Onshore wind farms should be allowed to compete for contracts for difference (CFDs) from the UK Government, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Speaking at trade body Scottish Renewables’ onshore wind conference, Rhian Kelly – CBI Business Environment Director – said: “By removing it entirely from the capacity we need to build, we risk taking a more expensive route to meeting our targets – in short, we will be getting less bang for our buck.

“It is all too easy to forget that the UK is still one of the world’s leading wind energy markets, with the onshore industry adding over £900 million to the economy last year.

“This is something that we should be shouting about and looking to build upon.”

‘Level playing field’

Kelly said onshore wind now meets more than 5% of the UK’s energy needs, saving almost 15 million tonnes of carbon each year.

Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager for Scottish Renewables, added: “Renewables are now Scotland’s largest generator of electricity, with onshore wind making up the lion’s share of output.

“There is plenty of scope for further growth – which would be good for the environment and for consumers – but only if government is prepared to create a level playing field and allow onshore wind to compete for long term contracts for power for clean electricity, along with other renewables and nuclear power.”

> Read Rhian Kelly's comments in full