How much energy onshore wind generates in Ashfield as Government backs away from farms increase

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reduced plans for more onshore wind farms – which generate more than 1,500 megawatt-hours of electricity every year in Ashfield – in his strategy to ensure the UK's energy security.

By Andrew Dowdeswell
Sunday, 24th April 2022, 10:47 am
Updated Monday, 25th April 2022, 1:37 pm

The removal of targets for land-based wind turbines has been criticised by Labour, which had called for a relaxing of the planning regulations around onshore developments before Mr Johnson published his energy strategy last week.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures show Ashfield produced 1,834 megawatt-hours, the equivalent of two gigawatt-hours, of electricity through its six onshore wind turbines in 2020. Mansfield has no onshire wind turbines.

In contrast, Daventry led all areas in the East Midlands, with more than 200 gigawatt-hours of energy.

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures show Mansfield had no onshore wind turbines in 2020.

The Government’s energy strategy aims to boost new nuclear power, offshore wind and hydrogen, but stops short of increasing onshore wind capacity.

Mr Johnson said onshore wind farms are controversial because of their visual impact, saying they ‘will have a very high bar to clear’, but is targeting 50 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, up from previous commitments of 40.

‘Wholesale changes’ to planning regulations for onshore wind will not be introduced, the Government said, but it will instead consult with communities who wish to host the infrastructure in return for lower energy bills.

Separate national figures, which cover the latest calendar year, show the UK had 14.5GW of onshore wind power capacity at the end of 2021, but generated less energy than in 2020 – from 34.7GWh down to 29GWh.

It also had 11.3gigawatts of offshore wind power capacity at the end of 2021, up from 10.4 the year before and more than six times as much as a decade ago.

Offshore wind must more than quadruple by the end of the decade to reach the Government's target.

Shadow climate change and net zero secretary Ed Miliband said Britain’s ‘energy policy is being held to ransom by Tory backbenchers’, many of which hold home county seats.

He said: “The Government has rejected the cheapest, lowest cost, most secure forms of power we have, including onshore wind.”

Overall, the UK generated 121,000GWh of renewable energy in 2021.

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