UK energy minister denies Treasury is being ‘malevolent’ over wind subsidy cuts

UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey today told MPs that “there is no-one is government arguing for cuts of more than 25 per cent” to subsidies for onshore wind farms.

He was responding to vigorous questioning from MPS on the Energy and Climate Change Committee over the subsidies, which have become the focus of a perceived spat between the Department of Energy and The Treasury.

DECC accepts that the onshore wind industry can withstand a cut and has recommended a 10 per cent drop, but the Treasury is said to favour a deeper reduction of 25 per cent.

However, Davey stressed that The Treasury has been “working very well” with DECC and said it was aware that onshore wind was “the most cost competitive source of renewable energy”.

Committee member Alan Whitehead suggested that the Treasury was “intervening in a malevolent way” and was “actively undermining” DECC, but Davey denied this and said the Treasury was dealing with the same evidence as DECC in arriving at a final decision on the cuts.

However, the minister could not give the committee a date for when the announcement of the cut would be made. He said he was disappointed that he had not yet been able to make the announcement, yet when pressed by the committee as to whether it would be “a week, a month, two months or a year”, he said he would not be “tied down – it will be as soon as possible”.

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