The wind energy imperative

November 24th, 2011 by RenewableUK

Support for wind energy development in the UK costs only £10 in an average £600 electricity bill.  By 2020, it is expected that 90,000 jobs will be created in the UK’s wind energy industry.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery MBE, said “the irrefutable facts are that wind energy is providing a clean, secure supply of electricity to more than three million homes in the UK, displacing six and a half million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year”.

“Overall, the long-term cost-effectiveness of wind makes it an economic necessity for our future – we can’t go on relying on expensive imports of fossil fuels, which are the real reason why energy bills are going up. We need to explode some of these myths that are being peddled by anti-renewables campaigners. Many renewable energy detractors fail to understand the many benefits offered by renewable energy”.

A NEG Micon wind turbine turns in the wind (click image to expand - ©RLLord All Rights Reserved)

RenewableUK highlights the fact that the independent electricity regulator Ofgem says that the cost of supporting wind adds only about £10 per year to the average domestic electricity bill of £600 – a figure far lower than those misreported in some sections of the media. Ofgem has also warned that any failure to invest in renewable energy will result in domestic bills increasing by as much as 52%, if we remain over-reliant on increasingly expensive fossil fuels from unstable regimes abroad.

McCaffery also points out that a quarter of our traditional sources of electricity – coal-fired and nuclear power stations – will reach the end of their natural lives within the next ten years.  “Wind energy is vital for our future if we are to keep the lights on. The UK has the best wind resource in Europe. Wind turbines generate electricity for 80-85% of the time – far more than the lower statistics bandied about by some ill-informed commentators”, she said.

RenewableUK also highlights the enormous economic benefits wind energy offers in terms of job creation. About 11,000 people are working in the UK wind industry, many of them in highly skilled engineering jobs. By 2021, a study by the respected analysts Cambridge Econometrics shows that this will increase to nearly 90,000 jobs as we build a new low-carbon economy and meet our carbon reduction targets.

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