Rudd slashes onshore wind support

18th June 2015


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Politics & Economics

Author

IEMA

The renewables obligation will be closed to new onshore wind farms from 1 April 2016, a year earlier than previously planned, the government announced today.

Up to 5.2GW of projects that already have planning consent, agreement to connect to the grid and evidence of land rights could be eligible for a grace period, according to a statement from the energy and climate department (Decc).

Energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd said that the government wants to help technologies stand on their own two feet, not encourage a reliance on public subsidies.

"So we are driving forward our commitment to end new onshore wind subsidies and give local communities the final say over any new windfarms. Onshore wind is an important part of our energy mix and we now have enough subsidised projects in the pipeline to meet our renewable energy commitments."

But the UK is one of only three European member states that is falling short on its renewables target, according to a progress report from the European commission on Tuesday.

Decc says it will look at continuing support for community energy projects as part of its review of feed-in tariffs.

The government has already announced plans to remove onshore wind from the nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIP) regime. However, this will not have a significant impact since there are so few planned onshore wind farms in England over 50MW.

The Scottish government has been lobbying against cuts to onshore wind subsidies, arguing that they would have a disproportionate impact on Scotland, where around 70% of onshore wind projects in the UK planning system are located.

Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing said the decision to scrap the RO a year early was "deeply regrettable," and may lead to judicial review.

"It is not the scrapping of a new subsidy that was promised but a reduction of an existing regime - and one under which companies and communities have already planned investment.

"Onshore wind is already the lowest cost of all low carbon options, as well the vital contribution it makes towards tackling climate change, which means it should be the last one to be scrapped, curtailed or restricted," he said.

Ewing said the scrapping of the subsidy is irrational since offshore wind would continue to receive support even though it was far more expensive.

"Therefore we have warned the UK government that the decision, which appears irrational, may well be the subject of a judicial review," he said.

Maria McCaffery, chief executive at the trade body, RenewableUK, said the decision sends a "chilling signal" not just to the renewables industry, but to all investors in infrastructure.

"It means this government is quite prepared to pull the rug from under the feet of investors even when this country desperately needs to clean up the way we generate electricity at the lowest possible cost - which is onshore wind," she said.

Fuel bills will increase as a direct result of the decision, she said. If the government was really serious about bringing costs down, it should work with industry to do so, not slam the door on the lowest cost option, she added.

She called for Rudd to hold immediate talks with the wind industry to manage the impact of the cuts.

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

EU and UK citizens fear net-zero delivery deficit

Support for net zero remains high across the UK and the EU, but the majority of citizens don't believe that major emitters and governments will reach their climate targets in time.

16th May 2024

Read more

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

Taxing the extraction of fossil fuels in the world’s most advanced economies could raise $720bn (£575bn) by 2030 to support vulnerable countries facing climate damages, analysis has found.

2nd May 2024

Read more

The largest-ever research initiative of its kind has been launched this week to establish a benchmark for the private sector’s contribution to the UK’s 2050 net-zero target.

2nd May 2024

Read more

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close