The Scottish Government’s renewable energy policy has been dealt another blow after it emerged that every wind farm job in the country is effectively subsidised by £154,000-a-year.
New analysis of government and industry figures shows that UK wind turbine owners received £1.2billion from consumer subsidies, which was paid by a supplement on electricity bills last year.
Just 2,235 people are directly employed by Scotland’s 203 onshore wind farms, which receive an annual subsidy of £344million. Even if the maximum number of jobs forecast are created by 2020 the effective subsidy on them would be £80,000-a-year.
Across the UK, the industry employs 12,000 people, to produce an effective £100,000 subsidy on each job.
The analysis was carried out by the Renewable Energy Foundation, a think-tank which has criticised the cost of wind farms claiming they currently add £47 to the average household’s cost of living.
Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser, convener of Holyrood’s energy committee, said: “We’ve made it clear subsidies for wind farms must be cut significantly, if not scrapped altogether.
“This makes a mockery of Alex Salmond’s claims wind energy is good for Scotland’s economy. It’s the opposite.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said most Scots supported green energy, which she claimed brought £1.3bn of investment to Scotland last year.
She added: “Scotland’s renewable energy sector, already supporting 11,000 jobs with potential for many more, will be needed to help keep the lights on in England as well as Scotland.”
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