Ban on new onshore wind is costing billions, says Labour

The opposition said lifting the de facto ban on new wind farms could save £15.8bn on energy bills.

Gavin Cordon
Saturday 05 November 2022 22:30 GMT
The Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm, near Lydd Kent (Tom Leese/PA)
The Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm, near Lydd Kent (Tom Leese/PA)

A Government ban on new onshore wind farms is costing the country billions of pounds in higher energy charges, Labour has warned.

The party said its plans – set out at its annual conference in Liverpool in September – to deliver a zero-carbon power system by 2030 would save £93 billion on energy bills by the end of the decade.

Of that, the party said £15.8 billion would come from onshore wind – savings that would be lost as a result of the Conservatives’ 2015 effective ban on new onshore wind production.

While onshore wind is considered to be one of the cheapest and quickest sources of renewable energy, it is often hugely unpopular in the communities where wind farms are located – leading David Cameron to halt government subsidies.

Labour, however, said that maintaining the ban now meant keeping energy bills high, diminishing energy security with higher gas imports and higher greenhouse gas emissions.

Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “Tackling the climate crisis and the energy price crisis is the great challenge of our time, but Rishi Sunak just does not get it.

“Twelve years of the Conservatives has left our energy system exposed, bills rocketing, while failing to tackle the climate emergency.

“My Labour government will tackle the climate crisis by grasping the opportunities it presents. We need this scale of ambition to meet the scale of the task.”

A Government spokesman said the amount of renewable energy capacity connected to the grid has increased by 500% since 2010 – with 40% of UK power now coming from “cleaner and cheaper” renewable sources.

“We continue to support more renewable projects to come online, as more affordable clean energy brings down costs for consumers and boosts our long-term energy security,” the spokesman said.

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