Agreement powering onshore wind development

Susan Thomson

An initiative to position Scotland as a European hub for the recycling and repurposing of wind turbine blades is included in a deal agreed by the Scottish Government and industry.

The commitment to establish at least one specialist facility by 2030 forms part of the Onshore Wind Sector Deal signed today at the Scottish Renewables Onshore Wind Conference in Edinburgh.

The Deal lays out how the Government and industry will work together to harness the full potential of onshore wind to benefit communities, boost the economy and reduce carbon emissions.

Disposing of decommissioned turbine blades is an increasing challenge and the sector’s commitment to open a treatment plant, with Government support, will provide an environmentally-friendly solution, create jobs and place Scotland at the forefront of the emerging global technology.

The Deal also includes a Scottish Government aim to determine applications for larger new wind farms within a year when no public inquiry is required and two years with an inquiry. This would reduce the average determination time by 50% and will be achieved by streamlining processes while improving the format of applications. Further commitments will enhance training and resources while agreeing clear guidelines to ensure responsible development enabling positive outcomes for climate and nature.

Also in the Deal:

  • industry commits to creating apprenticeships, training opportunities and skilled jobs in Scotland for the lifetime of the deal
  • companies will engage with communities at the earliest possible opportunity to agree a community benefits package that meets or exceeds the Scottish Government’s good practice principles. This could include investment in low carbon heating in local homes and energy efficiency improvements
  • partners will work together to produce co-ordinated and resourced plans for the transport by road of wind turbine components
  • a commitment to support supply chains to reuse and refurbish parts to create a circular economy

Energy Secretary Neil Gray said:

“This deal is a practical example of Government and industry working closely together to reinforce our shared commitment to reaching net zero.

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