An energy bill confirming the government’s plan to end subsidies for onshore wind was one of the bills announced in today’s Queen Speech – the first all-Conservative one since 1996.
The Queen made few mentions to energy and the environment but stated that government ministers would seek to increase energy security, and combat climate change on a global scale at a conference in Paris later this year.
On renewable energy, the new energy bill contains clauses to end new subsidy for wind farms, and transfer planning consent to local authorities for wind developments under 50kW. Larger developments will no longer be decided at ministerial level.
The news that the government will press ahead with subsidy cuts has drawn the ire of the industry.
Ian Marchant, chairman of Infinis Energy, said on behalf of the British Wind Partnership: “The proposed approach contradicts the government’s manifesto commitment to meet climate change commitments, and cut carbon emissions as cheaply as possible. The cost of substituting more expensive alternative technologies in place of onshore wind would needlessly add several hundred million pounds a year to energy bills.”