Energy Minister says wind and solar price support auctions ‘to return’

UK hints at onshore reprieve image

UK Energy Minister Claire Perry has given the clearest indication yet that onshore wind and solar will feature in future price support auctions for renewables.

Speaking to Parliamentary magazine The House in a wide-ranging interview, Perry said the UK government “will have another auction that brings forward [onshore] wind and solar, we just haven’t yet said when.”

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The minister gave no indication on timelines for any Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction including so-called Pot 1 renewables.

BEIS barred established technologies from competing in last year’s CfD2 auction after the Conservatives pledged to end subsidy for onshore wind in its 2015 general election manifesto.

The Tories’ 2017 election manifesto opened the door to a reprieve in Scotland and Wales, however, after the party stated “we do not believe more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England.”

Energy department BEIS is “looking carefully” at onshore wind expansion in Scotland and Wales, Perry explained to The House, which is often described as Parliament’s in-house journal.

Westminster said last year it is exploring a price mechanism that would allow new onshore wind projects to be built in a cost-neutral environment in Scotland and Wales.

Perry told Parliament last November that energy department BEIS is “actively working” on ways to facilitate projects outside of England.

The minister stated in a written Parliamentary answer earlier this month, however, that “no decisions have been taken on future Contract for Difference allocation rounds for established technologies”.

Image: BEIS (Steph Gray)