The Daily Telegraph - Business
Red tape threat to UK’s wind power hopes
BRITAIN needs to cut red tape to become the “Saudi Arabia of wind power”, energy experts have warned.
UK waters are subject to a complex planning and licensing regime that may hold back Boris Johnson’s ambitions for the offshore wind industry,
Wind farm developers face uncertainty and long waits as they navigate the long list of permits and tenders needed to get projects off the ground, according to a report by the consultancy KPMG and energy giant SSE.
Mr Johnson said last year that he wanted to make a “big bet” on renewable energy, saying at the time: “As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind.”
However, the report from KPMG and SSE, published this morning, said: “The current offshore marine planning and licensing regime is not fit for purpose for scaling up the levels of annual offshore wind deployment needed in UK waters to achieve net zero.
“The combination of the leasing tender regime, the marine planning regime and the transmission model is creating uncertainty and longer planning timelines for project developers.”
Wind and solar power provided 23.8pc of UK electricity in 2019, compared to negligible amounts 20 years ago. The Government now wants to quadruple the amount of offshore wind to 40GW by 2030 to help the UK meet its legally binding target of cutting carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
Officials are reviewing how to design the network of electricity cables to more efficiently connect wind farms to demand on the shore. But the warning suggests further reforms will be needed to help the UK hit its targets.
It comes as Glasgow is preparing to host the Cop26 international climate change conference in November, with the UK seeking to build international consensus on tackling climate change.