Scotland leads the UK in onshore wind

Nearly two thirds of all UK onshore wind projects are based in Scotland, according to new research by RenewableUK.

In a report published today (6 October), the trade group claims England is lagging behind Scotland in deploying onshore wind.

The report notes that more than 60% of UK onshore wind projects are now installed and operational in Scotland, and that Scottish onshore wind is now generating a higher annual turnover (£211 million) than England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.

During the 12 months covered by the report (July 2014 - June 2015), half of all construction activity and over 70% of new consents were in Scotland. 

In contrast, only 25% of capacity and less than 10% of new consents are in England – the lowest consenting rate in the UK. 

But the report also notes the UK’s offshore wind sector remains focused in England, with almost 1.4 gigawatts of offshore wind built in English waters in 2014/15.

“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,” said RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Maria McCaffery. 

“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.” 

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues