Government proposals will see improved rewards and benefits offered to communities backing onshore wind farms.
In order to encourage more uptake and community approval of onshore wind, Government proposals will see communities that wish to host onshore wind infrastructure benefiting directly from it.
Alongside the benefits, communities will be put at heart of energy plans and embed best practice of developer engagement into the planning system.
The government recognises the range of views on onshore wind and feels that decisions about onshore wind are best made by local representatives who know their areas best and underpinned by democratic accountability. To deliver this, alongside commitments to the British Energy Security Strategy, a more localist approach will be used to provide local authorities with more flexibility to respond to the views of their local communities.
The proposals build on benefits already offered by developers to areas that agree to have onshore wind farms locally. These include holding a stake in a turbine, which gives them the potential to receive profits from the site’s operation, or funding for new community facilities, such as charging points for electric cars or new sports and recreation facilities.
These changes will further place local people at the heart of the government’s plan Powering Up Britain and deliver cheaper, cleaner and more secure homegrown energy.
Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart said: “Onshore wind is a vital part of our plans to deliver cheaper, cleaner, and more secure homegrown energy.
“It is right that new developments have the support of host communities, and that local people benefit directly from it, such as through either a discount on their energy bills or other significant community benefits.
“Our proposals will ensure developers and local residents can work together more efficiently to maximise community benefits for supportive communities while delivering the clean and secure energy the country needs.”
The government is investing billions of pounds into renewable and nuclear technologies to reduce the country’s reliance on volatile fossil fuel markets that, impacted by Vladimir Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, led to the unprecedented increase in people’s energy bills.
With almost 15GW of it deployed in the UK, onshore wind has a key role to play in creating a more secure and cleaner energy system and to meet the UK’s ambition to have amongst the cheapest wholesale electricity prices in Europe.
With the costs of onshore wind having already fallen dramatically – currently around half what they were less than a decade ago – these proposals have the potential to play a crucial role in boosting the UK’s energy security, where there is local support. The government is clear that where communities host this vital infrastructure, they should benefit directly from it.
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