ScottishPower has begun plans for a major expansion of onshore windfarm projects across Scotland in anticipation of a government U-turn on support for wind power projects.
The renewable energy arm of the big six power supplier has already considered almost 100 sites for a new generation of windfarm, using a smaller number of more powerful wind turbines to generate clean electricity. Most of the sites are in Scotland, but the company is also considering plots in Ireland.
Scottish Power expects the Conservative party’s block on onshore generation to be cast aside in the next parliament due to the growing need for cheap, clean energy to power the UK towards its climate goals.
Lindsay McQuade, the chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables, said she expects to see the next government match the ambition of the UK’s legislated climate targets with support for renewable energy development.
The government’s official climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), has said the UK will need to build at least 1,000MW of onshore wind every year for the next three decades if it hopes to meet its target to create a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. This steady rollout is necessary, in addition to building offshore windfarms at four times the present rate.
McQuade said this meant renewable energy developers must start planning now to have a hope of meeting the target. She said Scottish Power had “a pipeline of energy developments across the UK, particularly in Scotland, where there’s excellent natural resource”.