UK’s pipeline of onshore wind projects reaches 33GW

If all these projects are realised, the UK could have more than double the current operational capacity by 2030

Big Zero Report 2022

The UK’s total pipeline of onshore wind projects either operating, under construction or being planned has hit 33GW.

That’s according to new research by RenewableUK, which has revealed that is a 3GW increase from last year’s 30GW.

The report claims that if every project in the current pipeline were to go ahead, the UK would reach 30GW by 2030 – which is more than double the current 13.9GW of operational capacity.

More than 21 million homes would be powered by 33GW of onshore wind capacity, playing a key role in the country’s journey towards net zero.

RenewableUK has also estimated that doubling the UK’s onshore wind capacity would reduce consumer bills by up to £16.3 billion during the next decade, which equates to £25 annual savings per household. This level of acceleration would also create 27,000 jobs.

The report does caveat this with the fact that less than half the annual capacity needed to reach 35GW of capacity by 2035 is actually being currently consented by the UK.

It stresses that only 600MW is being given the green light by the UK each year, when this number should be in the range of 1,250MW to stay on course.

Dan McGrail, CEO, said: “The government’s new Net Zero Strategy specifically calls for more onshore wind to be installed in the 2020s and beyond, to help to enable the UK to be powered entirely by clean electricity by 2035.”

He goes on to say that planning systems must encourage “the repowering of older onshore wind projects as they reach the end of their lifespan with taller, even more efficient turbines.

“At the moment, less than half the annual onshore wind capacity we need to stay on track to meet our climate change targets is being consented.”

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