London Ending Subsidies for Onshore Wind

London Ending Subsidies for Onshore WindLondon Ending Subsidies for Onshore Wind

Scotland said an end to subsidies for onshore wind farms will tack on extra costs, though the British government said it's the best deal for consumers.

London announced plans to end public subsidies for new onshore wind farms starting in April 2016. Last year, the $1.2 billion in government support helped onshore wind power generate 5 percent of total British electricity and bring the region closer to its climate change goals, the British government said, reported.

"We are driving forward our commitment to end new onshore wind subsidies and give local communities the final say over any new wind farms," Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said in a statement. "Onshore wind is an important part of our energy mix and we now have enough subsidized projects in the pipeline to meet our renewable energy commitments."

The British Department of Energy and Climate Change in March said electricity produced from wind and hydro sources rose by 17.9 percent during the three months ending in January, a record. Rudd said up to 5.2 gigawatts of onshore wind capacity could be eligible for subsidies under a grace period.

The Scottish government countered that London's proposal was stacked against it as nearly 70 percent of the installed onshore wind power is in Scottish territory. Scotland has one of the more ambitious low-carbon agendas in the world and Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the end to subsidies would shift the burden to consumers.

"Moreover, the decision will prevent onshore schemes proceeding whilst offshore wind will go ahead despite receiving far more generous subsidies," he said. "This, the industry claim, will lead to extra costs for consumers of possibly around $3 billion - $5 billion, and must be irrational in that respect." Scotland's failed 2014 bid for independence from the United Kingdom hinged on powering the nation with renewables while deriving funding from revenue generated from offshore oil and natural gas.