70% wind applications receive consent

Despite calls for planning laws to be relaxed to encourage more installations of renewable technologies, 70% of applications for onshore wind receive consent according to research from think tank the […]

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By Tom Gibson

Despite calls for planning laws to be relaxed to encourage more installations of renewable technologies, 70% of applications for onshore wind receive consent according to research from think tank the Renewable Energy Foundation.

Dr John Constable, Director of REF said: “The government’s own data shows that in spite of unpopularity and known problems, such as noise, the wind industry is in fact having an easy time in planning, with the vast majority of schemes being forced on unwilling local populations.”

Speaking at a conference in Ipswich on Friday Dr Constable said that a total of 10GW of onshore wind, approximately 5,000 wind turbines, had already been approved while only 5GW had been rejected. If current approval rates continue the REF claim the UK would have 14GW of onshore wind.

Dr Constable added: “Very high subsidy levels have resulted in an overheated market and a rush of development that is inappropriate and environmentally damaging, as well as being extremely expensive for the consumer. Unfortunately, by putting targets before people, government is creating a powerful backlash against renewable energy.”

According to analysis some of the biggest owners are expected to receive almost £850 million in subsidies, which has led to events like that of last week’s when 101 Tory backbench MPs wrote to David Cameron demanding he cut support.