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Government should explain onshore wind subsidy alternative, committee says



The Committee on Climate Change has said that the government should explain what impact ending onshore wind subsidies early could have and how it plans to ensure climate change targets are met without it.

The government announced last month that new onshore wind farms would be excluded from a subsidy scheme a year earlier then expected. The Department of Energy and Climate Change argues that the high number of onshore win either deployed or in the pipeline means the sector no longer requires subsidies and the UK is “well on the way to meeting climate targets”.

The decision was met with criticism from the industry and environmental groups, with Friends of the Earth labelling the decision as “rash”. Ben Warren, energy corporate finance leader at EY, called on the government to clarify its strategy for the UK’s future energy mix in order to secure investment in secure, clean and affordable energy.

Speaking about the withdrawal of onshore wind from the subsidy scheme next year, Lord Deben, chair of the Committee on Climate Change, said, “This is a political step by the government, and it is perfectly reasonable for them to do – as long as they are prepared to allow people to know what the cost is going to be, and what they are going to do instead [to meet climate change targets].”

He continued that fossil fuels are subsidies are do not bear the cost to the community. Deben described subsidies for renewable energy as a way of “levelling the playing field”, noting that when the cost of carbon emissions are factored in clean energy is close to parity with fossil fuels. T

This week the Committee on Climate Change published a report urging early action from the government to keep the UK’s emissions reduction targets on track. It warned that without “urging action” the government is likely to face increasing costs and impacts.

Photo: Janie.hernandez55 via Flickr

Further reading:

Government plans to end onshore wind subsidies early

Offshore wind subsides will allow industry to compete, says Dong Energy

Public believes wind subsides are 14 time higher than they are

Conservatives pledge to end onshore wind subsidies

Wind power industry set to lose thousands of jobs


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