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United Kingdom

'Couple of gigawatts' onshore possible before subsidy end

UK: The UK could see a "couple of gigawatts" of additional onshore capacity in the next 18 months before the Renewable Obligation subsidy is closed indefinitely, said Jonathan Cole of ScottishPower.

Chancellor Osborne: wind must learn to talk Conservative, leaders recommend. Pic: Gareth Milner
Chancellor Osborne: wind must learn to talk Conservative, leaders recommend. Pic: Gareth Milner

The industry should have been more prepared for the recent policy changes, added Cole, managing director of offshore wind for ScottishPower Renewables.

Cole was speaking at a business leaders panel debate at the RenewableUK annual conference in Liverpool today, 6 October.

He was joined on the panel by Julia Groves, CEO of crowdfunding organisation Trillion Fund and Mike Parker, head of onshore wind at RWE Innogy.

Groves called for the levy control framework – the government budget for low-carbon technology – to be scrapped, and made the case for local communities to be able to invest in nearby wind projects and feel the economic benefit from them.

Recent government policy changes are a "systematic dismantling of an industry [the UK government] does not believe in" she said.

Parker said that the industry needs to "connect [to the public] on an emotional level" and to "learn to talk the Conservative language" in order to make wind appeal to the new government.

"[The Conservatives] like competition, infrastructure and industry," he said, adding that if the wind industry can show the government it can demonstrate these traits it may change its way of thinking.

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