Renewables sector “paused” by subsidy cuts plan

Firms are confused after UK ministers said that the renewable obligations scheme for onshore wind will close from April 2016. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Firms are confused after UK ministers said that the renewable obligations scheme for onshore wind will close from April 2016. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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THE renewables sector has been forced to “pause” in the wake of a string of UK government subsidy cuts, according to a consultancy that has worked on a raft of projects in Scotland.

Suffolk-based Engena had hoped to open an Edinburgh
office to support activities north of the Border, but co-founder John Fairlie said those plans are on ice after UK ministers said the renewable obligations scheme for onshore wind will close from April 2016.

Fairlie said: “We had premises and staff identified, but we’ve been forced to reconsider everything. It’s extremely unclear what the UK government’s position is on other structures used to pay for electricity from onshore wind. We have to sit back and wait until we hear more, which is deeply frustrating. From our perspective the whole industry is on pause.”

Piers Guy, UK country manager for Swedish power firm Vattenfall, said: “UK government policy changes are threatening the ability to deliver low-carbon, affordable and rel­iable electricity to the British consumer, which suggests they are not really listening.”