Following the completion of a £650million investment programme to build eight new onshore windfarms, ScottishPower Renewables has now passed the 2,000 megawatt (MW) milestone for UK wind power capacity.
The company has called for politicians and regulators to support the future development of onshore wind in Scotland - one of cheapest forms of green energy - citing the need to hit carbon reduction targets and support the anticipated increase in demand to charge electric vehicles.
Analysis for ScottishPower Renewables shows that 66% of the total investment in onshore wind has been spent in the UK, and over three quarters of the total UK investment has been spent in Scotland.
Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: "It’s now cheaper, easier and faster to build onshore wind. In a little over 18 months we have built over 470 MW of onshore wind, delivering enough power for more than 280,000 homes and with it significant environmental and financial benefits for the UK.
“If the UK Government is serious about reducing carbon emissions and having enough clean power to support the huge expected growth in electric vehicles, then more onshore wind is essential. One new onshore wind turbine could power around 7,000 electric vehicles, but we need to act now to meet growing demand.”
Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Investing in renewables is key to Scotland’s transition to a low carbon future. It has not only brought jobs to our communities, and boosted our economy, but it has contributed to the progress of Scotland’s world leading climate change targets.
“I am therefore delighted to hear that ScottishPower has now passed the threshold of having installed 2GW of energy capacity from renewable sources. This is a great achievement and I look forward to more GWs of capacity coming on line in the future.”
Keith Anderson continued: “We have seen competitive auctions deliver huge price reductions in offshore wind, and we expect onshore prices to tumble as well.
“Including onshore wind in a similar system would drive fierce competition in the industry and ultimately bring down costs for consumers.
"At this level only the most competitive projects would be viable and Scotland in particular still has a significant untapped stream of projects, in the right locations, ready to be delivered.
“If the industry was given a level playing field with other technologies a further 2,000MW could be built in Scotland by 2020. These projects will complement offshore and ensure that the UK has enough green electricity to power a clean energy future.”
In Scotland, the company has already carried out investigations and studies at dozens of potential onshore windfarm sites, which could deliver a further capacity of over hundreds of megawatts of clean electricity.
Note to Editors
- In total ScottishPower Renewables now has 40 windfarm projects across the UK, stretching from Cornwall to Caithness.
- ScottishPower Renewables' Whitelee Windfarm, the largest onshore project in the UK, has now welcomed more than 650,000 people to its visitor centre, and the total number of people accessing the site to walk, cycle or run is estimated to be well over 1 million.
- Number of electric vehicles power is calculated as follows:
|Existing Wind Turbine Generator (WTG)
|WTG Capacity (Megawatt MW)
|Operating Hours (hours in year)
|WTG Output (Gigawatt hours)
|Distance of Average EV (KM)
|Consumption per 100km (kWh)
|Consumption per Avg Distance (mWh)
- UK content analysis provided by BVG Associates. The full report – Economic benefits from onshore wind farms – is available at the following link: https://bvgassociates.com/economic-benefits-onshore-wind-farms/