The energy sector has diversified opinions with some not agreeing to the UK government’s decision to end support for wind farms. ScottishPower, one of the Big Six energy suppliers suggested that it would be difficult to meet up with the UK’s climate targets if the current government does not reverse its stand taken to stop subsidies for renewable energy resources.
Keith Anderson, a representative of Scottish Power stated that the government’s new subsidy regime should include onshore wind power as it is the best step towards cutting down energy bills as well as carbon footprint. He vehemently disagrees to the government’s verdict to end existing subsidies for fresh onshore wind farms from April 2017. His indirect message reveals the lack of clarity in the energy sector.
Anderson expressed his disagreement with the government’s approach by saying “Our view would be if you want to hit your climate change targets you need onshore wind, otherwise you’re going to struggle to hit them and it’ll cost you significantly more money.” He suggested that the energy ministers should choose the method of “contracts for difference” in order to open up wind farms in Scotland.
According to him, this would be a substantial step by the Conservatives to make things work amidst the local opposition in England and will keep all sides happy. By offering contracts for difference, the operators will benefit by the guaranteed top-up given beyond the whole sale prices of energy. Therefore, this method would be beneficial for the energy sector as well as it would create a win-win situation for everyone.
The Committee of Climate Change gave its reason behind closing subsidy for wind farms, noting “it would necessitate deployment of more costly technologies and increase the cost of decarbonising the power sector.” However, analysts at Bloomberg stated that wind power is one of the cheapest energy sources and so Anderson points out that more onshore wind farms would actually cut down the UK energy bills.
He also stressed upon the fact that currently the company is using turbines to generate wind power and if the government does not support the suppliers by offering subsidies then they will move to better wind sources. His statement was “If you lower the level of support what you do is drive people looking for the windiest and most productive sites – you will tend to find that north of the border. Developers like us are naturally shifting and focusing on Scotland,” he said.
ScottishPower is now expanding its exiting wind farms by installing turbines and claims that this would add 474MW of power which would be enough for giving 100% renewable energy to 287,000 homes. The company has a record of building 1,600MW of onshore wind in the last twenty years. The government responded with a statement given by its spokesperson which was “We are fully committed to providing secure, affordable and clean energy for the UK’s homes and businesses.”
To sum up, according to energy suppliers, there is still a foggy situation as far as the energy sector is concerned. The government’s moves and decisions are not welcomed by the energy suppliers and this may result in increase of energy bills. British people need to be aware of this and support initiatives for renewable sources of energy so as to reduce the carbon print as well as their giant energy bills.
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