William Eichler 27 March 2018

Upgrading wind farms could bring £100m to communities, study says

Upgrading wind farms could bring £100m to communities, study says image

Updating wind farms would bring millions into local communities and put the UK on track to meet its climate change targets, climate scientists say.

A new report by the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has argued upgrading wind farms with the latest and most efficient turbines rather than allowing them to close would increase the UK’s generating capacity by more than 1.3 gigawatts (GW).

This would yield more than 3 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity per year, which would be enough to power nearly 800,000 homes.

It would also save consumers more than £77m per year on energy bills, compared to generating the same amount of electricity from gas-fired power stations.

The report argued upgrading could benefit local communities through payments from developers, with a potential pay-out of more than £100m from the first 750 turbines that will reach their 20th anniversary within the next five years.

More than 80% of these funds would go to rural regions.

‘Britain installed its first wind farms during the early 1990s when the technology was in its infancy, and the electricity generated was significantly more expensive than that from fossil fuels,’ said Dr Jonathan Marshall, ECIU energy analyst.

‘The industry has developed rapidly, however, and modern turbines generate vastly more power than older ones at costs competitive with coal and gas fired generation, especially when located onshore.

‘It makes sense to re-power sites of the earliest wind farms, which tend to be in locations that have the best wind resource. Existing infrastructure including network connections can also be reused or upgraded at costs lower than for new sites.’

Responding to the report, Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: ‘Upgrading our oldest wind farms with the latest technology would deliver a big boost of clean power to the grid at a time when wind is already making a record contribution, while delivering cash for the communities that have hosted these sites for years.

‘It would also provide a market for the newly re-invigorated British steel industry, cut greenhouse gas emissions faster and, given that re-powering is the cheapest way for us to expand electricity generation, reduce bills for businesses and consumers.’

Highways jobs

Compliance Officer

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 5 - £22,494 per annum
Chelmsford City Council is looking for an enthusiastic, logical and inquisitive person to investigate potential inaccuracies in Council Tax discoun... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Head of Service – Finance and Property and Statutory Section 151 Officer

Denbighshire County Council
Up to £88,321
This is a fantastic opportunity for a forward thinking effective leader to play a pivotal role in shaping the service to... Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych)
Recuriter: Denbighshire County Council

Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) - Numerous Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
Numerous opportunities have arisen across the Kirklees area. The AMHP hub responds to MHA assessments and there is no caseload responsibility. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Business Support Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£27228 - £28215
Do you have excellent business support and data analysis skills and want to contribute to safeguarding children in Greenwich?  Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Social Worker

Selby District Council
£29,636 to £34,788 per annum
Are you a Social Worker seeking a new challenge? Selby, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: Selby District Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The June issue of Local Government News contains the full details of all the winning schemes in the 2019 Street Design Awards. From Children's Play to Pedestrian Environment, find out who has been recognised for their innovation and use of best practice.

This issue also explores how local government pension funds can hedge currency risk, how councils can best address the shortfall in school places, and an update on the number of authorities banning the use of Roundup over safety fears.

Register for your free magazine