Following the government’s decision to support a ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emission reduction goal for 2050, major investors in the UK energy sector are keen to see UK onshore wind development supported by policy.
Support is currently restricted and only offshore wind can win support through the contracts for difference auction process.
Key figures outlined
Some interesting figures were released a recent Guardian article based on research commissioned by Renewable UK from Vivid Economics in their paper ‘Quantifying the economic benefits of onshore wind to the UK economy’.
The suggestion is that building more onshore wind electricity generation capacity, up to 35GW by 2035 could reduce electricity costs by around 7% saving households around £50 a year on energy bills compared with a ‘gas led’ scenario for electricity generation capacity development.
Onshore wind currently accounts for 13GW and analysis indicates that increasing capacity to 35GW by 2035 could support 31,000 jobs.
Energy expert view
“These are positive projections and of course promote the argument for much more onshore wind. The trick will be in developing onshore wind at this scale whilst engineering its implementation to be dispatchable, if it is to be seen as the alternative to gas fuelled capacity.” Alastair Fells MEI, Incorporated Eng, PG Dip Fuel Tech, BSc Hons