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UK’s onshore wind project pipeline to reach up to 30GW by 2030

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Image: RenewableUK

New RenewableUK research shows that the total onshore wind capacity will rise to 30 GW, more than double the current operating capacity of 13.6 GW in the UK, providing a boost to goals for net zero and green recovery.

The latest Onshore Wind Project Intelligence report shows that over the course of this decade, new onshore wind capacity is expected to rise as technology costs decline and next year’s auction for power generation contracts resumes.

We will see the most important rises in deployment from 2025 onwards, hitting 30.361 MW by the end of 2029, if everything in the current pipeline is installed.

The total pipeline of the project includes UK onshore wind projects that are operational, under construction, authorised, submitted to the planning system or established for planning submission. About 19.5 million UK homes a year will be powered by 30GW.

The Climate Change Committee has proposed that the UK install 35 GW of onshore wind at a rate of at least 1 GW per year by 2035, so the Optimum Scenario of RenewableUK demonstrates that this is possible if projects are approved in a timely manner and with the right planning framework in place.

At that stage, deployment would support over 30,000 jobs, secure £46 billion in new investment, and could save £50 a year for a typical household.

The Project Intelligence report also indicates that an additional 1.2GW of energy could be contributed from repowering projects by 2030 as part of this 30GW. Repowering actually accounts for only 231 MW of existing onshore wind energy in the United Kingdom.

“Now that onshore wind is firmly back on the table, companies are bringing forward projects at a scale that can make a huge contribution to building back greener. Onshore wind is one of the cheapest ways to generate clean power and we can ramp up this technology rapidly to reach net zero emissions.

“Next year’s auction for new clean energy contracts is a crucial step in unlocking the new jobs and investment that onshore wind can deliver as part of the green recovery. Our latest forecast shows what’s possible, but we need the right policy levers and regulation in place to make it happen.”

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