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Industry calls for new target of 30GW of onshore wind capacity by 2030.

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RenewableUK have published an Onshore Wind Industry Prospectus offering a new partnership with the Government and its devolved administrations to ensure the UK reaches net zero emissions at the lowest cost to drive down energy bills.

Onshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of electricity generation available in the UK. The cost of electricity from new onshore wind developments is lower than the wholesale electricity price and is forecast to get cheaper.

At a time when energy bills are rising this highlights the potential to reduce consumers bills while simultaneously helping towards Boris Johnson’s pledge to decarbonize the electricity system by 2035.

The prospectus shows that by doubling the UK’s onshore wind capacity to 30 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 would reduce consumer bills by £16.3 billion. This equates to an annual saving of £25 for every household in the UK.

The new target would generate £45 billion of economic activity and create up to 27,00 green jobs in the UK’s onshore wind industry and supply chain. This would sustain jobs in designing, building, and maintaining wind farms as well as manufacturing.

The benefits are spread across all the home nations 6,000 new jobs in England, 3,000 in Wales and 1,000 in Northern Ireland. Scotland which would see three-quarters of the capacity installed there would benefit the most creating 17,000 new full-time jobs.

A recent poll by Survation found high levels of support for onshore wind energy. 72% of the public want the Government to set a long-term target for wind ahead of COP26 in Glasgow this November.

The prospectus alongside the recently published IPCC AR6 Report highlights the urgency of reaching net zero emissions as fast as possible. Installing 30GW by 2030 would save 6 million tonnes of atmospheric carbon emissions a year.

The watchdog, The Climate Change Committee, has already advised the Government that we need to install 35GW of onshore wind by 2035 as a key to reaching net zero. Currently, the UK is consenting 49% of the annual capacity needed to reach that goal. To reach the target the UK needs to be installing 1.25GW a year.

Onshore wind also has a key role in producing green hydrogen in the future, in aid of decarbonising other sectors including heat and transport. Onshore wind has the potential to support 1.7GW of green hydrogen capacity by the end of the decade.

The prospectus also calls for the reform of the regulator Ofgem by holding it accountable for the delivery of net zero emissions. Ofgem are currently underestimating the scale and pace of investment needed to upgrade the grid, undermining the transition to renewables. It further highlights its charging arrangements are disproportionate, significantly higher in Scotland, and the scale of these charges is expected to increase.

Rod Wood, Managing Director, at Community Windpower said “At a time where energy bills are rising and the need for net zero emissions looms, an increase in onshore wind energy is needed.

“It is one of the cheapest forms of generating electricity and can create thousands of new high-quality green jobs in parts of the UK where it is needed the most.

“The Onshore Wind Prospectus makes it clear to Government that the industry is ready to work with Ministers to drive down carbon emissions, create jobs and drive inward investment and exports”.

If you would like to find out more about onshore wind energy RenewableUK is holding a conference and exhibition, Onshore Wind Energy 2021, on Friday 22nd October 2021 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London.

The Onshore wind industry prospectus is available here.

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