Campaigners back onshore wind to replace fossil fuel energy

The UK is relying on emerging technologies for carbon reduction that may not work, a campaign network has argued.

IGas Singleton oil site in West Sussex. Photo: IGas

The Weald Action Group, which opposes oil and gas operations in southern England, said technologies, like blue hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, could yet prove not to reduce carbon emissions.

The UK’s hydrogen strategy, published in 2021, seeks to develop the capacity to produce 10GW of low carbon hydrogen by 2030. This relies on both green hydrogen, from electrolysis of water, and blue hydrogen, using methane and carbon capture and storage.

Weald Action Group said:

“We have to act now using established technologies that can reliably reduce carbon emissions right now.”

The group was responding to proposed changes to national planning policy on onshore wind.

The government’s Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill  seeks to relax the restrictions that have, in effect, made it impossible to get planning permission for new onshore wind projects in England and Wales.

Weald Action Group has supported the move but said the government should go further. It said:

“Planning policy should include a ‘presumption in favour’ of onshore wind, as long as vital environmental studies support any chosen location.”

Onshore wind was reliable and one of the cheapest forms of renewable energy, the group said. The infrastructure could also be installed quickly in comparison to most other forms of energy, it said.

“we are reaching a series of climate tipping points that will launch us into unstoppable climate disaster.

“Our use of fossil fuels is a major cause of this and it is vital that we reduce our dependency on them as rapidly as possible. This is not happening at anything like the pace that is needed to keep our planet habitable.”

The group added:

“Energy is central to every aspect of our world and our well-being, so replacing fossil fuels with clean energy as quickly as possible is essential. This means expanding proven, reliable, forms of clean energy rapidly.”

  • The consultation on the proposed changes continues until 11.45pm on 2 March 2023.

2 replies »

  1. I agree.

    When the wind doesn’t blow the on shore turbines don’t turn. Then, there is this “presumption” that £200B will be spent on new nuclear to back them up, and a “presumption” that they will not only operate safely but that the waste product , which will be in far greater quantities, can be disposed of more safely than the waste product previously. Then there is a “presumption” that the £50B+ spend on the Grid will allow the wind turbines to provide electricity when the wind does blow. Hmmm, based upon the level of success and reliability with interconnectors that presumption is a pretty dubious one. (Try adding those costs-not “Government money” but tax payers money- plus nuclear generation costs to “cheap” and see what results. A case of the “cheap” car where the annual insurance turns out to be greater than the purchase price.)

    Never mind, I am sure this “Action” group will welcome a reactor with open arms! So much for the industrializing the countryside argument though.

    Sounds like the stuff to get on shore turbines in the first place.

    “How about having one, Mr. Landowner?”

    “Nope, don’t want a noisy industrial beast on my land.”

    ” But, Mr. Landowner you will get over £100k profit per turbine each year whether the electricity is used, or not.”

    “Ah, where do I sign.”

    Press Release:

    “Landowners welcome wind turbines!”

    Plonk them in the sea-where the wind is more reliable and economies of scale can be readily achieved. The engineering to do that was not that advanced when turbines first started to appear on shore, it is now. No noise impact to humans either. Sorry, landowners, back to agriculture and try and fill some of those gaps in the stores.

  2. I fully support Weald Action Group – as long as they put them all in the Weald and disconnect from the grid.

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