United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK business secretary ‘in favour’ of relaxing wind farm permitting rules

Call for wind farm permitting rules to be relaxed ahead of UK government’s energy strategy launch later this month

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is thought to favour relaxing planning rules on new wind farms (pic credit: Getty)
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is thought to favour relaxing planning rules on new wind farms (pic credit: Getty)

The UK government’s business secretary is in favour of relaxing permitting regulations around the construction of new onshore wind farms, according to media reports.

Permitting rules were changed in 2015, during the tenure of former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, to allow local authorities more power to block the construction of onshore wind farms in the areas they control.

This created what the Labour party has described as a "moratorium" on new onshore wind projects.

Energy strategy

The invasion of Ukraine has revealed the extent of Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas and the government intends to unveil a new energy security strategy which it hopes will end this reliance.

The strategy will focus on how to increase the amount of renewable energy the UK produces as quickly as possible, as well as nuclear power and making homes more energy efficient.

A BEIS spokesperson told Windpower Monthly the new strategy will be unveiled by the end of March.

Speaking ahead of the last meeting of the cabinet before the new strategy is launched business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng sought to calm nerves amid reports that government ministers are split over proposals to relax regulations around new wind farms.

He told the BBC: “We are not saying we are going to scrap all planning rules and all of these things have got to be in line with community support.”

In a first-person comment piece last week, trailing the government’s new energy strategy; Boris Johnson likened Russian oil and gas to a drug that the world had become addicted to and must now be weaned off.

Writing in the Telegraph newspaper, Johnson gave a clear indication of his support for wind power, as well as new nuclear energy.

He said: “[Putin] may have his hand on the taps for oil and gas. But there is nothing he can do to stop the North Sea wind. We are going to double down on new wind power and greatly accelerate the rollout of new offshore farms.”

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