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Almost 50 wind farms risk losing vital planning permission unless a political ban on their access to the energy market is lifted, new research has shown. The new study comes as the UK’s only wind turbine tower manufacturer, CS Wind, says market conditions mean it may need to cut three-quarters of its Argyll workforce.
The wind farms identified in the Scottish Renewables study would increase Scotland’s renewable energy capacity by almost 15% - but most have not been built because of a UK Government block on onshore wind power. The UK Government excluded onshore wind from participating in the CfD Auction Round 2 in 2017 and CfD Auction Round 3, held last month (Sept 2019).
Other issues affecting development include the speed at which alterations to projects are held up in Scotland’s planning system, as well as increased fees for planning services, business rates and aviation issues.
Planning permission for the 47 projects, which stretch from Shetland to Dumfriesshire, was obtained during the period of the UK Government’s onshore wind moratorium – and will begin to expire from next spring (2020). The 47 onshore wind projects identified in the new research would add almost 1.6GW of renewable energy capacity in Scotland.
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