in reaching its target of 20GW onshore wind by 2030, a figure more than double Scotland’s current operational capacity of 9.3GW.

The deal sets out how both parties will work together to deliver onshore wind farms quickly, sustainably and to the benefit of both local communities. 

Measures include ensuring the time onshore wind farms take to go through planning is halved to just 12 months and engaging with local communities to agree a package of community benefits.

The deal also committed signatories to creating a sustainable solution for the recycling, refurbishing and repurposing of decommissioned wind turbine component parts.

“Today is a huge moment for the onshore wind industry in Scotland,” said Claire Mack, CEO of Scottish Renewables. “We look forward to working closely with the Scottish government to ensure the Onshore Wind Sector Deal is effectively implemented on the road to achieving Scotland’s net zero ambitions.”

Neil Gray, Scottish cabinet secretary for wellbeing economy, fair work and energy, said: “This deal is a good example of industry and government working closely together to reinforce our shared commitment to reaching net zero.

Trade association RenewableUK labelled the agreement as a “blueprint” for the rest of the country, saying it could be replicated to “secure investment and jobs in clean tech and ensure that consumers benefit from lower electricity bills”.

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“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,” added James Robottom, RenewableUK’s head of onshore wind. “We also need UK-wide measures to support vital investment in new grid infrastructure so that projects can connect up faster.”

The deal comes just weeks after the UK government announced it would ease the de facto ban on onshore wind in England. 

It also followed the publication of RenewableUK’s latest EnergyPulse report, which forecast that Scotland’s contribution to the UK’s operational onshore wind capacity will increase from 60 per cent in 2020 to 75 per cent by the end of 2030.

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

Last December, the Energy and Climate Change Intelligence Unit found that, without the 2016 ban, onshore wind could have generated enough energy to power 1.5 million homes through the winter and saved consumers a total of £800m on their bills.

Source: E&T


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