Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

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Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

1 Introduction1.1 The aim of this reportOur report is aimed primarily at thoseresponsible for making decisions about onshorewind power developments, including planningofficers, local councillors and local energy andsustainability officers. It is relevant to policymakers at all levels of government – includinglocal authorities, Regional DevelopmentAgencies, the Devolved Administrations and UKGovernment – and can also be used as a goodpractice guide by the wind and renewableenergy industry, environmental organisations,community groups and other stakeholders.An information booklet has been published toaccompany this report to present the key issuesin a readily accessible format.This report purposely concentrates on theonshore sector, where decision making isprimarily undertaken at a local level and wheredebate is strongest. However, many of theissues discussed are relevant to both on andoffshore development, and where this is thecase no distinction is made. The SDC recognisesthat there is growing understanding of anumber of environmental concerns specific tooffshore developments, but believes thesewould be best dealt with separately, as offshoredecisions are made centrally rather than locally.The wind power industry in the UK is evolvingrapidly. It is hoped that by publishing this reportthe SDC can contribute to the planning andpolicy making process at all levels and therebyensure that good decisions are based on a goodunderstanding of the real issues.1.2 Considering the big picture –sustainable developmentAny decisions the UK takes on the developmentof wind power and its place in energy policyneed to be placed within the context of theGovernment’s overarching policy to pursue andpromote sustainable development.In March 2005, the UK Government and theDevolved Administrations published One future –different paths, the UK’s shared strategicframework for sustainable development. Thiswas launched in conjunction with the UKGovernment’s new strategy for sustainabledevelopment Securing the Future.The SDC has drawn on a wide body of research,supplemented by specially commissioned workand input from key stakeholders. The reportalso makes use of case study material, internalexpertise and access to a variety of governmentdata and analysis. The result is a report whichwe believe to be comprehensive in its scopeand we hope useful to those at the front line onthis issue.sustainable development commissionWind Power in the UK 3

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