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Households close to onshore wind turbines could get lower bills as part of Boris Johnson‘s new energy strategy.

Communities could be incentivised to accept nearby developments as part of a deal to loosen planning rules.

Controls on building onshore wind plants are expected to be eased as part of the approach due to be unveiled next week, alongside steps to boost renewables and nuclear, and exploit the UK’s oil and gas reserves in the North Sea.

This UK map compiled by the Renewable Energy Hub shows the location of onshore wind farms (red dots, bigger dot indicates higher capacity) and offshore wind farms (in dark blue)

This UK map compiled by the Renewable Energy Hub shows the location of onshore wind farms (red dots, bigger dot indicates higher capacity) and offshore wind farms (in dark blue)

This UK map compiled by the Renewable Energy Hub shows the location of onshore wind farms (red dots, bigger dot indicates higher capacity) and offshore wind farms (in dark blue)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Moray Offshore Windfarm East off coast, August 5, 2021. Jane Barlow/Pool via REUTERS

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Moray Offshore Windfarm East off coast, August 5, 2021. Jane Barlow/Pool via REUTERS

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Moray Offshore Windfarm East off Aberdeenshire last year

Currently in England they must have virtually unanimous backing from locals in order to get the go-ahead – although the hurdles are much lower in other parts of the UK. 

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is adamant more onshore turbines are needed to guarantee energy supplies in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.

However, there has been concern about the move in Cabinet because it could be deeply unpopular in Tory heartlands.

MailOnline understands that the government is ‘looking at different ways of ensuring communities can directly benefit’ if it does go ahead with loosening planning.

Europe’s biggest onshore wind farm, Whitelee Windfarm on the outskirts of Glasgow, in 2019

The BBC reported that Michael Gove – who responsible for the planning system in England – is supportive of the change.

A Whitehall source said: ‘We need to generate more cheap, clean power in the UK to become energy independent. 

‘Wind power is cheaper than gas, so we need more wind power.’ 

But the issue is likely to be controversial with Tory rank and file, many of whom do not want to see the ability of local residents to object to wind farms rescinded.

Kwasi Kwarteng

Kwasi Kwarteng

Michael Gove

Michael Gove

Kwasi Kwarteng (left) has been drawing up options for incentivising communities to accept onshore wind turbines. Michael Gove (right) is thought to support easing planning rules 

Eight of Mr Johnson’s Cabinet ministers, including Priti Patel, Nadine Dorries, Nadhim Zahawi and Jacob Rees-Mogg, were among 101 Conservative MPs, who signed a letter to former prime minister David Cameron in 2012, calling on the Government to withdraw subsidies for the farms and ensure the planning system ‘properly takes into account the views of local people’.

Mr Kwarteng argues that Britons have since changed their minds on windfarms.

Tory MP Bob Blackman said earlier this week: ‘It would be a total disaster. It’s extremely unpopular, they’re ugly, and they don’t necessarily produce enough energy. 

‘I do think if we start getting into energy supply, it should be fracking, not onshore wind.’

Source: Daily Mail

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