Dearth of onshore wind installations in 2018, figures show

TURNing the screw: The Paul’s Hill wind farm at Ballindalloch in Moray opened in 2006 and has 28 turbines, with plans for seven more
TURNing the screw: The Paul’s Hill wind farm at Ballindalloch in Moray opened in 2006 and has 28 turbines, with plans for seven more

There was a dearth in onshore wind installations in the UK in 2018, new figures show.

RenewableUK confirmed last night that wind farm projects saw a significant drop off last year.

The renewable energy trade association said there was an almost 80% fall in onshore wind installations, the lowest level since 2011.

Last year 598 megawatts (MW) of new onshore wind was installed, made up of 263 turbines at 54 sites, down from a record 2,666MW installed in 2017.

RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said: “Onshore wind is now the cheapest source of new power for UK billpayers, and it is supported by more than three-quarters of the British public.

“We have ready-to-go onshore wind that can help close the gap between the low carbon power we need and the amount Government policy is actually delivering, and this week’s announcement on nuclear power has made this mammoth task even harder.”

“The Secretary of State has rightly recognised that renewables can now be delivered with little or no subsidies, and that they have earned their place at the heart of a modern energy system.”

But the renewable energy trade organisation placed the blame for the dearth in new contracts in 2018 firmly at the feet of the UK government.

Ms Pinchbeck said: “Government has stacked the odds against onshore wind being built at the scale needed to meet our carbon budgets and excluded these projects from competing for government-backed power contracts.”

“The downturn in new capacity in 2018 is largely the result of changes in Government policy to block onshore wind from schemes that support renewable energy deployment. In 2015, the Government announced it would close the Renewables Obligation scheme to new onshore wind and the scheme officially closed in 2017, contributing to record deployment that year.”

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