UK wind red tape planning headache
Words: Gerry Lalonde, CEO, Orenda Energy Solutions.
Planning consent is still grey area for the small/medium wind turbine market and it is about time we had consistency and predictability rather than disparate decision making that often blights and inhibits progress across the UK.
It has been known for years that planning authorities decision making varies depending on location and geography which might make anyone but the most determined user look at other renewable schemes that offer an easier pathway to energy self-sufficiency, when wind energy ticks many boxes in terms of its appeal – grid friendly with no grid structure required, unobtrusive, as well as offering revenue and investment opportunities.
In my view, that’s why we need to shake off the planning shackles because, as the energy industry in the UK continues to evolve, small/medium wind can be pivotal as the ‘driver’ as the scheme of choice particularly for farmers and private landowners. Turbines at this level, around the sub-50kW mark, are vital to maintain this continuous drive to underpin the UK’s small-scale renewable needs.
Even the Chief Executive of the National Grid, Steve Holliday, was on record in a recent interview stating that ‘’by 2020 small-scale, distributed generation will represent a third of total capacity in the UK, a quadrupling in just a few years. It represents a massive increase from the old days of centrally dispatched generation…..’