We can build new onshore wind more cheaply than any other technology, including gas, nuclear and other renewables. In fact, onshore wind is a success story of how strategic investment and innovation can drive down costs. The latest figures suggest that development of new onshore wind farms would provide a net payback to consumers over the projects’ lifetime as power from onshore wind will be cheaper than the projected market price of electricity.
Onshore wind has an important role to play in the UK’s future decarbonised electricity system. In 2018, onshore wind generated almost 10% of UK electricity – enough electricity to power over 8 million homes and avoiding nearly 14m tonnes of carbon emissions! To reach net zero emissions, the UK will need to electrify more and more sectors of the economy, such as transport and heat, which means we’ll have to generate more clean power. Onshore wind is a vital solution for decarbonising our economy at lowest cost.
And it’s popular too! According to the Government’s own official polls, 79% of the public support onshore wind. Approval ratings for this green, cheap technology have been steadily rising since the Government started their polls in 2012. With growing recognition of the need to fight climate change, it’s time for the Government to listen to the vast majority of people and put policies in place to support the development of new onshore wind.
It’s important that communities located near onshore wind development benefit from having a project in their area. As well as the millions of pounds which have been injected into local community funds to support local projects and charities, and the millions more into local energy infrastructure, onshore wind developers work with local businesses and supply chains to ensure that local people benefit throughout the lifetime of a wind farm.
Onshore wind has the potential to be a massive job creator across the UK. Latest figures show that onshore wind supports 12,000 jobs across the country. The Government can boost employment and growth in the sector by backing policies to build new wind farms that would support up to 18,000 jobs and secure billions of pounds of investment across the UK.