A cut of more than 10 per cent to the subsidies given to onshore wind farms in the UK would have a “devastating” effect on both the wind market and the wider renewables industry, MPs were told today.
Bosses from three wind power company told the UK’s Energy and Climate Change Committee that a 10 per cent-plus cut would hugely damage investment in the UK market.
William Heller, director of the wind division of Italy’s Falck Renewables, said a deep cut would have “a large impact”.
“It would be devastating as to how people choose to invest in the renewables market. People will see greater risk and stop investing [in the UK]. They will invest elsewhere,” he said.
David Handley of UK renewables firm RES, said such a cut would “send a very damaging signal to investors”, while Sarah Merrick of Danish wind giant Vestas said it would send “a very worrying signal to the whole of the wind industry”.
It is accepted within government and industry that the wind market can withstand a subsidy cut, and the Department of Energy has suggested a reduction of 10 per cent.
However there are fears that the Treasury will force through a cut of up to 25 per cent.
Despite this, all three wind companies at this morning’s hearing into the state of the wind power market in the UK maintained that Britain offered almost unparalleled potential.
Merrick stated that the UK remained at the forefront of offshore wind development. When committee chairman Tim Yeo noted that it was hard to reconcile” her remarks with the decision by Vestas last month to scrap plans for a UK turbine factory, she replied that she “could not comment”.
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