The government is set to announce a cut in subsidy for large scale onshore wind and solar in order to increase support for offshore developments, the BBC understands.
Ministers will reportedly unveil the shift in strategy in a formal written statement later today confirming the ‘strike prices’ the government will pay electricity generators for the energy produced from different sources from 2015.
Chief treasury secretary Danny Alexander says that overall spending will not decrease, however the feeling among coalition MPs is that onshore wind and solar has already received adequate financial support. As offshore wind is seen as the key to the UK meeting its legally-binding 30 percent renewable electricity target by the end of the decade, more subsidy is needed to encourage long term investment.
Today’s funding announcement will not affect support for microgeneration or domestic installations.
UPDATE: Financial support for onshore wind has been reduced by £5/MWh from 2015 and each subsequent year compared to the draft strike prices. The reduction in financial support for offshore wind is less steep than the draft strike prices which were published in the summer – for the financial year 2018/19, the level of support has been increased by £5 per megawatt hour, from £135/MWh to £140/MWh.