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Relaxing Rules for England's Onshore Wind Farms: Growth for Renewable Energy Recruitment

Posted on September 2023

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In a move hailed by environmentalists and energy experts alike, ministers in England have recently announced their plans to relax the regulations surrounding onshore wind farms. This decision is poised to not only supercharge the nation's move towards greener energy but also provide a significant boost to the UK's renewable energy recruitment.

The Backdrop

Since the early 2010s, the growth of onshore wind farms in England faced stringent rules, many of which resulted from local objections and concerns over landscape impacts. This led to a reduction in the number of new onshore wind facilities, while other renewable energy sources like offshore wind and solar saw substantial development.

In the existing framework, if even one local resident raises an objection, the local authority has the power to decline an application for constructing an onshore wind farm. In addition, for any new project to be approved, it must already be listed in the local development plan of the authority, a blueprint that outlines multiple years of proposed constructions.

A Turn for the Better

The government's new stance on onshore wind farms recognizes their potential in helping the UK reach its climate commitments, notably the ambitious target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. With the improved efficiency and reduced costs associated with modern wind turbines, onshore wind has become one of the most affordable sources of renewable energy.

Job Opportunities

One of the most promising outcomes of this policy shift is the potential surge in renewable energy recruitment. With the predicted increase in onshore wind farm projects, increased demand for the following roles is expected:

  1. Technical Jobs: The design, installation, and maintenance of wind turbines will require skilled technicians, engineers, and scientists. Innovations in turbine technology also pave the way for research and development roles.

  2. Operational Roles: Once the wind farms are operational, there will be a need for professionals to oversee daily operations, safety protocols, and efficiency improvements.

  3. Supply Chain and Logistics: The infrastructure surrounding wind farms, from the manufacturing of components to their transportation, will provide a boost to the logistics sector.

  4. Environmental and Community Engagement: Given that one of the reasons for stricter regulations in the past was concerns from local communities, roles in community engagement, environmental impact assessments, and public relations will be pivotal.

The Broader Impacts

Beyond the immediate job opportunities, this decision will contribute to:

  • Energy Security: As the UK diversifies its energy sources, it will become less reliant on imported fossil fuels, strengthening its energy security.

  • Economic Development: Investment in renewable infrastructure can lead to regional development, especially in areas that become hubs for onshore wind farms.

  • Environmental Benefits: Naturally, increasing the proportion of energy derived from renewable sources will result in decreased greenhouse gas emissions, furthering the UK's efforts to combat climate change.​

Harry Morgan

Vice President, Renewable Energy Market Specialist at LVI Associates

"Project development has created job opportunities in mainland Europe for a wide variety of backgrounds and qualifications in recent years and in light of the situation within the UK today, with graduates seeing a 40% decline in job opportunities since pre-COVID, I'm excited to see how this policy change will help change this statistic for the better."

The Renewable Future

The relaxation of rules for onshore wind farms in England transcends a mere policy shift – it's a declaration of intent. It underscores the UK's unwavering dedication to sustainable expansion, renewable energy, and a more eco-conscious future. The balance between development and environmental responsibility is crucial, and this decision clearly takes a step towards achieving that balance. Moving forward, the combined rise of renewable infrastructure and job prospects paints a hopeful and sustainable path for the nation.

For professionals in the Renewable Energy sector, this presents a golden opportunity for UK Renewable Energy Jobs. For clients eager to tap into this talent pool, request a call back today. Now is the time to harness the wind of change and propel the UK towards a brighter, greener future.