UK wind energy sector generated £1.25 billion for the economy last year
A total of £1.25 billion was invested into the UK economy last year because of wind energy, according to a new industry report by RenewableUK.
However, the report urges the government to have clear energy policy to promote growth and restore investor confidence in renewables.
From July 2014 to June 2015 more than 2GW of new wind power capacity was installed, increasing the UK’s total capacity to more than 13GW.
This means that the wind energy industry now supplies approximately 10% of the UK’s power needs.
Scotland outperforms the rest of the UK, according to the report. Over 60 percent of onshore wind farms are in Scotland. The UK’s onshore wind turnover was £402 million last year. Scotland accounted for more than half of that, with turnover of £211 million – more than England, Northern Ireland, and Wales combined.
Investor confidence in wind energy is compromised by the lack of a clear government energy policy
However, the report noted that investor confidence in the sector is declining.
According to an annual survey of member attitudes, 73% said that the investment climate is less favourable now than over the previous 18 months. The report said that “it is clear that lack of Government backing is impacting on sector confidence.”
“As this report notes, the government has yet to set out its long-term plan for energy policy,” RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said in a statement.
“Ministers have stated that their objective is cutting carbon at the lowest cost to consumers, so it is difficult to understand why they are undermining investor confidence in the energy sector as a whole by announcing sudden unexpected changes in policy.
“This is especially true regarding onshore wind, which is the lowest cost clean technology and is set to be cheaper than new gas by 2020, so it deserves to retain its place in our energy mix rather than being excluded from it.”
The CBI, warned last month that “despite progress so far, today’s investors are more uncertain about the UK’s low carbon future.”