Welsh Government calls for more renewable energy support

The Welsh Government has called on Whitehall to do more to support onshore wind and solar energy.

It is one of a number of signatories to a public statement issued today, which urges the UK government to enable onshore wind and solar technologies to compete in Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction rounds.

Both onshore wind and solar are currently excluded from bidding in CfD auctions.

Other signatories include the Welsh Local Government Association and Community Energy Wales.

It calls on Whitehall to recognise the ‘additional social and economic value provided from distributed generation’ within the CfD auction system.

‘We call on the UK government to enable onshore wind and solar technologies to compete in the Contract for Difference mechanism to reduce overall costs and enable the continued renewable deployment needs to meet the UK’s legally binding decarbonisation goals,’ the statement adds.

In October, energy minister Richard Harrington confirmed there will be another CfD round for renewable energy, with up to £557m available.

The Welsh cabinet secretary for energy, Lesley Griffiths, said onshore wind and solar ‘present the best opportunities to manage the costs of generation to energy bills’.

‘The UK has invested over £9bn in developing the renewables sector and costs have successfully been driven down,’ said Ms Griffiths.

‘However, the rapid changes in UK government policy have decimated large parts of the renewable sector, with potentially valuable developments to Wales stopped in their tracks by UK ministers,’ she added.

‘In 2015 alone, four new wind developments in mid-Wales with an installed capacity of over 300MW were refused by UK government.

‘The bulk of UK government renewables investment is now going to offshore projects outside of Wales,’ said Ms Griffiths. ‘This investment is paid for by Welsh bill payers, amongst others.

‘The statement of support we, along with key Welsh organisations, have published today, calls for change. That is why we are urging the UK government to do more to support onshore wind and solar development.

‘A policy framework which enables the most affordable projects to continue to form the bulk of energy supply is fundamentally important to delivering our decarbonisation and prosperity goals.’

Photo by Gareth Lovering Photography 4,000,423


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