Scotland urges UK to consult on onshore wind subsidies

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing is urging the UK Government to consult before making any decision on onshore wind farm subsidies. In a letter to Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, Mr Ewing said: “I welcome […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing is urging the UK Government to consult before making any decision on onshore wind farm subsidies.

In a letter to Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, Mr Ewing said: “I welcome the commitment in the Queen’s Speech that there will be consultation with the Devolved Administrations on changes to subsidies for onshore wind farms and I look forward to that consultation.

“However I am concerned about recent statements coming from your Department relating to proposed changes in support for renewable energy.”

It follows the UK Government’s plans to end subsidies for onshore wind projects.

Mr Ewing added the Scottish Government has not received any information from DECC on the possible options they are considering or what analysis has been done to assess the impact on projects in Scotland.

“Given the importance of the renewables sector to Scotland and prior commitments to consult, I would appreciate your reassurance that you will not make any changes to the subsidy arrangements for onshore wind without agreement from Scottish Ministers”, he stated.

He also said DECC should consult with the energy sector to help ensure the lights are on across the UK “at a time of increasingly tight margins between electricity demand and supply”.

Mr Ewing added: “I strongly urge that your Department engage with businesses involved in the sector and their trade bodies – both to give them reassurance that any changes to the subsidy regime are being taken forward in a considered and planned way but also to ensure that your Department retains good faith with these businesses and organisations who are integral to the future energy security of both the UK and Scotland.”

A DECC spokesperson said: “We’ve made it clear that we plan to consult the devolved administrations as we implement the manifesto commitment to end new public subsidy for onshore wind projects.”