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UK to reinstate support for onshore windfarms

The UK Government will reinstate its support for windfarms after scrapping support for new projects four years ago, The Guardian reports.

Pressure began mounting on the Conservatives last year to provide financial subsidies for wind farms after it emerged supporters of the party overwhelmingly backed their return.

The Guardian reports that environmental campaigners were told by Downing Street policy advisers that support would begin again before an official announcement by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) later today.

The secretary of state for business and energy, Alok Sharma, is expected to say that ending the UK’s contribution to the climate crisis “means making the most of every technology available, and that includes backing more onshore wind and solar projects”.

The Conservative Party has been supportive of the offshore wind sector, with the Government pledging £557m in 2018 to double the amount of capacity installed over the next decade. But in 2015, under former energy secretary Amber Rudd, the Conservative government ended subsidies for wind power, arguing that solar is just as cost effective as wind.

In response to report, John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, said: “This is great news for anyone who pays an energy bill, and it’s great news for our climate. Onshore wind and solar are not only some of the cheapest sources of energy, reducing costs for everyone, but they are a vital part of putting the UK on track to net zero as quickly as possible. The government now needs to engage with local communities in order to get large amounts of onshore wind and solar off the ground.”

“Leading by example, by tripling the UK’s wind and solar by 2030, is a prerequisite for successful UK leadership at this year’s global climate talks in Glasgow,” he continued. “This is an important measure to clean up our power system, but action is needed across the board, including delivery of the government’s offshore wind target and upgrading the grid for electric vehicles and storage.”

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