Responding to news that the Government will increase support for offshore wind power while reducing support for onshore wind and large-scale solar energy our chief executive, Shaun Spiers, said:
‘In many parts of the country onshore wind is having a damaging impact on precious landscapes that is quite disproportionate to its benefits in terms of delivering clean energy, so we welcome today’s announcement.
'We support renewable energy to help avoid the damaging impacts of climate change, but the renewables mix has to be right to minimise local impacts. The change in subsidies announced today seems consistent with that, but we still need to see infrastructure sited in the right places to protect the countryside. And we must be sensitive to the impact of offshore wind farms on our precious seascapes.
‘It is also important to remember that the greenest energy solutions – and the ones that have least impact on the countryside – are those that prevent energy being used in the first place. So while the current focus on the cost of energy is understandable, we must continue to invest in energy efficiency measures such as insulation and smart metering. Unless Britain cuts down on the use of energy, there will continue to be hard choices about how we supply it.’
The figures released indicate that the price for offshore wind will be raised by £5 to £140 per megawatt hour (MWh) in 2018-19, while the guaranteed price for onshore wind from 2014 to 2017 will be reduced by £5 to £95 per MWh and will fall to £90 from 2017 to 2019.
Subsidies for large solar plants will also be cut by £5 to £120 per MWh for 2014-15 and 2015-16, and by £5 per MWh in each of the years to 2018-19.