Potential onshore wind farms have suffered a surprise setback with the Government announcing an early end to their subsidies, putting projects worth over £6.4 billion in jeopardy.
Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd MP, recently announced that new onshore wind farms will be excluded from an existing funding scheme from 1st April 2016, which is a year earlier than expected. All projects that already had planning permission and other similar conditions could still get built under a proposed “grace period”.
According to the latest data from Barbour ABI, a chosen provider of construction data for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Government, there are 338 proposed wind farms that are yet to receive planning permission, putting them at risk of incompletion.
Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “There are 5,000 active wind turbines already in use across the UK, producing five per cent of the total amount of national electricity. The Government has a target of 30 percent of UK electricity coming from renewables by 2020, and must believe that other areas of renewable energy should be prioritised over onshore wind projects to receive future subsidies and investment before the 2020 target year.”
“In 2014, the Government paid out £800 million in subsidies for onshore wind farm projects and must believe the country now has enough turbines for the short and long term future.”