Us Brits love wind turbines. No, really. The government just checked, and a whopping 74% of us said we support onshore wind in the UK.
The news is less good for fracking. Just 13% of us support its use in Britain.
So, thanks to the government, things seem fairly clear: we love wind, and we don’t like fracking.
Not so fast. Because over the last three years, the government’s had it the other way around. In England, they’ve been forcing fracking on local communities, while making new wind turbines almost impossible to build.
In 2015 they quietly issued a new piece of planning guidance for onshore wind that’s put insurmountable barriers in front of new projects - and led to a massive 94% reduction in applications for new turbines.
What’s more, they’ve told us they’re doing this because the public doesn’t like onshore wind.
Confused? Us too. And it’s about to get worse.
The government has just announced new policy that tells English councils to help make fracking happen, while formally cementing the block on onshore wind into our planning system.
This policy is part of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). And while that might sound like the most boring thing you’ve ever decided not to read, it could prevent us from generating more clean, cheap wind power for years to come.
That’s the bad news - but there’s some good news too. Before this policy gets approved, the government has to ask the public what we think of it. Which means we’ve got an opportunity to unlock onshore wind.
That’s why we’re delivering a petition to the government calling on them to make the rules fair.
Will you join us?
Photo: Ross Gill