Investment in wind energy good for the economy

December 4th, 2012 by RenewableUK

RenewableUK, the trade and professional body representing the wind and marine energy industries, has welcomed a report highlighting the economic benefits of wind energy.

The study, by Cambridge Econometrics for WWF and Greenpeace, shows that UK GDP will be £20 billion higher (0.8%) in 2030 if investment is focuses on offshore wind rather than gas. It also predicts that tens of thousands of extra jobs will be created in the wind industry.

The report “A Study into the Economics of Gas and Offshore Wind” comes on the eve of the UK Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, in which George Osborne is expected to announce the construction of a number of gas-fired power stations.

Maf Smith, Deputy Chief Executive of RenewableUK, the trade and professional body representing the wind and marine energy industries, said “we keep seeing tangible evidence of the enormous economic and environmental benefits generated by the wind energy.”

“The new report by Cambridge Econometrics provides further proof of this, showing that the offshore wind sector alone will add £20 billion to UK GDP by 2030.”

“The wind industry is already up and running, onshore and offshore. Renewables are already generating nearly 10% of our electricity – with almost half of that coming from wind. The Energy Bill published last week provides a strong framework for this to increase to 30% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020, with further growth continuing out to 2030,” he said.

“The UK Government is considering what else should be part of this energy mix. Renewable energy is a proven team player which is helping the UK to manage costs and ensure security of supply while also tackling climate change. What’s more, renewables are doing this today.”

“The question is, which other players will be on the team bus? That will be decided partly by their track record. All other technologies will need to pass similar robust tests.”

“Every independent opinion poll this year shows that about two-thirds of the public support renewable energy and want more wind energy as they’ve already seen the benefits it brings. Fossil fuels, including shale gas, don’t enjoy that level of public support, as people have expressed their concerns about their cost, the environmental damage they do, and the fact that they can only be extracted in limited quantities,” Mr. Smith said.

 

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