Planning time for onshore wind farms set to be halved to 12 months
A new deal between the onshore wind industry and the Scottish Government has been signed today (21 September) setting out “how both parties will work together to deliver onshore wind farms quickly, sustainably and to the benefit of both local communities and Scotland’s net-zero target.”
The Onshore Wind Sector Deal sets out a series of measures which the parties behind the initiative say will support the Scottish Government in reaching its target of 20GW onshore wind by 2030 – more than double Scotland’s current operational capacity of 9.3GW.
These measures include ensuring the time onshore wind farms take to go through planning is halved to only 12 months and engaging with local communities at the earliest opportunity to agree a package of community benefits.
The onshore wind industry and the Scottish Government have also committed to creating a sustainable solution for a circular economy supply chain for the recycling, refurbishing and repurposing of decommissioned wind turbine component parts.
The Onshore Wind Conference, at which the deal was signed, is hosted every year by Scottish Renewables and RenewableUK. It brings together leading onshore wind experts, policymakers and stakeholders to share knowledge, expertise and first-hand experiences of the onshore wind industry.
Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “Today is a huge moment for the onshore wind industry in Scotland.
“A world leader in renewable energy, Scotland has an ambition for onshore wind to have 20GW of onshore wind by 2030 and the Onshore Wind Sector Deal will play a key role in helping us to hit this target.
“An incredible amount of hard work has gone in to making this deal happen and it is a real benefit to the industry knowing that the time onshore wind farms take to go through planning will be halved to only 12 months. It is also encouraging to see onshore wind farm operators and the Scottish Government committed to creating a sustainable solution and a circular economy supply chain for the recycling of wind turbine component parts.
“We look forward to working closely with The Scottish Government to ensure the Onshore Wind Sector Deal is effectively implemented on the road to achieving Scotland’s net-zero ambitions.”
“This deal is a good example of industry and government working closely together to reinforce our shared commitment to reaching net zero.”
Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy said:
“This deal is a good example of industry and government working closely together to reinforce our shared commitment to reaching net zero.
“As we embrace the possibilities, we acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead. Balancing the needs of energy production with proper environmental stewardship demands diligence and continuous innovation. This deal charts a course that safeguards our natural heritage while delivering clean, affordable energy to power our lives and industries.
“By benefiting communities we are ensuring the rewards of our onshore wind revolution are shared by all. This helps meet our Programme for Government commitments and create a green and growing economy with fairness at its heart.”