“Up to 5.2GW of onshore wind capacity could be eligible for grace periods which the Government is minded to offer to projects that already have planning consent, a grid connection offer and acceptance, as well as evidence of land rights.”
Well Amanda Rudd has announce the closure of Onshore wind subsidy by the end of March 2016. That the Scottish Government has screamed foul is expected but Richard Lochead’s attack based on the loss to on farm turbines may be misplaced as no reference to FIT payments is stated in the paper. This will be addressed later in the year with support to local community and island schemes under consideration. Contracts for FITs are very different and long term. They do need serious pruning though!
“DECC will look at options to continue support for community energy projects, as part of the Feed-in Tariff Review later this year.”
The Government paper only refers to Renewable Obligations which is large wind farms. If the SG took it’s head out of the sand and read the paper in detail they would not make such a fool of themselves.
Fact remains though that the devil is in the detail and until this is fully understood, especially relating to that in planning, we should be careful less we crow too much. Rudd praises wind and says it has reached the 2% target(DECC paper suggests 5%). That, to me, is equivalent of saying a bag of crisps a week will keep body and soul together and is necessary to keep us alive? Truth is that during days of high pressure weather 1% is the most that can be expected.
Effectively the detail requires planning consent, a grid connection offer and acceptance, and land rights to allow acceptance in that grace period. Grid Connection is one aspect that has held up the construction of many approved wind farms and grid connections tends only to be applied for after planning approval. You might remember the challenge on Viking was based on a lack of grid connection.
Scottish Government are threatening Judicial Revue but on what basis as Scotland’s 100% target has been met. Sounds more like the Scottish Ministers throwing their rattles out of the pram. ‘Ba Humbug, Westminster aren’t playing by our rules’. No, but they are playing by the rules of democracy and following the remit the UK voter defined!
One caveat in this is the support for Offshore wind which is suggested will considerably increase the capacity of wind by 2020 to 10% of our energy requirements. CfD may limit the costs but at the moment with ROCs for offshore double that of onshore wind is still an increasingly expensive energy source. By 2020 it may be that new gas generation will make them redundant with new nuclear in the pipeline and well advance and geothermal also operational. Rudd has featured on the intermittency and unreliability of wind and solar but that doesn’t quite gel with offshore as reliant on when and if the wind blows as onshore. Sometimes I see non-sequitors in the arguments that leave me speechless!