Wind power guide launched – planning rules still main barrier

The Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA), a Labour affiliated environmental think tank, has published a wind power guide for MPs and councillors to assess the issues surrounding the development of wind energy and outline the challenges that must be overcome for the UK to fulfil its wind potential.

The document, produced in association with npower renewables and the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) reviews some of the positive and negative claims made about wind power and asserts that difficulties with planning remain the biggest barrier to the development of and investment in renewables.

However, at the launch of the document, Yvette Cooper MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister outlined Government policies aimed at overcoming unnecessary application delays and improving the efficiency of the planning system, particularly in relation to wind farm development.

The Government recently launched a consultation on PPS 22 – a planning statement to encourage the uptake of renewable energy projects. This consultation will end on January 30th 2005 (see related story).

Marcus Rand, CEO of BWEA said that 2005 will be a record year for wind energy with more projects than ever before being commissioned: “However, we need to maintain the momentum achieved over the past few years. This initiative by SERA will help ensure decision makers are able to get to grips with the real facts about wind energy.”

The Government said recently it would not be able to meet its 2020 target for emissions reduction without a significant expansion of the renewable sector and a far greater uplift in energy efficiency initiatives.

By David Hopkins

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