On shore wind

I am very pleased that we have placed clean growth at the heart of Government. Our strategy aims to cut emissions while keeping costs down for consumers and also creating high value jobs and helping to grow the economy. The development of renewable energy is already a great success story in the UK, and, thanks to significant investment and support, renewable capacity has quadrupled in the past decade. In 2018, a third of our electricity generation came from renewable sources and the Government has sent clear signals to investors and businesses that our country is transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

However, I am not sure that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England at this time and we must remember that we need to take people with us. While onshore wind farms play an important role in supporting our renewable needs, it is important to appreciate that they often do not gain public support at planning. Local communities do not for example support decisions on where wind farms can be built, with the final say resting locally with them.

That said, established technologies such as onshore wind are reducing in cost. If this continues it may have the capacity to play a significant role in the UK’s generation mix going forward.   Ultimately, it is right that support should be focused on technologies where it is most needed, which is why the Government announced in the Clean Growth Strategy that it would make up to £557 million of annual funding available for less established technologies including onshore wind projects on remote islands that directly benefit local communities.