UK ban on wind energy subsidies could hurt the Scottish wind sectorJuly 26, 2016
Scottish officials seek to remove ban on wind subsidies
The United Kingdom is being urged to reconsider its ban on wind energy subsidies. This ban concerns onshore projects and severely limits the financial aid that energy developers can tap into when building new projects in the country. The ban on wind subsidies may be having a very detrimental impact on Scotland, in particular. The Scottish government suggests that the ban on wind energy subsidies will cost Scotland some $3.9 billion and make some environmental goals impossible to attain.
The wind industry has been growing in Scotland for many years
Wind energy has long received support from the UK government. Onshore projects, in particular, had been receiving strong financial support for years. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, wind power represents the least expensive form of energy production in the UK. In Scotland, wind is particularly attractive, as the breadth of Scottish coastlines are ideal locations for wind farm due to strong wind currents. In Scotland, the wind industry supports approximately 21,000 jobs and brings in more than $1.3 billion in annual investments.
Scotland hopes to see more clarity in plans to support wind energy in the future
Scottish officials are now urging the overall government to reconsider the ban on wind energy subsidies. At the very least, Scottish officials hope that the government will clarify what steps will be taken to support the wind sector in the future. Without a clear plan, the ban on wind subsidies could have a very prominent and harmful impact on the wind sector in Scotland. This impact could stagnate growth for some time and decrease investments as investors lose confidence in the financial stability of the wind sector.
Offshore wind projects will continue to receive financial aid
While the ban on wind subsidies has caused concern in Scotland, the ban only affects onshore projects. Offshore wind energy projects will retain a degree of financial aid. These projects have also established a strong foothold in Scotland, which has quickly become an attractive home for offshore wind farms. These energy systems have the potential to generate large quantities of energy, surpassing their onshore counterparts. This is because of their ability to take advantage of the strong wind currents that can be found at sea.