Government pushes ahead with ending onshore wind subsidies

Ministers have confirmed they are closing the Renewables Obligation for onshore wind across Great Britain from 1 April 2016.

In amendments to the Energy Bill, the Government has set out the grace period criteria.

Projects that are eligible for the grace period will need to demonstrate either that they had planning consent as at 18 June; that they have successfully appealed a planning refusal made on or before 18 June; or that they have successfully appealed after not receiving a planning decision due by 18 June.

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) around 2.9GW of onshore wind capacity will be eligible for the grace periods, meaning that bill payers will be protected.

In total, ministers claim the amount of onshore wind capacity that could be deployed by 2020 is still 12.3GW.

“We have a long-term plan to keep the lights on and our homes warm, power the economy with cleaner energy, and keep bills as low as possible for hard-working families and businesses,” said Energy Minister, Lord Bourne.

“To do this we will help technologies stand on their own two feet, not encourage a reliance on public subsidies. 

“By bringing forward these amendments we are protecting bill payers whilst meeting our renewable energy commitments,” added Lord Bourne.

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues