UK achieves milestone 5GW of installed onshore wind capacity
RenewableUK, the trade and professional body for the wind and marine energy industries, is celebrating this month’s achievement of 5 gigawatts of wind energy installed onshore.
This 5GW milestone has been reached with the operation of AES’ 28.6MW Scottish Borders project, less than 18 months after construction commenced. This will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 14,700 homes.
The first onshore project to go live following this was the single 500kw turbine Resilient Energy Great Dunklins project in Gloucestershire. This project was funded by local residents and individual investors contributing sums as little as £5, sgenerating returns for both them and the local community. REGD has now signed a deal with Co-operative Energy to buy the output of the turbine, meaning that local residents can use the power from their own wind turbine.
Reports in recent months have shown the value of renewables in protecting consumers against fossil fuel price shocks, as well as the value of wind in reducing carbon, and the potential for jobs and investment from the wind industry.
In response to the industry's success in reaching the milestone, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery, said: “I’m delighted that the landmark of 5GW of onshore wind has been achieved. The benefits of onshore wind for communities, bill-payers, workers and the environment are well-understood, with two thirds of the public supporting wind. With the Great Dunklins project we’ve seen people demonstrating their support by choosing to invest in this key technology for the UK’s energy future. With 8,600 people currently employed in onshore wind, the potential for this to double by 2020, and £100,000 of value going to the local community each year for each megawatt of onshore power installed, we need to ensure that we maintain this surge in momentum to deliver jobs, growth and clean energy.”