(qlmbusinessnews.com Wed. 10th July, 2024) London, UK —

Renewable Energy Companies Gear Up for New Onshore Windfarms in England.

Renewable energy firms are preparing to develop new onshore windfarms in England for the first time in nearly a decade. This follows the new Labour government’s decision to lift the restrictions on turbines previously imposed by the Conservatives.

At least six renewable energy companies are now scouting potential sites for large-scale windfarms in England. This comes after Labour’s recent electoral victory and their pledge to transform Britain into a clean energy superpower.

These new projects are essential to the government’s ambitious plan to double the UK’s onshore wind capacity to 30GW by 2030. Until now, the only onshore wind projects in England’s planning pipeline have been small-scale installations, usually consisting of one or two turbines on private land. Last year, it was reported that Ukraine, despite being in the midst of a conflict, had installed more onshore wind turbines than England.

Germany’s RWE, one of the UK’s largest wind developers, had already started identifying suitable sites for new windfarms before Labour’s win and expects their project pipeline to advance swiftly. Other companies, including EDF Renewables, RES Group, Coriolis Energy, and Ridge Energy, have also confirmed their plans to move forward with new onshore windfarm projects in England.

Ed Miliband, the energy secretary, stated: “The onshore wind ban was in place for nine years, and this government has removed it in 72 hours. We are wasting no time in investing in the clean homegrown energy that our country needs to lower bills and make Britain energy independent. We welcome investors responding to this announcement by moving forward with plans to invest in Britain’s clean energy future.”

RES Group, a Hertfordshire-based company that built England’s second-ever windfarm in the early 1990s, is considering returning to large-scale projects in England. Ian Hunt, RES Group’s global head of asset management, said: “England is definitely a core market for us. But each project will be judged on its own merits and in light of the impact it might have on the environment and local communities.”

Trevor Hunter, a development manager from Coriolis Energy, mentioned that his company is evaluating several sites in England and had begun bird migration surveys a year ago in anticipation of political changes.

Onshore Windfarm

Industry experts believe that local opposition to onshore windfarms will be less significant than before due to technological advances that require fewer turbines to generate the same amount of electricity and improved financial incentives for local communities.

Hunt added, “There has also been a change in mindset in the last decade. People can see the effects of climate change, and they know that onshore wind can help reduce emissions and lower bills. There is a far greater level of public acceptance now.”

Despite the renewed interest, analysts warn that the new Labour government may struggle to meet its goal of doubling Britain’s onshore wind capacity by 2030. Energy data provider ICIS has predicted that the UK might miss this target due to the time required to improve the approval process and attract sufficient new projects.

James Robottom, Renewable UK’s head of policy, noted that restarting the onshore wind industry will take time, as projects can take up to seven years to develop, depending on their size and grid connection availability. “But we do know there is strong interest from developers, businesses, and communities which are already exploring sites in England,” Robottom said. “We’ll be excited to see early community engagement and detailed environmental monitoring work on prospective sites starting soon.”

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