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Ending wind subsidies will cut other renewables’ costs, Government says

The government has said the decision to end subsidies to onshore wind farms earlier than planned will pull down the cost of other technologies such as windmills at sea, Bloomberg has reported.

Scrapping premium payments to the cheapest clean power means more money can go to costlier, less mature renewables, energy secretary Amber Rudd said on Monday, 22 June in Parliament.

“Without action we could end up with more onshore wind projects than we can afford, and that could lead either to higher bills for consumers or other technologies that aren’t as mature missing out on support,” Ms Rudd said. “Bills won’t rise.”

The government last week proposed to cut-off new onshore wind projects from a subsidy program a year early, meeting an election pledge by the ruling Conservatives to end assistance for the technology.

The move has received criticism from the clean energy industry because it would halt assistance to the cheapest form of large-scale renewable power.

Britain wants to get 30% of its electricity from renewables by 2020 and is on course to achieve this, Ms Rudd said.

Onshore wind farms have received as much as £800m of subsidies and there are about 490 projects operating across the country, she added.

“Government support is designed to help technologies to stand on their own two feet and not to become reliant on subsidies,” Ms Rudd concluded.

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