The Budget announced by Chancellor George Osborne yesterday could really benefit the wind industry, according to RenewableUK.
New measures on planning, including a 12-month deadline for decisions on projects could have a positive impact on onshore wind farm applications, says Nick Medic at RenewableUK.
Mr Medic told ELN: “It’s a bit early to tell, but I think what’s intriguing are the proposals on planning. Firstly there will now be a greater presumption about wind farms’ sustainability. Secondly, decisions will be limited to 12 months, which is encouraging to our members who will know sooner if their applications go ahead.”
This was good news for the perception of wind energy, he added: “Together, you get the sense that wind farms are being perceived as stimulating economic growth. For us, this is an important development. It’s sensible and logical to assume that wind farms are good examples of sustainable development.”
The Government should consider ring-fencing income from wind farms for the local community, said Mr Medic: “One interesting proposal I think could convince local communities to look at wind power is to ring fence business rates. This would mean that business rates raised wouldn’t go to Whitehall, but to the local council to use as they see fit.”
RenewableUKestimates that £1 million from each installed megawatt stays at the regional and local level during its life time.