The Scottish Government said Scotland’s onshore wind capacity will more than double by 2030.
The finalised Onshore Wind Policy Statement confirmed the Scottish Government’s ambitions for 20 Gigawatts (GW) of onshore wind power to be installed by 2030.
This could generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 19.5 million homes per year. Currently, around 8.7 GW of onshore wind is operational.
An Onshore Wind Strategic Leadership Group will be formed to develop an onshore wind sector deal in 2023 to maximise supply chain and community benefit opportunities from the sector’s expansion.
The policies set out in the Revised Draft National Planning Framework 4, currently before Parliament for approval, would ensure that the planning system enables the growth of the sector.
Mark Richardson, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “The renewable energy industry welcomes The Scottish Government’s support for onshore wind and the publication of its final Onshore Wind Policy Statement, which makes Scotland the best place in the UK to develop onshore wind projects.
“The policy statement sets out that Scotland’s electricity demand will at least double within the next two decades and that developing more onshore wind could create 17,000 jobs and £27.8 billion in GVA for the country’s economy.
“As highlighted in the Climate Change Committee’s Progress Report for 2022 this month, Scotland must accelerate its transition to net-zero.
“The Onshore Wind Policy Statement recognises that ‘business as usual’ will not achieve our net-zero obligations, and that transformational change is needed.
“Along with the revised National Planning Framework 4 planning reforms this publication provides a real opportunity for Scotland to strengthen its position as a global leader in renewable energy.”
Net Zero & Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said: “We need bold and urgent action to tackle the climate emergency, and the further expansion of onshore wind will be vital to delivering on our climate targets while ensuring a just transition for Scotland’s energy sector.
“As a proven technology and one of the most affordable forms of energy, onshore wind will be vital to Scotland’s future energy mix, creating and sustaining good green jobs for the sector while improving our energy security and resilience.
“Our Onshore Wind Policy Statement sets out a clear vision for the sector to accelerate during what is a critical decade of action to deliver our energy transition.
“Our ambition for increased capacity will be included in our new draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, which I am pleased to confirm will be published in early January 2023.”