Energy secretary Amber Rudd said that 250 planned wind energy projects involving 2,500 turbines will miss the deadline for government subsidy and so will not be built.
Miss Rudd announced last week that new subsidies for onshore wind, specifically in relation to the renewables obligation RO), will be closed to new onshore wind from 1st April 2016 – a year earlier than planned. [See our previous report here.] This will leave onshore wind deployment under the RO in the region of 11.6 GW, she said, which is enough to meet government renewable energy targets.
Yesterday she told the House of Commons: “By closing the RO to onshore wind early, we are ensuring that we meet our renewable electricity objectives while managing the impact on consumer bills and ensuring that other renewables technologies continue to develop and reduce their costs.
“Consumer bills will not rise because of this change. Indeed, those onshore wind projects unlikely now to go ahead would have cost hundreds of millions of pounds. We estimate that around 7.1 GW of onshore wind capacity proposed across the UK will not be eligible for the grace period and are therefore unlikely to go ahead.
“That equates to around 250 projects totalling around 2500 turbines now unlikely to be built. Therefore, by closing the RO to onshore wind early, we are ensuring that we meet our renewable electricity objectives, while managing the impact on consumer bills and ensuring that other renewables technologies continue to develop and reduce their costs.”
Wind farm developer Renewable Energy Generation Ltd said that it expects its five new onshore wind projects, currently moving into construction, should comply with proposed grace periods under the proposed RO changes. The five projects, which total 38MW, are: French Farm (4MW), Rodbaston (4MW), Brackagh Quarry (6MW), Mynydd Portref (12MW) and Hallburn Farm (12MW).
CEO Andrew Whalley said, "The UK government remains committed to its international obligations to decarbonise power generation. Onshore wind remains the lowest cost, readily deployable renewable energy technology, embraced by over two thirds of the UK public. We continue to believe it should play an important role in decarbonising energy generation at the lowest cost to the consumer.”