Current News by Lena Dias Martins
A new poll commissioned by pro-growth campaign group, Britain Remade, showed that 85% of people living in the North East support having onshore wind in their community.
The poll reveals that those local to the North East also support having other methods of renewable energy generation in their community, including offshore wind at 90% and rooftop solar panels at 91%.
The North East also showed support for nuclear power stations, which at 44% was higher than the national average of 39%.
Fossil fuels were not as well received in the region as less than 40% supported the local gas fired power station and less than a third wanted a new coal fired power station.
Despite the eagerness for renewables in the North East, the poll, which was carried out by Opinium, showed that 65% of locals don’t feel their community is receiving a fair share of infrastructure spending.
Offshore wind is also experiencing delays in the North East, reported the campaign group, as it takes up to 13 years for a new offshore wind farm to go live with construction taking only a fraction of that time. Instead, the bulk of this time is occupied with receiving planning consent, undertaking environmental impact assessments and potential legal challenges.
“In places like Blyth and Teesside local leaders have made great progress in attracting investments in clean energy projects ranging from offshore wind to hydrogen production,” said Sam Richards, founder and CEO of Britain Remade.
“However, the huge amount of talent in the North East could go to waste because of needless barriers put in the way of building the infrastructure the region and the country needs. These results show just how much people want that infrastructure delivered. So, we must now remove the political and regulatory barriers that are stopping clean energy projects and the huge number of jobs they will create across the North East.”
In December 2022, the UK Government announced it was to relax its de facto ban on onshore wind in response to growing pressure from MPs. Lifting the de facto ban has welcomed by the renewable sector, including RenewableUK’s CEO, Dan McGrail, who said that supporting onshore wind is “one of the best solutions to the energy crisis”.
Britain Remade will be holding a series of campaign events in the next fortnight around the development of offshore and onshore wind in the North East.