Residents living near renewable energy supplier Good Energy’s Delabole wind farm have received a £50 ‘windfall’ payment after the turbines at the site performed better than expected.
Delabole was the UK’s first commercial wind farm after Good Energy invested £11.8m to redevelop it in 2010. Those living in the local area can be placed on an energy tariff that is 20% cheaper than the Good Energy standard tariff as well as receiving a ‘windfall’ payment if the turbines perform well over the course of the year.
In 2013, 15% of the UK’s energy needs were met through renewables, after clean energy generation grew by 28%, with wind power accounting for 50% of this. However, in order to meet emission reduction targets investment in the sector needs to grow further and at a faster pace.
Juliet Davenport, founder and chief executive of Good Energy, said, “It’s been a windy year at Delabole, which is great for us and our local tariff customers. Our turbines have produced more power than we’d hoped – up 12% on the previous year – and it’s nice to be able to share the success with our loyal customers.
“We think it’s only right that the local community should be rewarded for their contribution to tackling climate change and reducing the UK’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.”
The effects of living close to a wind farm have been debated, including the impact the renewable energy source could have on house prices. There have been a number of pieces of research carried out; however, the results have so far been contradictory and inconclusive.
The chief executive of RenewableUK Maria McCaffery argued that wind farms generate “significant economic benefits for local communities” by providing clean energy, creating jobs and contributing funds to improve local infrastructure.
The government has recently been criticised by the renewables industry after reports suggested that the Conservatives might pledge to cap the number of onshore wind farms in its next manifesto. Communities secretary Eric Pickles has also extended the period In which he can block wind farms for an additional year – a move that has been described as “anti-business” and a “costly mistake”.
Despite political uncertainty research still suggests that wind farms are an “attractive long-term” investment opportunity and the UK remains one of the top performers in attracting investment to the sector.
Photo: Good Energy