Scotland's Ewing seeks clarity on onshore wind subsidy changes
Wind farm in Scotland. Author: Neil Williamson. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.
Scotland’s Energy Minister has not received any information on the scenarios being considered by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) for changes to the UK onshore wind subsidy regime.
Fergus Ewing said in a letter to the new UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd on Wednesday that it was “disappointing that I have not had the opportunity to engage with you on this ahead of it being a matter for speculation in the press”. In May it was announced that the new UK government is planning to end subsidies for onshore wind. The DECC "will be announcing measures to deliver this soon" according to the Queen's Speech last week.
Ewing says it would be irrational to stop supporting onshore wind, the cheapest clean energy technology in the UK. He is also warning that any changes to earlier-agreed subsidies would lead to investment uncertainty.
“Any lack of clarity has the potential to stall a very substantial pipeline of investment in the UK and Scotland, and dent the UK and Scotland's reputation with developers and investors,” Ewing said in the letter. According to reports, the UK government may end the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme sooner than 2017.
A public attitudes tracking survey by the DECC in March 2015 showed that 65% of the UK public support onshore wind. Solar has the highest backing at 81%. In 2014 these two sources scored 85% and 70%, respectively.