Ewing says Scotland does not have funds to take over onshore wind RO - report
Wind farm in Scotland. Author: Neil Williamson. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.
Scotland's energy minister Fergus Ewing has dismissed a call on the Scottish government to continue the Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy scheme for onshore wind, saying there is no money for that, HeraldScotland.com reported on Thursday.
The Scottish government does not have the budget to fund reserved matters that the UK government is responsible for, the minister has said during a Scottish parliament debate on renewable energy. Ewing again criticised the UK government's move to close the RO to onshore wind a year earlier than planned, calling it an assault on renewables.
Labour MSPs urged the Scottish government to take over the scheme. The energy minister was asked by Ken Macintosh whether the government has considered using its power to issue its own Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs), paid for in Scotland rather than by the UK consumer, over the transition period, until the scheme is closed.
The premature end of the subsidy was defended by Murdo Fraser, a Conservative MSP, who said that costs had become too high, covered by bill increases.
Scotland is particularly affected by the subsidy cut as it is home to about 70% of onshore wind projects in the UK planning system.