A WIND farm that has enraged billionaire businessman Donald Trump could help cut the cost of renewable energy production by £45 billion, according to its developer.

Swedish power firm Vattenfall told Holyrood's Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee sites such as its European offshore wind deployment centre are required to meet the UK's renewable energy targets.

Jason Ormiston, the firm's head of public and regulatory affairs, told the committee yesterday that wind farms could see gross value added to the UK economy of £7bn and a cumulative cost-reduction impact of £45bn for the whole offshore wind sector in UK waters by 2050.

He was backed by Welsh developer West Coast Energy, which said research and development is vital to convince sceptical investors such as Citigroup's Peter Atherton that the technology works.

Steve Salt, West Coast Energy planning and development director, said: "Industry and companies like ours need access to world-class test facilities to test technologies to demonstrate that they work and drive down the cost.

"In so doing, you give investors like Citigroup and others confidence that these technologies will actually work."