The Welsh Government has called on Whitehall to do more to support onshore wind and solar energy. It is one of a number of signatories to a public statement issued today, which urges the UK government to enable onshore wind and solar technologies to compete in Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction rounds. Both onshore wind and solar are currently excluded from bidding in CfD auctions. Other signatories include the Welsh Local Government Association and Community Energy Wales.
The Welsh cabinet secretary for energy, Lesley Griffiths, said ‘onshore wind and solar present the best opportunities to manage the costs of generation to energy bills.
The UK has invested over £9bn in developing the renewables sector and costs have successfully been driven down. However, the rapid changes in UK government policy have decimated large parts of the renewable sector, with potentially valuable developments to Wales stopped in their tracks by UK ministers.’ In 2015 alone, four new wind developments in mid-Wales with an installed capacity of over 300MW were refused by UK government. ‘The bulk of UK government renewables investment is now going to offshore projects outside of Wales,’ said Ms Griffiths. ‘This investment is paid for by Welsh bill payers, amongst others. A policy framework which enables the most affordable projects to continue to form the bulk of energy supply is fundamentally important to delivering our decarbonisation and prosperity goals.’