Onshore wind farm opposition risks UK jobs, says Ed Davey - 18th November
Ed Davey (Energy Secretary) has warned that the Conservative party’s opposition to onshore wind turbines is undermining the creation of British jobs and driving up customer bills because wind is the cheapest clean energy.
RenewableUK data shows a 70% increase in jobs in the wind power industry since 2010, while wind supplied 9% of all UK electricity. The industry attracted £2.6bn of investment in 2013-2014, of which £1.1bn stayed in the UK. The data also showed that full-time jobs in the commercial British wind industry rose 8% in the 12 months to June 2014. Statistics also reported that wind farms generated £18m in community benefits and contributed £6m to local councils through business rates in 2013-14.
Ed Davey stated that “We have had a major leap forward in recent years and there is a really good story to tell,” But I want to be clear I am having a go at the Conservative party here. It has made it clear onshore wind is something they don’t want to see in the future expansion of low-carbon energy and I think that is undermining investment now and undermining jobs.”
The green economy employs almost 1 million (15,400 in the wind power industry) people in the UK (more than teaching), and in 2011-12, the last year the government collected the statistics, was worth £128bn, or 8% of GDP. In 2012, John Cridland, director general of the CBI, said if the government untangled the “gnarly mess” of its policy a green business boost could increase the growth rate of the UK economy by 0.5% by 2015, a gain of nearly £20bn in GDP.
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