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Report highlights job and cash benefits

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In last week’s e-newsletter we covered a new report from The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), claiming parts of Britain are in danger of becoming overrun by wind farms because of a huge increase in the number under construction.

The piece can be read here, along with some of the comments we received.

Following on from last week’s newsletter,  the government claimed on Monday each wind turbine of the type causing controversy on the Somerset Levels could be worth £200,000 to local communities.

A BiGGAR Economics study of 18 wind farms across the country showed communities benefitted from onshore wind turbines to the tune of £84 million in 2011, with 1,100 local jobs supported by the sector. One in three local jobs were in operating and maintaining the turbines, providing long term employment.

However, the report – published by RenewableUK and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) – also found while the majority of the money generated during the development and operating phases of onshore wind farms stays in the UK, more than half of construction spend goes abroad, highlighting the value of developing a home-grown supply chain.

Ed Davey, energy secretary, said: “Our policies of increasing community involvement will also help ensure the right balance between developers and community interests. With the cost of the technology coming down, there is a real opportunity to reap the economic benefits onshore wind can bring.”

The debate continues.

Elinore Mackay

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