A leading renewable energy company has today called on Energy Secretary Amber Rudd to ‘show her true colours' by demonstrating some green credentials.
Amber Rudd stated yesterday to the Climate Change Select Committee that an announcement on Feed-In Tariffs for onshore wind would come ‘shortly'. The industry fear this will be a further reduction or complete withdrawal. These concerns have been compounded today with the announcement that FiT support for small-scale solar will end earlier than expected, in April next year.
UrbanWind has now called on the Energy Secretary to demonstrate support for the sector and recognise the critical role it has to play in meeting the UK's carbon reduction targets and keeping the lights on.
The news comes less than a week after it was revealed that the UK's winter capacity margin is likely to drop to just 1.2%, the lowest for a decade. As a result, mothballed power plants will be paid to remain on standby, at significant cost.
Paul McCullagh, CEO of UrbanWind, said: "This continued withdrawal of support for renewable technologies is a complete backwards step in our transition towards a low carbon economy.
"Amber Rudd has previously stated her commitment to securing a binding decarbonisation agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Paris later this year. However, she has since then continued to withdraw support for onshore wind and solar, undermining an industry that is both one of our cleanest and readily-deployable options and one that enjoys widespread public support. I would like to see her show her colours by truly demonstrating her green credentials.
"While it is true that onshore wind is capable of reaching grid parity with other sources of renewables by 2020, and is even likely to be a cheaper method of generation than competitors by that point, we will not reach that watershed if the rug continues to be pulled out from under our feet.
"The onshore wind industry needs support from the Government to ensure that this crucial technology is able to complete its transition into a leading source of energy in the UK. Onshore wind has already clearly demonstrated the impact it is capable of having, particularly in Scotland, but to continue to withdraw support prematurely puts all of that progress at risk.
"It is crucial the Government demonstrates a commitment to onshore wind and the role it can play in generating plentiful, low-cost and green energy. By providing support in the form of a renewed commitment to the Feed-In Tariff and supporting wind projects in the planning process, they can ensure that onshore wind plays a key role in attaining our carbon reduction commitments and keeping the lights on."