According to UK Energy Secretary Edward Davey communities that host onshore wind farms could benefit from reduced electricity bills and investment in local infrastructure, The UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched of a call for evidence aimed at ensuring that communities secure financial, social and environmental benefit from hosting onshore wind farms.
The community benefits consultation will seek new information on:
- Barriers to community engagement and how to address these;
- How wind farms could deliver wider environmental and social benefits to communities e.g. by providing grants for playgrounds;
- Best practice in local consultation by developers;
- Ways to maximise participation by local businesses in the economic supply chain for wind projects; and
- Innovative ways to reward host communities, such as offsetting electricity bills.
The Government will also seek the latest information on the cost of onshore wind to confirm whether subsidies from April 2014 have been set at the correct level.