SCOTLAND’S renewables sector remains ‘locked out’ of realising its full potential because the UK Government still won’t recognise the importance of land based wind power, industry leaders claimed today.
Firms making massive investments in the so called ‘wind rush’ on land are being denied a chance to compete effectively and contribute to the power grid in an effective manner, it was claimed.
Now a new lobbying front has been opened up as Onshore Wind Week begins, with a new website highlighting just some of those making up the workforce, thought now to number around 8000 people.
As it stands, offshore wind generation is underpinned by the UK Government using a method called contracts for difference. No mechanism exists yet for onshore wind generation, which instead faced subsidies being scrapped by the Tories.
That’s despite energy companies wanting to commit millions of pounds to investing in the so-called green technologies, with Scotland a prime site given its weather, not overlooking wildlife and other environmental concerns from the likes of RSPB Scotland.
Scottish Renewables Chief Executive Claire Mack added: “This situation flies in the face of the UK Government’s manifesto commitment to reduce energy bills for consumers. Instead of doing that, they are ruling out one of the most popular – and the cheapest – forms of energy generation available.
“We continue to urge the UK Government to recognise the enormous social, economic and environmental benefits of this technology, as demonstrated by this website and report, and remove the barrier to onshore wind competing in the market for long-term power contracts as a matter of urgency.”
Scottish Renewables say alongside solar PV, onshore wind is the cheapest form of new power generation available.
But they insist it still being locked out of the mechanism used by the UK Government to obtain the low-carbon electricity needed to meet the UK’s carbon targets will damage that ambition.
They are now using Onshore Wind Week, from June 11-15, to highlight those benefits – as well as the challenges currently faced by onshore wind which helps generate around a quarter of the country’s electricity needs.
The new website is launched today alongside a document which celebrates some of the hidden faces of onshore wind, along with a report – Onshore Wind: Investing in Scotland’s Energy Future.
Claire Mack continued: “Both the website and report show the enormous wealth of benefits provided by onshore wind in Scotland – but also the people who make the sector the success that it is.
“It can sometimes be hard for people to see the renewables workforce.
“Unlike in many industries, the people who work in the new energy sector are often out of sight, but it’s their contributions which are driving clean energy forward.
“Renewables are about more than just energy, and by drawing out their stories alongside new statistics on the low cost, increasing popularity and environmental benefits of onshore wind, both the website and the report paint a picture of an industry which is delivering for Scotland.”
Some of those who are involved in the industry will highlight their message outside the Scottish Parliament later this week.
WANT TO LEARN MORE? Read: Onshore Wind. Investing in Scotland’s Energy Future
IMAGE CREDITS: ScottishPower Renewables