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Scotland leads the way in onshore wind, while England surges ahead in offshore

SSE's Stronelairg wind development
SSE's Stronelairg wind farm

Scotland is taking the lead in Britain as it forges ahead with deploying onshore wind, according to new findings by Renewable UK.

The report “Wind Energy in the UK” says although England is missing out on some of the economic benefits of onshore wind it is trailblazing ahead in the offshore wind sector.

More than 60% of UK onshore wind projects are now installed and operational in Scotland, generating an annual turnover of £211million.

The overall turnover for the UK as a whole was £402million – with Scotland bringing in more than half of that revenue in the year 2014/15.

The report says the benefits of offshore wind are mostly being felt in coastal English communities such as Grimsby and Lowestoft.

The study, which was unveiled at the body’s annual conference in Liverpool this morning, shows wind now generates 10% of the nation’s electricity needs.

More than 2GW of capacity was installed in 2014/15 – a growth of 18%, bringing total UK capacity to over 13GW.

This powers the equivalent of more than eight million British homes, businesses and factories.

RenewableUK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery said: “We hope this report will serve as a wake-up call to Government, proving that the wind industry is delivering a substantial amount of clean power, investment and jobs to Britain – despite mixed messages from Ministers.

“As this report notes, the Government has yet to set out its long term plan for energy policy. 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.”

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