18 case studies
The report, by BiGGAR Economics, looks at 18 case studies of wind farms of different sizes drawn from across the UK. It analyses the contribution of wind farm development, construction, operation and maintenance to the UK economy at a local, regional and national level.
Worth £548m to the UK economy
The report finds that onshore wind supported 8,600 jobs and was worth £548m to the UK economy in 2011. Of this figure 1,100 jobs were created at the Local Authority level, worth £84m.
If onshore wind is deployed at a scale suggested in the Government’s Renewable Energy Roadmap, the economy could benefit to the tune of £0.78bn by 2020, supporting around 11,600 jobs.
The real value
Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK CEO said: “We’re delighted with the results of this survey, showing the real value that wind provides – close to £700,000 for every MW installed in the UK, with over £100,000 of that staying in the Local Authority area.”.
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Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “Onshore wind power is a cost effective and valuable part of the UK's diverse energy mix. Not only does wind power provide secure, low carbon power to homes and businesses, it supports jobs and brings significant investment up and down the country too."
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Davey continues: “Our policies of increasing community involvement will also help ensure the right balance between developers and community interests. With the cost of the technology coming down, there is a real opportunity to reap the economic benefits onshore wind can bring.”
More components to be manufactured in the UK
The report’s authors also point out that many of the 8,000 components required to manufacture a turbine are, or could be produced in the UK, driving up the amount of UK content during the construction phase, from a point of £529,383 per MW today.
The report concludes: “many activities relating to the development of wind farms are already carried out by UK based businesses. As the sector develops, there are likely to be opportunities to increase this activity”