Climate Change and Energy Security have been dominating the global energy agenda. In response the United Kingdom (UK) set a target of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050, and have accepted the European Directive to produce 15% of energy by renewable resources by 2020. Despite doubts in the last few years, the UK are on track to not only meet but exceed the target placed upon them, which sets them in good light for the long term 2050 emission reduction. This research investigated the barriers in the industry such as the planning process delays and public perception. Findings suggested that negative public perceptions still remain, with onshore projects gaining more attention than offshore projects. The planning system whilst showing an improvement in overall decision time still showed signs of delays in the pre-examination process. The research also highlighted signs of a predicted development plateau in onshore schemes, with approved capacity rates slowing in the year 2014. Furthermore, the political structure surrounding wind energy has become fragile, following recent comments from the Conservative party, suggesting they will see an end to onshore wind should they gain election in 2015. Therefore despite positive steps taken by the UK towards renewable energy targets, the future of wind energy is not certain.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.