The future is blowing in the wind

| 19th April 2022 |
Slowdown in onshore wind rollout ‘could add £125 to bills.

Onshore wind is one of the most popular energy technologies with 80% of the public backing it.

Moves to slow the expansion of onshore wind farms in Britain could add as much as £125 to each household’s energy bills in the middle of next decade, new analysis has suggested.

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit said that if wind farms are not built onshore a repeat of the current gas crisis in 2035 would add about £10 billion a year to bills.

There are currently 14 gigawatts of onshore wind farms in the UK, which is set to rise to 20GW. However if it stops there it could lead to an extra £50 on each household’s bill by 2030.

Backbenchers

"These indicative figures show that the price of not investing in onshore wind is high,” said Dr Simon Cran-McGreehin, head of analysis at ECIU.

According to reports in the run-up to the UK Government’s energy strategy, which was released earlier this month, ministers were considering plans to reach 45GW by 2035.

Onshore wind is the cheapest form of renewable energy that it is possible to build in the UK. But reported opposition from backbenchers meant the government dropped the plans. Opponents of onshore wind farms include corporations with clear vested interests in stopping the rollout.

Security

“If the build-out of onshore wind is slowed again, in the event of another gas crisis those MPs falsely claiming turbines are unpopular could have to explain to their constituents why they are paying an additional £125 on their bills,” Dr Cran-McGreehin said.

“Onshore wind is one of the most popular energy technologies with 80 percent of the public backing it, rising to 87 percent where households get cheaper bills from a local wind farm.”

Ed Miliband, Labour’s shadow climate change and net zero secretary, said: “Families across the country are paying the price for over a decade of Conservative energy policy failure.

“Britain deserves better than this government’s plans which offer no help now and no help this decade for families facing the cost-of-living crisis. Labour would deliver the green energy sprint that Britain needs for lower bills and energy security.”

This Author

August Graham is the PA City reporter. 

More from this author

Donate

The Ecologist has a formidable reputation built on fifty years of investigative journalism and compelling commentary from writers across the world. Now, as we face the compound crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity collapse and social injustice, the need for rigorous, trusted and ethical journalism has never been greater. This is the moment to consolidate, connect and rise to meet the challenges of our changing world. The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust. Support The Resurgence Trust from as little as £1. Thank you. Donate now.