Protecting the beauty and 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.
That is why I welcome new plans to consult on developing local partnerships for a limited number of supportive communities who wish to host new onshore wind infrastructure. New projects which receive strong local backing will be accompanied by benefits, such as lower energy bills. In addition, existing onshore wind infrastructure will be improved where updates and replacements are required. I look forward to further details on these announcements.
Already, national planning policy encourages local authorities to support our national transition to a low-carbon future with a positive strategy to promote energy from renewable sources. Onshore wind is one of the most cost effective electricity generating technologies and already accounts for approximately a quarter of installed renewable capacity in the UK. However, I do believe that there is room to go further.
The Government’s Net Zero Strategy highlights the importance of wind technology to a low-cost net zero system and the need to increase locally supported onshore wind as we work towards a greener future. More widely, ministers have committed to reviewing the National Planning Policy Framework to ensure that the planning system contributes to climate change mitigation as fully as possible and is aligned with our net zero targets.
I fully support these efforts to ensure that our planning system supports and enhances our national efforts to reduce carbon emissions.