Subsidy ban removal on onshore wind could accelerate UK’s progress in achieving net-zero carbon emissions

The UK’s move towards lifting the subsidy ban for onshore wind farms will provide new impetus for the growth of the onshore wind market. Since the introduction of the ban in 2015, investments and the development of new farms have declined significantly. In view of the UK’s decarbonisation goal, the commercial deployment of a range of renewable technologies is integral for the judicious exploitation of the available resources to great economic and environmental benefit, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The UK Government’s announcement will enable onshore wind to participate in Contract for Difference (CfD) auctions alongside other technologies such as solar power (which was also side-lined), nuclear power and offshore wind.

Bhavana Sri Pullagura, Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The next CfD auction is scheduled to be held in 2021, and allowing onshore wind to compete for long-term contracts will only improve the viability of upcoming projects and renew investor confidence. Since early last decade, several iterations of subsidy revisions have hindered the market, leading to a decline in annual capacity commissioned from 1,791MW in 2017 to 714MW in 2019, according to GlobalData.

“By removing supportive market structures for onshore wind, the UK risked preventing significant proliferation of the technology; compromising its push to reduce carbon emissions.”

Pullagura continued: “The change in the government’s stance will help build a diverse generation mix with greater financial certainty and maximizing the use of every available technology to speed up the UK’s transition to a net-zero economy.”

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