Net-zero homes and sustainable communities will be key to tackling the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s daunting to-do list
An opinion piece for Futurebuild by our CEO, Sue Riddlestone OBE
Earlier this week I was proud to be a signatory on Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstal's open letter to Michael Gove and Grant Shapps, which called for a lifting of the de facto ban on onshore wind.
Government rules, introduced by the Conservatives in 2015, mean that just one objection to an onshore wind farm can block an entire project, meaning there’s effectively been a ban in place for eight years.
The letter – covered in the Guardian on Tuesday – was published by Possible, and signed by dozens of notable figures from the worlds of politics, media and science, including Caroline Lucas, Chris Packham CBE, Liz Bonnin, Deborah Meaden, and Mike Berners-Lee.
If it were unshackled, we could reach 100% green on the grid in 10 years and with no public money. It’s dishonest because the Tories claim the ban is because onshore wind is unpopular. The truth is the country is united in support of onshore wind; recent polling shows even 80% of Tory voters support it.Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder
We’re in the middle of a climate and ecological emergency, coupled with a cost-of-living crisis. Immediate action to responsibly use ‘one of the cheapest, cleanest and most nature-friendly forms of energy available’ has to be top of the political agenda in order to make progress on the UK’s legally binding climate targets, improve energy security and reduce household bills. We have also been vocal in our backing of recent campaigns such as Warm This Winter, and #EndGasNow, and this letter helps join the dots between the two crises.
Poll after poll makes it clear there is an overwhelming public majority in favour of onshore wind, and communities are standing by with great wind-power projects that they know will help the environment and bring down their energy bills. Yet the government is not only totally out of sync with the people on onshore wind, but also floundering on its own commitment to net zero.Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef and environmental campaigner