Onshore wind farms are feeling a new chill blowing in from the Government.
As from 1 April, 2016, a year earlier than expected, onshore wind farms will be excluded from a subsidiary scheme which comes under the Renewables Obligation. This is funded by levies added to household fuel bills and is operated by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
The Conservative Government flagged the change in their party manifesto before the recent election.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said: “Onshore wind is an important part of our energy mix and we now have enough subsidised projects in the pipeline to meet our renewable energy commitments.”
The decision has disappointed a number of organisations, including Abundance, the UK’s biggest ethical investment platform which has around £10m invested by the British public into renewable energy projects.
Founder and joint managing director of Abundance Bruce Davis told IFA Magazine: “While this announcement will have no effect on our existing investments, it is sad to think that more rural communities will not be benefitting directly from schemes which provide a much needed income and boost for the local rural economy.
“Wind means cheaper renewable energy, skilled local jobs and significant incomes for rural communities, in particular farmers who are often able to stay working their land as a direct result of small scale wind developments.
“It seems that in order to appease a very specific and narrow group of voters, the government is taking away one of the few sources of inward investment into the rural economy. Communities which are benefiting already should count themselves lucky, it is a shame that more will now not benefit to the same extent.”