Industry leaders pass judgement on the government’s decision to close the Renewables Obligation to onshore wind 12 months ahead of planned.
Dane Wilkins, head of Renewable Energy Capital, JLL: “This action is actually more likely to increase consumer bills, as more expensive technologies will need to be used to meet these binding EU targets. The UK renewables market has always been seen as a safe haven because of the government’s historic approach to the grandfathering of projects where significant financial investment has been made, but this controversial move is likely to damage investor confidence irreparably.
“DECC’s announcement affects many of our clients and so we would encourage the government to consult with the industry before formalising this legislation, as well as provide immediate clarity over the proposed grace periods.”
BSRIA’s chief executive, Julia Evans: “Amber Rudd has said that there would be a shift in subsidies to other technologies but has yet to identify them. To provide the confidence required by investors and industry she really now needs to provide information of the technologies that will be supported by subsidies and provide a firm timeframe for the life of the subsidy.”
Paul McCullagh, CEO of UrbanWind: “Amber Rudd said when she entered office that carbon reduction was one of the most important things she will do as the energy minister, so enacting an early ban on the cheapest and most easily deployable method of generating clean energy now seems like a complete backwards step.”
Ian Marchant, chairman of Infinis Energy Plc said on behalf of the British Wind partnership: “Not only would this potentially cost bill payers hundreds of millions more every year as onshore wind is replaced with more expensive technologies, it could prevent us from meeting our energy and climate change targets which the government has consistently said it is committed to.
“Although the government is allowing some flexibility through ‘grace periods’ it still means that many much-needed projects will be lost unless the cut-off points for financial support are reviewed and extended.”
Katja Hall, CBI deputy director-general: “Cutting the Renewables Obligation scheme early sends a worrying signal about the stability of the UK’s energy policy framework. This is a blow, not just to the industry, and could damage our reputation as a good place to invest in energy infrastructure.