Onshore Wind and Solar PV Funding is Cut
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
The Treasury has made known in its National Infrastructure Plan of 2013 that it will be reducing its financial support for solar PV as well as onshore wind projects. The government has, however increased its funding incentive for offshore wind developments. Government has said that the financial support offered to onshore wind has been dropped by £5 per MWh to become effective from 2015. Comparatively this will mean that in now from 2015/16 it will pay £95 per MWh, and in 2017/18 it will drop again to £90 per MWh.
Offshore wind projects will benefit from 2018/19 financial year by an increase of £5 per MWh rising to £140 for a megawatt hour. Commenting on this, deputy chief executive of RenewableUK Maf Smith has welcomed the increase to be given to offshore wind projects. He said that it was pleasing that government has seen fit to support offshore wind at a time when it is so important to attract big turbine manufacturers to the UK. He said that this move would create jobs and bring new industries to Britain.
Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander has said that at least 10GWh of offshore wind capacity needs to be up and running by 2020 which would be three times the present capacity and he said that he feels sure that this is an attainable goal. He did say that he was somewhat disappointed at the reduction of onshore wind and solar PV support, but that government had given assurances that any drop would be based solely on economics.
Danny Alexander says that onshore wind is not only cost effective, but a totally renewable form of energy and that he would like to see government working with the industry to bring down energy costs. He fears that some of the smaller scale of onshore wind farms run in small communities may be lost due to the drop in financial backing. He has said that he hopes the move was not politically motivated because that could cause uncertainty in the investment industry and that it has been shown that the British voting public are in favour of both offshore and onshore wind projects, and appealed for the government to maintain consistency in this regard.
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