The Prime Minister is planning to cap the total number of onshore wind farms in Britain. But what would limiting the number of wind farms to those in existence or already in the planning system mean?
The UK already has 7.1GW worth of turbines spinning away. There are 1.8GW under construction and some 4.3GW approved but not yet built. Once all these are up and running it will bring the total to 12.2GW.
The government plans to install between 11GW to 13GW of onshore wind by 2020. If they were to limit turbines to those built or in the process of building, it would make precisely no difference at all.
And, while we are number crunching, there is a further 8.3GW in the planning system but not yet approved. According to the industry, 1GW is enough to power 535,000 homes.
So, if you really care about wind farms, wouldn’t it be better to make sure they are built in the right place rather than introduce an arbitrary and meaningless cap?