UK onshore wind farms and local communities
As A&D specialises in skilled recruitment in the renewable energy sector, seeing growth within the UK green economy is excellent news and of great interest. RenewableUK is a trade and professional body for the UK within the wind and marine renewable industries and, after they recently released a report on the onshore wind industry, we thought it the perfect opportunity to highlight the continuing potential within this sector.
RenewableUK revealed that the onshore wind industry made huge and positive changes to the UK’s economy during 2014. Naturally, onshore wind farms reduce CO2 emissions, we all know that – but, in terms of financial contribution, research from RenewableUK and the Department of Energy and Climate Change shows that for each installed megawatt, approximately £100,000 stays in the community during that project’s lifetime.
Local benefits of onshore wind farms
Although there is some debate about the aesthetics of wind farms, onshore developers can still ensure that their projects have a positive impact locally by maximizing opportunities to promote neighbouring supply chains, use facilities and create new jobs. RenewableUK reports that 27% of a wind farm’s benefits have been seen within a local authority.
Increases in spend within local economies have been occurring through all stages of a wind farm project, from planning and construction through to ongoing maintenance. These results have meant an upward trend since 2011… with some project spend almost doubling locally by 2014.
48% of spend is retained within the local region of where the wind farm is being developed.
The greatest percentage of community benefit is within Maintenance & Operations, where 42% of the monies spent is on contractors within the local area.
The lowest community percentage is 35%, which is within the Construction phase, lasting less than two years, but of course leads into the above figures.
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery, said: “Onshore wind powers local economies, bringing £199 million of investment into the local communities that host wind farms and creating jobs across the supply chain…”.
Again, A&D Recruitment thinks that the results from this recent report are fantastic! The prospect of many more jobs being created within the UK wind farm sector will benefit both the industry as a whole and projects’ neighbouring communities. The overriding fact is that from 2012 to 2014, there was a 65% increase in onshore wind farm contributions to the UK’s economy.