Business

Windfarms 'major economic benefit'

If wind power is a proven technology, why is Australia so reluctant to uptake it?
If wind power is a proven technology, why is Australia so reluctant to uptake it?
  • Onshore wind supported 8,600 jobs and was worth AU$868.89 million to the UK economy
  • Britain's wind industry now has 3,176 large onshore turbines, with 568 turbines in the sea
  • The onshore wind farms together can produce about 4.5 gigawatts of electricity

ONSHORE wind farms, recently under attack in the UK from leading conservationists for damaging the countryside, can bring significant economic benefits locally and nationally, as well as contributing to the fight against climate change, a new study claims.

Onshore wind supported 8,600 jobs and was worth AU$868.89 million to the UK economy in 2011, says the report, by consultancy BiGGAR Economics.

Of this figure 1,100 jobs were created at local authority level, with AU$133.18 million of investment.

Looking at 18 case studies of wind farms of different sizes drawn from across the UK, the study analyses the contribution of wind farm development, construction, operation and maintenance to the economy at a local, regional and national level.

It suggests if onshore wind is deployed at a scale suggested in the Government's Renewable Energy Roadmap, the UK economy could benefit by AU$1.23 billion by 2020, with around 11,600 jobs being supported.

From its beginnings 20 years ago, Britain's wind industry now has 3,176 large onshore turbines, with 568 turbines in the sea, according to RenewableUK, the wind industry trade body.

The onshore wind farms together can produce about 4.5 gigawatts of electricity, roughly the equivalent of four large conventional power stations, with another 1.5GW coming from offshore turbines.

But the growing presence of turbines in the landscape - there are nearly 3,000 more in the planning process - has led to criticism from conservationists, and last week the Campaign to Protect Rural England broke ranks with other environmental groups who have hitherto been united in support for wind energy for the contribution it can make, with other CO2-free energies like solar and tidal power, to cut carbon emissions that cause climate change.

The CPRE said the countryside was being caught in "a hurricane of new wind turbines" and local communities were "struggling to safeguard valued landscapes" which were being industrialised by the presence of wind farms.

Shaun Spiers, its chief executive, said his group accepted onshore wind in the right places as part of the mix required to meet the UK 's carbon reduction targets, "but we are seeing more and more giant turbines sited in inappropriate locations".

The Government and wind industry stress the benefits wind farms can bring.

"Rather than feeling wind has been imposed on them, people across the UK recognise the benefits of having wind in their backyard," said RenewableUK's chief executive Maria McCaffery.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: "Wind power provides secure, low carbon power to homes and businesses, and supports jobs and brings significant investment."

Topics:  economy environment



New law spells major shake-up for dog owners, pet shops

Got a frisky dog? You need to read this.

I was just screaming 'my baby is in the car'

An image of the burnt out car on Springfield Parkway taken on June 10, 2004.

Road tragedy now mum's inspiration

NRL takes back seat to Origin for six weeks

CENTRE STAGE: Maroons captain Cameron Smith holds the 2016 State of Origin shield aloft. The NRL is set to take a back seat for the next six weeks as Origin dominates the rugby league landscape.

Game yet to come grips with the annual drop off in interest in NRL

Local Partners

I was just screaming 'my baby is in the car'

Anne-Marie Priggins could have never predicted the gut-wrenching circumstances that would unfold.


Your gig guide to a great night out in Ipswich

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT: Don't miss out on the offerings from the top spots in town.

The latest on the live music scene across the city

Paddinton Bear is coming to Ipswich

IN TOWN: Annette Kitching plays the part of Paddington Bear in The Cute Little Bear From Peru at the Incinerator Theatre.

FAVOURITE children's character set to delight in new show

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Ipswich cook faces elimination round on MasterChef

What the viewers didn't see when Nicole cooked to stay in the competition

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Is this the talent you get when you limit electronics?

Cassidy Kilburn in the Get the Beat International Dance Competition.

Cassidy, 11, preparing for national dance championships

Your gig guide to a great night out in Ipswich

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT: Don't miss out on the offerings from the top spots in town.

The latest on the live music scene across the city

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

Bush balladeer brings bruised blues to Brissie

BRIGHT FUTURE: Jordan Merrick has just released his EP, In Colour.

Singer-songwriter Jordan Merrick on his debut EP, In Colour

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

'Ridiculous': Council refuses renovation at heritage home

NOT FAIR: Karen Solomon of Newtown is angry with Ipswich City Council for refusing her plans to build a colonial style double car port at her Newtown home.

Council rejected development application

Council refusal of 'high density' development ends in court

Ipswich City Council first meeting with the new 2016 council.

Developer took the matter to the Queensland Planning Court

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!