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UK onshore wind market primed for revival

  • Publish Date: Posted 2 months ago
  • Author: Steve Walia

​The United Kingdom's onshore wind energy sector is poised for a significant resurgence after experiencing sluggish growth since the peak in 2017. This revitalisation is primarily driven by recent developments, including the outcome of Contracts for Difference (CfD) Allocation Round 5, which has awarded contracts for twenty-four onshore wind farms to be finished by 2028, with a capacity of 1.5 gigawatts (GW). The government has set the strike price at £52.29 per megawatt-hour to support these projects, breathing new life into the sector.

 

Scotland emerges as a prominent player in this revival, hosting the majority of the newly awarded projects, with only one in Wales. Furthermore, a 2023 approval of 1.334 GW of onshore wind capacity indicates growing support for the sector, with an emphasis on projects exceeding 50 megawatts in size.

 

These positive developments align with advancements in wind turbine technology, allowing for the construction of larger wind farms. Additionally, England, which previously faced stringent planning rules hindering onshore wind farm expansion, is now easing these restrictions, potentially opening doors to new projects.

 

Scotland, already home to 90% of the UK's onshore wind capacity, continues to lead the way with substantial yearly submissions. However, there are signs of a shift, as some developers are beginning to explore planning their projects in England, although the number remains limited due to various constraints.

 In summary, the UK's onshore wind market is experiencing a renaissance, with a surge in government support, approvals, and eased regulations. This is expected to result in substantial capacity growth in the coming years, further contributing to the UK's renewable energy goals and reducing its carbon footprint. The future of onshore wind energy in the UK appears bright as it steps back into the limelight as a crucial component of the nation's clean energy transition.