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Shapps does not support ‘vast increase’ in onshore wind farms ahead of energy strategy reveal

Written by on April 3, 2022

Grant Shapps has pushed back against reported proposals to increase the number of onshore windfarms as the government prepares to unveil its energy security strategy next week.

The transport secretary told Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday programme that onshore windfarms are “eyesores” and damage the environment, adding that he personally does not favour “a vast increase” in the number of them.

It had been reported that Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng wanted to double onshore wind power by 2030, and treble it by 2035.

On Sunday, Downing Street said any decisions on onshore wind “will always be subject to consent from local authorities”.

Looking ahead to the government’s energy strategy reveal next week Mr Shapps told Sky News the government “will be looking for a greater mix to produce our energy”, adding: “You might expect to see more nuclear reactors, nuclear power.”

It comes as the The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that Boris Johnson is preparing to announce plans to expand the government’s commitment to move forward with new nuclear power stations this decade.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: “Next week we will set out an ambitious plan to supercharge our use of a diverse range of renewables including offshore wind, solar and hydrogen – all underpinned by nuclear and continued support for our North Sea oil and gas sector.”

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Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds told Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday programme that the Labour party supports more investment in nuclear energy to help ease the rising cost of household bills.

He said: “We do support more nuclear in the system alongside that development of renewables.

“I think the danger is that, frankly the individual commissioning decisions on nuclear reactors all depend on the price you can achieve – they can be very expensive if you haven’t been able to get the right deal and the right private sector partners to do that.”

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