Energy firm calls for political support for more onshore windfarms

Whitelee windfarm in Eaglesham. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
Whitelee windfarm in Eaglesham. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
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ScottishPower has called for political support to develop more onshore windfarms after hitting a record high of power from the sector.

After the completion of a £650 million infrastructure project, ScottishPower Renewables has passed the 2,000 megawatt (MW) UK milestone.

The company has now called for politicians and regulators to back the development of the industry in Scotland in order to keep up with an anticipated increase in demand.

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.”

Analysis from the firm shows that 66% of investment in onshore wind has been spent in the UK, and over three quarters of the total UK investment has been spent in Scotland.

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.”

A spokesman for the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: “The UK is a global leader in tackling climate change and the UK Government’s latest auction for renewable technologies secured projects set to deliver over 3GW of electricity, enough to power 3.6 million homes.

“We’re committed to supporting the development of onshore wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland and will set out our plans shortly.

“And by setting long-term targets, like the one to end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040, we can ensure the grid is ready for the mass transition to cleaner technologies.”