NI confirms end to onshore wind subsidies

Subsidies for small-scale onshore wind projects in Northern Ireland are to end this week. Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said 93% of those who responded to the Renewables Obligation closure consultation […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Subsidies for small-scale onshore wind projects in Northern Ireland are to end this week.

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said 93% of those who responded to the Renewables Obligation closure consultation supported the recommendation to shut the scheme for new small-scale projects.

That means those with a capacity of less than 5MW will not receive any subsidies.

It follows closure of the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) to large-scale onshore wind projects in April this year.

Mr Hamilton said: “This consultation was set in the context of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s intention to take a ‘backstop power’ to protect GB consumers if Northern Ireland did not close the NIRO on equivalent terms to GB.

“Taking account of the likely impact of DECC’s ‘backstop’ power and the tenor of the majority of consultation responses, I intend to bring legislation to the Assembly to close the NIRO to new small-scale onshore wind and existing small scale generating stations adding additional capacity before the end of June if Assembly timelines permit.”

The UK Government scrapped support for onshore wind projects from April this year.