Protecting investments and making the case for a balanced energy mix

Changes to onshore wind subsidies and uncertainty about future support threatened the sector’s survival. We secured fair grace periods within the Energy Bill and made the case for a new approach to supporting renewables.

Context 

The future of onshore wind investments in the UK hung in the balance after the Government’s decision to close the Renewables Obligation early. Grace periods envisaged by ministers proved unusable for many projects.  Alongside this, the access of onshore wind to the Contracts for Difference regime was in doubt. 

Strategy 

We calculated the scale of generating capacity and investment at risk before  presenting ministers with evidence  that the proposed grace periods were unworkable. Wider parliamentary support was mobilised for onshore wind projects with local consent.  With ministerial support for remedying the problem, we developed viable grace periods.

Change 

The Government conceded an amendment to include an “Investment Freezing Condition” in the Energy Act 2015. There is a growing parliamentary support for a new market-based approach for renewable energy projects with local consent to minimise the bill payer burden of new-build energy.

Facts 
  • Additional grace period for debt finance projects safeguarded hundreds of millions of pounds of investment and scores of jobs.
  • Positive parliamentary support for a market-based and tech-neutral approach for renewables so that projects with local consent are not blocked.