The UK has the best and most reliable wind resource in Europe, according to latest analysis.

A report by Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute, carried out for the Department of Trade and Industry, finds that the recorded capacity factor for onshore wind energy in the UK is 27 per cent, greater than Germany (15 per cent) and Denmark (20 per cent). It finds that the availability of wind power in the UK is greater at precisely the times that we needed it - during peak daytime periods and during the winter, and that the resource is dependable.

"The only sensible debate about energy is one based on the facts," said energy minister Malcolm Wicks.

"This new research is a nail in the coffin of some of the exaggerated myths peddled by opponents of wind power."