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Value of onshore wind to the community

Value of onshore wind to the community highlighted by new benefits register
13 November 2014

RenewableUK has today welcomed the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s launch of a new onshore wind community benefits and engagement register. The register will seek to provide an indication of the form and amount of community benefits across all onshore projects. It was launched today alongside a new fund of £10million to enable more community energy in England.

The announcement comes a day after RenewableUK released its Wind Industry in the UK report at its Annual Conference. The report revealed that since 2011 £200milllion of community benefit schemes have been established around local wind farms across the UK. Projects going live in 2013/14 alone will mean over £2.5million being given to local communities in benefit payments each year, which adds up to nearly £65million over these projects lifetime.

Commenting on the announcement of the register of the register, which RenewableUK and RegenSW will maintain on behalf of UK communities and wind farm operators, RenewableUK Chief Executive Maria McCaffery said: “Onshore wind farms can act as a financial lifeline to communities, and the launch of this register should help illustrate the stories behind the figures.

“£2.5million each year will go to local communities from wind farms going live in the last year alone. Right across the country developers are funding valuable local projects, as well as providing local employment during construction, and it’s time that as a country we celebrated that.”

The news of the launch comes a day after the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Edward Davey MP warned at the RenewableUK conference of the detrimental effect opposing onshore wind has on wider energy investment and warned those who opposed it that if they do so they “will be making a mistake of historic proportions for Britain” going on to say that “without onshore wind as one part of Britain’s low carbon mix, tackling climate change will be more expensive and the cost to consumers far greater. And without onshore wind, the contribution of renewables to energy security would be considerably cut”.

Ms McCaffery commented: “The message is clear – onshore wind is responsible for the employment of thousands of people, provided enough power for four million homes last year, and as today’s news shows is dedicated to being a good neighbour and benefitting the communities where its projects are hosted. We hope that everyone will urge their politicians to back it”.

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