1600 new jobs could be created in Wales by developing new Onshore windfarms according to new research by independent analysts Vivid Economics.
The findings follow a recent landmark report on reaching net zero emissions by 2050, by the UK Government’s advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
The CCC suggested increasing the UK’s onshore wind capacity from 13 gigawatts (GW) now to 35GW by 2035 as part of a low-cost energy strategy for the future.
Vivid Economics’ analysis, titled ‘Quantifying the benefits of Onshore wind to the UK’ suggests that building this capacity of new onshore wind instead of gas plants would save an average household £50 a year in 2035, reducing the cost of electricity by 7%.
The research also shows that the sector would nearly triple employment, including the potential creation of 1600 new jobs in Wales, if 35GW is deployed. These jobs could also deliver productivity uplifts to Wales equivalent to 0.06% of current GVA per worker levels.
Jobs associated with the operation and maintenance of onshore wind sites carry an estimated per worker GVA of around £180,000 – four times higher than that suggested by recently available data for Wales.
The study also showed that the UK supply chain could capture £360m of the global onshore wind market by 2035, supporting 3,700 jobs in 2035.
However, the researchers point out that onshore wind faces multiple barriers today, including exclusion from UK Government-backed contracts to generate power which have increased uncertainty in the project pipeline.
Rhys Wyn Jones, Head of Renewable UK Cymru said,
“The Welsh Government recently declared a climate emergency and its ambition to exceed the 95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions recommended by the UK Climate Change Committee. This is the right thing to do, but we need to make use of the cheapest renewable energy technology to get there – and swiftly. We have joined a coalition of organisations in calling on the UK government to support onshore wind, but we should also utilise the planning policy levers at our disposal in Wales to ensure that onshore wind is given a fighting chance to play a strategic part in delivering our energy transition.”
For further information, please contact: Rhys Wyn Jones on 07968 798315 [email protected]
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