Onshore Wind Energy

Wind turbines harness the energy of moving air to rotate the blades and generate electricity. Onshore wind refers to the turbines found on land, while offshore turbines tend to be located far out at sea, such as the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).

Onshore wind plays an important part in the generation of clean, renewable energy in the UK, with 5.6 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity generated in the third quarter of 2017 alone. This was an increase of 20% on the previous year.

Interesting Facts

  • Research conducted by the University of Edinburgh found that wind power displaced almost 36 million tonnes of harmful emissions between 2008 and 2014. This was the equivalent of removing 2.3 million cars from the UK’s roads
  • Windmills have been in use since 2000 B.C. and were first developed in Persia and China
  • The world’s largest onshore turbine produces enough electricity to power 5,000 homes
  • China is the top wind energy producer in the world, generating more than 168.7GW in 2016
  • Wind energy generates enough electricity to power the equivalent of 13,789,191 British homes every year


  • It is believed that onshore wind power will produce around 30TWh by 2020
  • Onshore wind is currently the cheapest form of renewable energy available in the UK at around 8p / kWh
  • Onshore turbines can be built very quickly, going from the installation phase to producing electricity to the grid in a matter of months
  • There are over 7,000 onshore wind turbines installed in the UK, with this number set to rise
  • If current growth momentum is sustained, wind power will produce enough electricity to meet one-third of global energy demands by 2050
  • Wind energy accounts for over 40% of new capacity in the US, representing an annual investment of $13billion
  • As the technology is improved turbines will become far more efficient, meaning the cost to produce the electricity will continue to fall


  • Wind turbines are not completely green as some emissions are produced in their manufacture and installation
  • People who live in close proximity to wind turbines regularly complain about the associated noise. The turbines can produce around 105 dB(A) at their base – about as loud as a garden lawnmower
  • Additionally, they are regularly criticised for being unsightly and ruining places of natural beauty. This can be amplified by the fact that they are often spread over larger areas
  • Wind turbines produce electricity intermittently, meaning they are not always producing power. However, as energy storage technology is improved, excess electricity can be stored during periods of low demand for later use

Get in touch

The team at AREG is committed to ensuring that businesses in Aberdeen City and Shire capitalise on opportunities in renewable energy and that our members achieve success in this rapidly growing market. Please contact us with your news, views, concerns and successes so that we are well placed to deliver on your behalf.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise