The UK onshore wind energy industry was worth £568 million in 2011 according to a report recently published by RenewableUK and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The report “Onshore Wind, Direct and Wider Economic Benefits” by BiGGAR Economics showed that the industry provided around 8,600 green jobs in the UK last year. Of this figure 1100 jobs were created at the Local Authority level worth £84 million.

Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “Onshore wind power is a cost effective and valuable part of the UK’s diverse energy mix.

Not only does wind power provide secure, low carbon power to homes and businesses, it supports jobs and brings significant investment up and down the country too.

Our policies of increasing community involvement will also help ensure the right balance between developments and community interests.

With the cost of technology coming down, there is a real opportunity to reap the economic benefits onshore wind can bring“.

One in three jobs at local level are in operations and maintenance. For both the development and operations and management stages of the wind farm process a significant proportion of the value of contracts stays within the UK.

The report states that the experience of many local economies over the last few years, has been that the economic impact of onshore wind energy deployment can be significant in terms of direct economic impacts and wider indirect effects.