Dec 4, 2012 - Major investment in offshore wind would have a positive effect on Britain's economy and employment, compared to a future power system more reliant on gas, according to report by Cambridge Econometrics out Friday.
The study, funded by conservation organisations WWF-UK and Greenpeace, compared two scenarios for the UK electricity mix in 2030 -- one where offshore wind capacity grows steadily to 2030 and another where no offshore wind is added after 2020 and the country is significantly more dependent on gas for its power needs.
The report found that in the wind scenario Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) will be 0.8% or GBP 20 billion (USD 32bn/EUR 25bn) higher by 2030 than in the gas scenario, with "marginal" effect on electricity prices. The wind scenario will also create 70,000 more full-time equivalent jobs by that year.
The research further concludes that increased investment in offshore wind, will allow the UK to save GBP 8 billion annually on gas imports by 2030. In addition, the wind scenario will result in about two thirds lower carbon emissions in the UK power industry by 2030, compared to the gas scenario.
The report notes that the size of benefits will depend on the development in the UK of a strong supply chain for the production of renewable infrastructure, which is in turn contingent on policy certainty for investors and manufacturers.
(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.612/EUR 1.233)
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