We provided a robust, rigorous and independent assessment of the economic impact of onshore wind farms that allowed ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) to demonstrate the wider benefits of development to a wide variety of stakeholders.

SPR had passed the threshold of having installed over 2GW of energy capacity from renewable sources. SPR recognised the importance of the economic benefits to Scotland and the rest of the UK from investing in onshore wind generation. To measure the scale of these benefits, SPR commissioned us to assess the UK, Scotland and local (south west Scotland) economic benefits created by eight onshore wind farms commissioned in 2016 and 2017. The work was completed in partnership with Steve Westbrook, an economist who specialises in analysing the economic impacts from infrastructure investments.

We provided assessments on local, Scottish and UK content, local value-added (LVA), gross value-added (GVA), full-time equivalent years of employment (FTE years) and earnings. The analysis uses our methodology developed for the Offshore Wind Programme Board to calculate the content in UK offshore wind projects.

We assessed the value of all supplies that accrue as earnings from employment and business profits, including both ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ impacts. This was broken down into UK, Scottish and local content.

Economic impact is considered in terms of LVA, GVA in the UK, FTE years employment and earnings. It also includes an assessment of the secondary benefits of the projects on the local economy.

Our internal economic model and engagement with local suppliers were used in a two-step methodology:

  1.  A content analysis, and
  2. An analysis of the economic benefits of GVA,LVA FTE , using the content data.

The analysis revealed that 66% of the total investment in onshore wind has been spent in the UK, and over three quarters of the total UK investment has been spent in Scotland. The full report can be found on our publication page.

We also helped SPR with the distribution and publicity for the report findings using our website and social media channels.


“The robust, rigorous and independent analysis that BVGA provided enabled us to understand and highlight the economic impact of onshore wind farms across the UK and Scotland. The report informed multiple stakeholders across SPR, local and national Governments, and local communities. The finding in the report was a key part of our activity to mark our achievement in passing the 2GW milestone for UK wind power capacity”

Alwyn Poulter, Energy Policy and Market Analyst at ScottishPower Renewables