UK wind industry commits to boosting “national prosperity”

The companies, who range from manufacturers and planning consultancies to developers, have adopted three founding principles of the charter: to invest in the future prosperity and energy security of the UK, to provide financial security by creating jobs, and to provide clean, safe and affordable energy for the UK today and in the future.

The move comes as the wind industry in the UK battles fierce opposition to wind power, onshore wind in particular, from some quarters of the government and mainstream press, which has accused the industry of eating up subsidies and blighting the country.

Earlier this year, 101 Conservative MPs wrote to an open letter to the British Prime Minister calling for support for “inefficient” wind farms to be cut.

But the following the launch of the Wind Charter, which was headed up by UK trade body RenewableUK, energy minister Ed Davey this week came out in support of wind power.

"As an island, we have an abundance of free wind energy which we would be crazy not to harness,” said. “We have the opportunity to build a world leading wind energy industry; one that will help underpin the future prosperity of the UK by driving investment in the economy and jobs, reducing our dependency on imported resources, and by cutting carbon emissions.”

He added: “The government recognises wind energy as a key part of the UK’s energy mix and fully supports the RenewableUK Wind Energy Charter and the principles by which the industry will work to deliver these significant economic benefits".

All of the wind industry and its extended supply chain is invited to adopt the Charter, which RenewableUK said will help the UK maintain its position as a world leader in wind power.

Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK, said: "If we are to secure the UK wind energy industry's global leadership position and reap the significant economic benefits this will continue to deliver in terms of investment and jobs, we must work in partnership with the government and public. The Charter sets out the industry's vision for our role in this partnership and the principles that we will work to in order to ensure that wind energy is at the heart of a prosperous future for the UK."

Highlighting the investment already made by the wind industry in the UK, the first principle of the Charter pledges to ensure that wind energy will invest to increase capacity to more than 17 million homes by 2020.

The second principle of the Charter pledges to grow the number of jobs and specialist training courses over the coming years to create an industry employing nearly 90,000 by 2020.

Finally, the third principle of the Charter outlines the commitment of the wind energy industry to providing clean, safe and affordable energy that will power the UK today and for future generations. The Charter pledges to continue to drive down costs which have more than halved over the last 20 years.

The founding signatories are: GE Energy, Vestas, REG Windpower, David Brown Gears, Mainstream Renewable Power, Consense, RES Group, Ecotricity, RWE, Mabey Bridge and Partnerships for Renewables.