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Research finds that 63% of renewable energy projects failed to progress past the planning stage


Cornwall Insight’s ‘renewables pipeline tracker’ has, as we embark on Wind Energy Week 2024, unearthed a worrying statistic about renewable energy projects in the UK. A study of the tracker has found that, in the last 5 years, 63% of renewable energy projects failed to progress past the planning stage. Projects within this 63% were either withdrawn, abandoned, or refused planning permission for a variety of reasons.

The news comes at a time of increasing uncertainty for the renewable energy industry.

On the cusp of a General Election, the renewable energy industry has been grappling with a simultaneous flurry of political activity and a slowdown in green investment. With Labour promising to “make Britain a clean energy superpower” and “accelerate net zero”, the Conservatives have vowed instead to “ensure annual licensing rounds for oil and gas” and “invest £6bn in energy efficiency”. Amongst other assurances from parties such as the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, the true root of the issue is rarely touched upon… that a proliferation of UK grid infrastructure must take place and planning restrictions must be amended if we are to meet our legally-binding emissions reductions targets.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have promised to trim the UK planning regime if they win the General Election. We can only urge that this is coupled with wholehearted efforts to stimulate green investment in the UK, to harness the real economic and environmental benefits that renewable energy can bring.

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