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UK House Of Lords Rejects Discontinuing Onshore Wind Subsidies

After many months of bad news for the country’s renewable energy industry, the UK House of Lords delivered some unexpected good news.

In deliberations on Wednesday, the UK Government’s House of Lords voted to remove a section of the country’s Energy Bill that would end subsidies for onshore wind from 31 March, 2016. This had been an integral part of the newly re-elected Conservative Government’s plans to reshuffle the UK renewable energy industry in a so-called attempt to “keep bills as low as possible for working families and businesses” by ending Government subsidies for onshore wind.

Specifically, Baroness Worthington, the Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister, moved for the offending clause in the Energy Bill to be removed, which was approved with a vote of 242 to 190.

In her speech introducing the proposed amendment to delete clause 66, Baroness Worthington explained how the Government’s interpretation of events has sorely affected the industry as a whole.

The Government say that they need to draw the line somewhere. Actually, that line was drawn. It has now been moved and the process by which it was moved did not pay enough tribute to or treat with enough respect the investors in British industry whose confidence this is now undermining.

The forced about-face comes as no real surprise in the lead-up to the UN climate negotiations set to be held in Paris towards the end of this year, and following a number of reports and experts condemning the UK’s current renewable energy policy. The UK was once a leading voice for the climate and renewable energy in the UK, and no doubt a desire to return to such prominence is behind some of this week’s votes.

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