Welsh Renewable Energy Projects Stall as a Result of Policy Changes

01 Dec 12:00 by Steve Walia


Ten green energy and rural bodies have issued a statement to the government backing the request for more renewables support from the Welsh government. Lesley Griffiths said that most of Britain's investment in clean energy was now being directed to projects located away from Wales.

In response, the UK government says that it has invested over £52 billion in clean energy in the past seven years. Green energy schemes of 350MW and below have their consent powers devolved to Cardiff Bay. However, subsidies to assist new schemes are still controlled in Westminster.

Changes to available financial support for green energy developers were made two years ago after the costs of green energies fell. Now solar and onshore wind developers are prevented from competing in national subsidy auctions, or Contracts for Difference.

Westminster said that it wanted to demonstrate that established green energy technologies could operate on a commercial basis. Subsidies are paid by consumers through a levy placed on energy bills.

However, the Welsh government says that the speed of the changes has decimated the country's renewables sector, with solar and onshore wind having provided key opportunities to Wales. In 2015, applications for four new wind farms with over 300MW of installed capacity were refused by Westminster for development in mid-Wales. 

There has been a 300pc rise in the amount of energy being produced from renewables since 2010. In 2015, clean energy produced a third of the country's total energy needs. The Welsh government wants to see this proportion increase to 70pc by 2030.

A spokesperson from the DEIS said that the government's new clean growth strategy would allow the UK to remain a world leader in transitioning towards a sustainable low-carbon economy.