Home News Grant Shapps is criticized for his “nonsense” claims regarding onshore wind.

Grant Shapps is criticized for his “nonsense” claims regarding onshore wind.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps has been criticised after claiming wind turbines are now “so big” they cannot be built on the land.

Friends of the Earth said this was “nonsense”, while Greenpeace said the onshore wind was “thriving”.

The government is facing a rebellion from some of its own MPs who want to lift an effective ban on new onshore wind turbines in England.

Mr Shapps has said onshore wind should be “part of the mix”.

But he said there should be local support for any new turbines.

Responding to calls from Labour in the Commons for him to clarify his position, Mr Shapps told MPs: “These turbines are now so large, they can’t even be constructed onshore. They are so big, the turbines wouldn’t be able to be carried by roads. They have to be put offshore.”

He added: “These single turbines are seven football pitches in scope as they turn. They’re not buildable onshore. It’s one of the reasons why the cheapest way to build them offshore, to produce energy offshore, is to build these mammoth turbines which go together in groups of two or even up to 300.”

Onshore wind, he emphasized, would be allowed to be a part of the “critical mix” of energy.

In the UK, how many more wind farms are planned?
Truss and Johnson participate in the Tory wind farm uprising.

Given that significant onshore wind farms are now being constructed in Scotland, environmental advocacy group Friends of the Earth’s Mike Childs responded to the BBC by calling the notion that turbines were too large to be put on land “ridiculous.”

He claimed that onshore wind was “cheap, plentiful, and popular” and that the major obstacle to its development was “government policy,” not the size of the turbines.

Greenpeace described Mr Shapps’s comments as “nonsensical”.

UK policy director Doug Parr said: “Grant Shapps claims that turbines can’t be carried by roads, but hasn’t seemed to notice how this already happens all over the world.

“It may seem very obvious, but the point about onshore wind is that it is built onshore. On land. There is a thriving onshore wind market in many places. He enjoys a football analogy but can’t seem to notice his own goal.”

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said: “This Conservative government has had an absurd mental block over onshore wind for the best part of a decade.”

She said onshore wind “can strengthen our energy security, and help to tackle the ever-worsening climate emergency”.

“Pitting onshore against offshore is dangerous and nonsensical – we can and must have both,” she added.

What position did former Tory leaders take on the onshore wind?
Onshore wind planning restrictions were started by David Cameron in 2015 and kept up by his successor Theresa May.
Boris Johnson upheld the limitations. His energy policy stated in May that “wholesale modifications” to the onshore wind planning system would not be made, but that the government will discuss with a “small number of supporting towns” the possibility of allowing new turbines in exchange for lower energy costs.
Liz Truss declared during her brief tenure as premier that she intended to loosen planning restrictions and harmonize the onshore wind clearance process with other infrastructure.

Onshore wind is a cheap, renewable energy source, but detractors claim the turbines are noisy and unsightly.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak vowed to uphold the law that has effectively prohibited new onshore wind in England since 2015 during the summer leadership election.

But more than 30 of his own lawmakers, including former prime ministers Liz Truss and Boris Johnson, have sponsored a Levelling Up Bill amendment that would lift the restriction.

The decision will permit additional turbines if there is local approval, according to Simon Clarke, the rebels’ leader who served in Ms. Truss’ cabinet.

Due to Labour’s declaration that it would support the amendment, the chances of the government losing are higher.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has also informed allies that he favours lifting the moratorium on onshore wind projects.

Onshore wind is not dividing the Tories, according to Mr Shapps, who claimed that the amendment was not a “rebellion.”

He told the BBC on Monday that everyone concurred that new wind turbines needed local approval.

The official spokesman for the prime minister stated that he was not aware of “any imminent changes” to planning regulations.

If Labour is elected to office, it has pledged to eliminate the actual restriction on the construction of new onshore wind farms.

Grant Shapps is criticized for his "nonsense" claims regarding onshore wind.
Grant Shapps is criticized for his “nonsense” claims regarding onshore wind.

Ed Miliband, a shadow minister for climate change, claimed that the government’s position was unclear.

He called Mr Shapps “part of a fossilized tendency” because of his prior hostility to onshore wind projects and called Tory MPs who support the ban “dinosaurs.”

source: summarybio.com