Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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Onshore wind farms in the UK could reduce energy costs by £ 50 per year

Government ministers are facing increasing demands to lift the ban on onshore wind farms in order to meet the UK's ambitious climate goals while reducing energy costs for homes.

Some of Europe's biggest energy investors have called on the government to lift an effective ban on new onshore wind farms in England, warning that this could stifle an investment flood in the UK clean energy sector.

Peter Dickson, a partner of Glennmont Partners, which manages Europe's largest clean energy fund, urges the government to change its position. He said that if the United Kingdom "takes the climate crisis goal seriously," policymakers need to promote all forms of renewable energy production. "

"This includes the revision of proposals for the development of onshore wind energy in the UK," he said.

The Climate Change Committee considers it necessary, affordable and desirable, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Here are some of the actions needed to achieve this:

• The sale of petrol and diesel vehicles is ideally prohibited until 2030 and 2035 at the latest.

• quadrupling clean electricity generation from wind, solar and possibly nuclear power plants, and batteries for storage and connection with Europe to share the burden.

• Connection of new houses to the gas network by 2025 with boilers using clean hydrogen or being replaced by electrically operated heat pumps. In addition, all households and appliances are highly efficient.

• Consumption of beef, lamb and dairy products drops by 20%, although this is much lower than recommended in other studies, and a greater conversion to a vegetable diet would facilitate the achievement of the zero target.

• One-fifth of all farmland – 15% of the UK – is used for planting trees, growing biofuels and restoring peat bogs. This is important to extract CO2 from the air and to compensate for unavoidable emissions from cattle and airplanes.

• 1.5 billion new trees are needed, which means that by now, more than 150 football fields per day will be covered with new forests by 2050.

• Flying would not be prohibited, but the number of flights will depend on how much airlines using electric aircraft or biofuels can cut emissions.

A boom in new onshore wind projects could also cut energy costs by £ 50 a year, compared to a high-gas energy mix, according to a new study commissioned by RenewableUK, the trade organization.

The call for a renaissance of the onshore wind was renewed after Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to set a net zero carbon target for 2050 earlier this week.

Under the existing rules, only offshore wind farms can compete for government contracts in subsidy auctions.

The analysis carried out by Vivid Economics shows that an increase in onshore wind power from 13 GW today to 35 GW by 2035 would reduce electricity costs by 7%.

According to the report, onshore wind is likely to be cheaper than gas-generated electricity due to falling turbine technology costs and rising carbon costs.

An onshore wind boom could also triple the number of jobs supported by the industry to 31,000 and increase exports to £ 360 million per year by 2035.

Dickson said, "Investors we talk to are increasingly looking at fossil fuel facilities as stranded assets, looking for ways to disconnect from new technologies that help combat climate change."

Norwegian energy giant Statkraft, Europe's largest renewable energy producer, reiterated its call for more renewable energy ambitions, including "cost-effective options such as onshore wind."

Alan Whitehead, Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, said: "Onshore wind is a win-win situation. It reduces dependence on imported fuels, lowers energy prices for households and reduces carbon emissions.

"It's just an economic illiterate not to opt for onshore wind on a large scale. The government should remove its wind-on-land barriers and encourage communities to build it, "he said.

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