Government abandons opposition to subsidising onshore wind
Details of the next round of the Contracts for Difference scheme, which opens in 2021, have been set out this week. The government announced that the latest round will be open to renewable technologies including onshore wind and solar, with proposals to include floating offshore wind. The scheme will also be changed to facilitate the deployment of energy storage.
Local communities will have a more effective voice on developments that impact them, through proposals for tough new guidance on community engagement for developers of onshore wind across Great Britain, also announced this week. They will have a definitive say on whether projects are allowed to proceed. It will remain the case that no English onshore wind project can proceed without the consent of the local community.
The Committee on Climate Change have said that we need to quadruple renewable energy generation in the UK to reach net zero by 2050.
Secretary of State for Business and Energy Alok Sharma said:
“Ending our contribution to climate change means making the UK a world leader in renewable energy.
“We are determined to do that in a way that works for everyone, listening to local communities and giving them an effective voice in decisions that affect them.”
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said:
“The government is pressing ahead with action to meet our net zero emissions target quickly and at lowest cost to consumers and businesses. Backing cheap renewables is a clear example of the practical action to tackle climate change that the public is demanding, and this will speed up the transition to a net zero economy.”
The consultation outlines proposals to ensure the Contracts for Difference scheme can support the increased ambition required, including:
- making the UK a world-leader in new technologies such as floating offshore wind, which would allow wind farms to be built further away from the shore and increase clean energy capacity
- supporting our renewables supply chain to enhance productivity and increase competitiveness, boosting the UK’s world-class clean energy industry
- improving the scheme to better support energy storage, so projects can provide power when the wind stops blowing or the sun is not shining
The consultation is available here and closes on 22 May 2020.