Onshore wind: policy statement 2022

Sets out our ambition to deploy 20GW of onshore wind by 2030, as well as details on the formation of an onshore wind strategic leadership group, who will develop an onshore wind sector deal.

We Asked, You Said, We Did

We Asked

The Scottish Government published a draft Onshore Wind Policy Statement for consultation on 28 October 2021 and invited responses by midnight on 31 January 2022. The consultation sought views on Scottish Government's policy support for onshore wind, an ambition for 8-12 GW of additional installed capacity by 2030 as well as inviting views on how economic opportunity can be maximised while also protecting Scotland's natural heritage.

You Said

In total, there were 160 responses to the consultation, of which 111 were from organisations and 49 from individuals. The mix of respondents were as follows:

  • Acoustics: 3
  • Aviation Specialists : 5
  • Communities : 18
  • Government funded bodies and regulators: 7
  • Legal: 2
  • Lobby and interest groups: 13
  • Local authorities & planners: 14
  • Renewable Energy: 43
  • Third sector (e.g. Charities and other NGOs): 2
  • Other : 4

Total organisations : 111

  • Individuals: 49

Total respondents : 160

General support was expressed in favour of the 8-12 GW ambition, though comments highlighted that a clear target would send the appropriate signal of support to industry, supply chain and communities.

However there were concerns of some areas of Scotland becoming saturated with onshore wind farms and on ensuring the best designed sites happen in the right places.

There was agreement that introduction of a sector deal would help support the realisation of environmental targets, have socioeconomic benefits, provide opportunities for a partnership approach between government and industry and provide certainty for stakeholders. Furthermore a sector deal could focus on key considerations such as:

  • Tackling barriers to deployment (e.g. those caused by the grid, aviation, visual landscape, landscape change and business rates).
  • Development of the supply chain (e.g. local content specification, circularity).
  • Standard setting for restoration or enhancement of biodiversity (e.g. principles around deploying HMPs).
  • Measures to speed up the planning and consenting process.

There was agreement that onshore windfarms can and should provide environmental benefits. These benefits could take the form of:

  • Enhancement of peatland, forestry or biodiversity where there might not otherwise be the opportunity
  • Compensatory planting of trees, particularly indigenous trees like native broadleaves to replace commercial forestry, citing these as preferable in terms of carbon capture, hydrology, and biodiversity
  • Development of Habitat Management Plans, Land Management Plans or Environmental Management Plans, working alongside environmental agencies.

Overall there was a wide variety of views shared, split across the topics discussed in the draft statement. While the consultation gave all who wished to comment an opportunity to do so, given the self-selecting nature of this type of exercise, any figures quoted within the consultation analysis document cannot be extrapolated to a wider population outwith the respondent sample.

We Did

We reviewed all the views shared through the consultation and have reflected this in our final statement. We have committed to an ambition of 20 GW of installed onshore wind by 2030, set out proposals for a strategic leadership group which will be tasked with addressing key barriers and opportunities and are developing a sector deal for industry, agencies and communities.


Email: OnshoreWindPolicy@gov.scot

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