In an article published on Wednesday in The Times, Lord Deben is quoted as follows;
I’m happy that we have already got enough onshore wind to 2020 to meet that part of the portfolio
RenewableUK, however, believe that onshore wind may be needed to make up for possible shortfalls in other parts of the energy mix if the country is to meet its legally-binding target of generating 15% of all the country’s energy from renewable energy sources.
“Onshore wind is the cheapest form of renewable power we have, so we’d expect the CCC to continue to champion it at every opportunity,” said RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith. “Public support for onshore wind has reached a record high of 70% according to official Government figures, so the Committee on Climate Change will want to remain in step with the majority of the British public, who strongly support our transition from fossil fuels to clean sources.”
In their press release in response to Lord Deben’s claims, RenewableUK make note of several reasons the UK cannot simply give up on pushing onshore wind forward, further calling for the Committee on Climate Change to make clear their support for onshore wind through and into the 2020s.
RenewableUK note that, not only is there the possibility that some of the onshore wind projects currently in the pipeline will drop away — approximately 10%, according to figures provided by the trade group — but to meet the promised-increase in production of heat and fuel for transport from renewables there will be a need to rely on cheaper and more efficient forms of renewable energy — like onshore wind.
Lord Deben stated that “It is likely that onshore wind will continue to play a part in our renewables after 2020, but it is not a decision we have to make now, and there are circumstances in which it might not. The public will decide what the balance is.”
Such governmental indecision is not only unhelpful to the overall push of renewable energy production in a country, but creates havoc in an industry that relies on mid- to long-term contracts and promises. Calling for the Committee on Climate Change to support onshore wind as a valuable and prioritised energy producer into the next decade is going to be vital if the wind industry is to succeed and meet the current goals, as well as future long-term goals.