I am proud that my constituents have such an active consciousness towards building a sustainable future both for Southend West, and nationally. Protecting the beauty and the local amenity of our countryside is something I consider with the utmost importance. At the same time, I fully appreciate the need to boost our national capacity for renewable energy.
The United Kingdom was the first major economy to legislate for net zero carbon emissions and since 2000, the UK has decarbonised faster than any other G7 country. Onshore wind is a key part of the Government’s strategy for low-cost decarbonisation of the energy sector, and it will be integral to achieving net zero by 2050. Achieving this target will require the deployment across a range of technologies, including onshore wind. The planning permission for onshore wind would depend upon a project commanding local support and being able to satisfactorily address any impacts identified by the local community. Investing in onshore renewable sites is a project this Government is set on developing, and we have actively consulted on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework that would ensure planning permission for onshore wind in England is based on a project being able to satisfactorily address impacts identified by local communities and commanding local support.
The current living crisis is affecting all my constituents and the enabling of new onshore wind farms will have abundant benefits to our local community, for example, lower energy bills. Therefore, I am emboldened by the 80% in favour of the UK supporting onshore wind energy and I support the UK’s offshore and onshore wind industry as it provides a critical source of renewable energy for our growing economy. The need for reliable, domestically produced renewables has never been more stark than now with the volatile global gas market The Government’s announcement to boost the UK’s previous target to deliver up to 40GW of offshore wind, to delivering 50GW by 2030 sets out the ambition of the new Energy Security Strategy. This will provide enough energy to power every home in the UK.