Scotland calls for consultation over windfarm subsidies

Climate secretary urged to consider impact on renewables sector and not make any changes without agreement from Scottish ministers

The Scottish energy minister has called for an “adult discussion” with the UK government over the future of windfarm subsidies, after writing to Amber Rudd to express his concern that Scotland is being shut out of discussions.

In his letter to the secretary of state for energy and climate change, Fergus Ewing wrote: “We have not received any information from your department on the possible options you are considering or what analysis has been done to assess the impact on projects in Scotland.

“Given the importance of the renewables sector to Scotland and prior commitments to consult, I would appreciate your reassurance that you will not make any changes to the subsidy arrangements for onshore wind without agreement from Scottish ministers.”

On Monday, the Guardian reported that the Department of Energy and Climate Change was planning to announce that the existing subsidy scheme for onshore wind power will be closed a year earlier than it was due to, as the renewable energy industry warned the move could face legal challenge.

Asked about the issue at Thursday’s first minister’s questions, Nicola Sturgeon told the Holyrood chamber that it was “very concerning that changes are coming out in a piecemeal way via the media rather than with proper consultation with this government”. She urged the UK government “not to turn its back on this key industry”.

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