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Figures show Scotland is leading from the front in onshore wind power - 29th April

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Scotland's onshore wind sector accounted for more than half of the UK’s turnover in the field in 2014.The ONS stated that Scotland generated £1.6 billion compared to England £905m, Northern Ireland £189m and Wales £150m.

In 2014, about 3,000 businesses were operating in the sector, which employed 6,500 people across the UK – 3,000 in England, 2,500 in Scotland, and 500 each in Wales and Northern Ireland.

The data came from a new ONS survey launched last year to examine the low-carbon and renewable energy (LCRE) economy. It published the first results in December and the final results are due for publication next month. They showed that firms operating in the UK onshore wind sector accounted for 3.1% of LCRE businesses.

Lang Banks (Director of environmental charity WWF Scotland) stated “These figures underline the importance of onshore wind to Scotland, both in terms of our economy and in creating jobs. However, if we are to enjoy all the benefits that would come from an entirely renewable power sector we need to see a clear energy strategy from [the] next Scottish Government that gets behind this inevitable transition away from thermal power. By adopting a strategy that majors on flexibility, demand reduction and storage, Scotland could become the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation by 2030. With opinion polling showing that over 70 per cent of people see clear economic benefits from renewable energy, it’s clear this is an approach that the public could get behind.”

In 2014, a total of 19.1% of UK electricity generation came from renewable sources, with 64.7 terawatt hours (TWh) generated. The onshore wind sector accounted for 28.7% of this, with 18.6 TWh. In comparison, the solar sector accounted for 6.3% of electricity from renewables, with 4.1 TWh.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Scotland has made great progress in increasing the amount of green electricity in our energy mix and annually we are now producing double the amount we did in 2006.”

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