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THE ONSHORE WIND CAMPAIGN

Unblocking and enabling our cheapest form of renewable energy
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The Problem

The UK government has placed a moratorium on new onshore wind projects in England and is preventing onshore wind energy from competing for state financing contracts, despite all other forms of low-carbon and renewable energy generation being able to do so.

The Solution

Our Campaign

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UNBLOCKING AND ENABLING ONSHORE WIND ENERGY

THE CHEAPEST RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY AND VERY POPULAR

We are not meeting our climate change targets – the UK is way off track to meet the fourth and fifth carbon emissions budgets of the Climate Change Act. Onshore wind energy developments are an essential part of solving this problem.

Happily, onshore wind developments are now the cheapest form of new energy and the UK is the windiest country in Europe. It is also overwhelmingly popular: Government statistics show that 76% of people now support onshore wind – ten times the proportion opposed. In addition to this, two thirds of people are supportive of turbines within five miles of their home.

So the government are doing all they can to enable this cheap, popular and abundant renewable energy source, right?

Wrong.

BLOCKED BY PLANNING RULES AND BLOCKED FROM STATE FINANCING

In 2015 the government changed the planning rules (the rules governing changes to or proposed new buildings or structures in a local area). The change was subtle but the result powerful: an effective moratorium on any new onshore wind developments in England. This is because it created the possibility that, if a very small number of local people, or even one single local person, objected to a proposed onshore wind development then the proposal would be rejected.

The effect has been profound – a blocking of on any new onshore wind developments because there is no point in taking on the costly and burdensome task of putting together a planning application for new onshore wind turbines and submitting it because of the very real possibility that a very small local group of people, or even one single local person, would object and cause the entire application to fail.

The government has also blocked onshore wind energy from competing for the state financing system called Contracts for Difference. These contracts are bid for by low-carbon and renewable energy generators they effectively give those energy generators a fixed purchase price for their energy. When the market price is below this fixed price, the government makes top up payments to those energy generators and when the market price is above this fixed price, the government receives the difference in payments.

This state financing system works well because it significantly helps to make proposed low-carbon and renewable energy developments financially viable. Yet onshore wind has been singled out and blocked from accessing it, unlike all other forms of low-carbon and renewable energy.

REMOVING THE BLOCKAGES

To remove the planning blockage the planning rules need to be changed so that applications for onshore wind developments in England are treated in the same way as any other application for renewable and low carbon energy.

Concerns over where new turbines are proposed should be addressed through local democratic decision making. Applications for new wind turbines should face a fair and reasonable local planning process and be treated in the same way as other renewable or low-carbon energy.

To remove the state financing blockage is even more simple: onshore wind energy should be included once again in the bidding process alongside all other forms of low-carbon and renewable energy.

OUR CAMPAIGN

Power for People has drafted the changes needed and we are organising an open, cross-party letter from MPs to the Prime Minister. The letter calls for:

Amendments to Planning Rules

The planning rules to be amended so that applications for smaller-scale* onshore wind developments in England are treated in the same way as any other application for renewable and low carbon energy.

Access to Energy Market Auctions

Onshore wind to be allowed to compete in Contracts for Difference electricity market auctions.

* Government policy defines smaller-scale as up to five megawatts, which is usually two or three turbines

Currently, a cross-party group of 144 MPs have signed the open letter. Many more MPs signatures are needed in order to persuade the government to make the changes that Power for People is calling for – we need your help.

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SIGN UP!

Power for People needs you! Our campaigns will only succeed if many people get involved and take action. It’s all about strength in numbers and working together to achieve a common goal. We know this works because of the many successful campaigns for environmental and social change that have been won through mass grass-roots action.

Please sign up to receive updates on how our campaigns are progressing and ways that you can help.

By signing up you are agreeing to hear from Power for People about ways you can get involved in and help support our campaigns. Power for People will not share your data with anyone else. You can opt out at any time.

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A cross-party group of

144

support the Onshore Wind Campaign

We need many more MPs to back the Onshore Wind Campaign if we are to succeed. You can find a full list of the cross-party group of 144 MPs who currently support the campaign HERE.

Contact your MP and ask them to sign the onshore wind open letter by clicking the button below.

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CONTACT POWER FOR PEOPLE

We’d love to hear from you! You can call or write to us using the details below, or send a message to the Power for People team by using the contact form.

020 7383 9122

8 Delancey Passage, London NW1 7NN

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