Written by David McPhee
There was a dearth in onshore wind installations in the UK in 2018,
according to new figures released by a renewable energy trade body.
RenewableUK confirmed last night that wind farm projects saw a significant
drop off last year.
The renewable energy trade association said there was an almost 80% fall in
onshore wind installations, the lowest level since 2011.
Last year 598 megawatts (MW) of new onshore wind was installed, made up of
263 turbines at 54 sites, down from a record 2,666MW installed in 2017.
RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said: “Onshore wind is now
the cheapest source of new power for UK billpayers, and it is supported by
more than three-quarters of the British public.
“We have ready-to-go onshore wind that can help close the gap between the
low carbon power we need and the amount Government policy is actually
delivering, and this week’s announcement on nuclear power has made this
mammoth task even harder.”
“The Secretary of State has rightly recognised that renewables can now be
delivered with little or no subsidies, and that they have earned their
place at the heart of a modern energy system.”
But the renewable energy trade organisation placed the blame for the dearth
in new contracts in 2018 firmly at the feet of the UK government.
Ms Pinchbeck said: “Government has stacked the odds against onshore wind
being built at the scale needed to meet our carbon budgets and excluded
these projects from competing for government-backed power contracts.”
“The downturn in new capacity in 2018 is largely the result of changes in
Government policy to block onshore wind from schemes that support renewable
energy deployment. In 2015, the Government announced it would close the
Renewables Obligation scheme to new onshore wind and the scheme officially
closed in 2017, contributing to record deployment that year.”