Onshore wind power has the potential to cut household energy bills, benefit
consumers by well over a billion pounds and create thousands of jobs,
particularly in Scotland, according to a new report.
The Power of Onshore Wind report, from renewable energy consultants BVG
Associates, claims that awarding contracts for five gigawatts (GW) of new
onshore wind power between 2019 and 2025 could deliver a net payback to UK
consumers of £1.6 billion.
The report is supported by energy firms Scottish Power Renewables,
Vattenfall, Innogy and Statkraft and has been issued to coincide with the
first Onshore Wind Week in the UK.
The analysis considers five new Contract for Difference (CfD) auctions held
from 2019 at 18-month intervals each with a maximum capacity of 1GW.
Forecasts show that the costs of new onshore wind projects would drop below
the UK Government’s forecast wholesale electricity price from 2023.
Over the five auctions it is expected that 86 per cent of the projects by
capacity would be built in Scotland.
The report predicted that around 18,000 skilled jobs would be supported
during the peak years of construction, with 8,500 people employed in
long-term skilled jobs when all the wind farms are operating. It is
anticipated that 60 per cent of the jobs would be created in Scotland.
Earlier this year the renewable sector warned that UK Government policy has
been stalling the growth of onshore wind.
Lindsay McQuade, chief executive of Scottish Power Renewables, said:
“Onshore wind is the cheapest form of new build electricity generation
available in the UK today.”
Bruce Valpy, managing director at BVGA, added that the UK needs to build a
sustainable electricity mix that plays to its strengths in terms of natural
resources and a capable workforce.