GreenPower today welcomed an ‘eight point plan’ for Scotland’s green economic recovery, published today by the Climate Emergency Response Group, and highlighted the call for planning reform within the next 6 to 12 months to release private investment into onshore wind energy.
The report covers a very wide range of policy areas from energy efficiency to renewable heating and transport.
On planning policy the report recommends: Update existing planning guidance to enable new and existing onshore wind planning consents and enhance the competitiveness of Scottish projects. This will help ensure that Scotland secures a high share of Contract for Difference or alternatively financed onshore renewable projects in the coming years.
Welcoming the report, George Baxter, Director of Development at Scottish renewable energy company GreenPower said:
“There is much to be commended in this report and GreenPower is pleased to be associated with it and to support it. There is overwhelming public support for onshore wind, and there is a large potential pipeline of new projects and significant private investor and public interest in making them happen. Key to this is change in the planning system, because the current system is far too focused on treating a wind turbine in the environment as inherently negative.
“Policy appears to have shifted from the ‘right projects in the right places’ to ‘as few projects in as few places as possible’ especially in Local Development Plans, where the widespread use of highly questionable Landscape Capacity Studies is undermining efforts to deploy modern, larger, standard turbines so that the industry can invest in viable projects on a subsidy free basis. The UK Climate Change Committee recommends a quadrupling of renewable electricity, and Scotland is ideally placed to deliver as we have some of the most enviable onshore renewable resources in Europe. Planning reform is urgently needed to enable onshore wind to play its part in the early heavy lifting in a green recovery and towards meeting 2030 targets. It is disappointing that the Scottish Government has delayed planning reform till 2022, and this report adds further weight to the case for that timescale to be brought forward or for policy intervention on an interim basis.”
The report can be found here: https://www.changeworks.org.uk/sites/default/files/CERG_Green%20Recovery_Final%20report_July2020_0.pdf