Published on March 19th, 2018 | by Joshua S Hill0
Liquidation Of Gaia-Wind Stems From Government Inaction On Small-Scale Renewables
March 19th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill
One of the UK’s best-known and most iconic small-scale wind companies, Gaia-Wind, has been forced into provisional liquidation and the company and outside observers are highlighting government inaction on the future of small-scale renewables as the leading cause.
Gaia-Wind was originally a Danish company established in 1993, but moved to Glasgow, Scotland, and it sells its 133-11kW turbine around the world, including the UK, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, and the US. Since the company opened its Glasgow factory in 2011, it has manufactured nearly 2,000 small wind turbines and exported them all the way to Tonga.
However, for over a year, the UK wind industry has been warning the Government that it must move forward with a promised consultation on the future of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) which supports the small-scale renewable energy industry. New applications for the FiT close in March of 2019, but there has been no clarity given by the Government on its future small-scale renewable policy, which is dramatically harming small-scale wind and solar companies and their investors.
And if unending warnings from various renewable energy trade groups were not enough, last week’s announcement that Gaia-Wind has been forced into provisional liquidation puts proof to the warnings.
Michael Reid, Meston Reid & Co, Aberdeen, were appointed as provisional liquidators by the Court of Session in Edinburgh on 13 March 2018, but there are still hopes that a buyer can be found for a part or all of the business.
The UK renewable energy sector has been urging the Government to make clear its small-scale renewable energy policy and to create a support mechanism which will allow small-scale renewables to make the transition to a subsidy-free technology. Nothing has come of it, however, and companies and investors are being left out in the cold.
A group of ten member organizations, including Scottish Renewables and RenewableUK, sent a joint letter to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in early February, demanding action on the FiT delay.
“To date, the Feed-in Tariff has supported much of the UK’s small-scale low-carbon generation,” the letter reads. “It is this portfolio of energy assets that is not just helping to meet the UK’s energy needs and carbon targets, but is contributing to Government’s policy ambition through creating a more dynamic, smart and flexible low-carbon energy system.
“Investor confidence in the sector is waning, with developers increasingly looking to invest elsewhere. UK communities and business, as well as industry, risk missing the opportunities that come with developing a vibrant small-scale energy sector.”
In response to the announcement last week that Gaia-Wind had been forced into liquidation, many of the same groups expressed their outrage and disappointment in equal parts.
“Inaction by Government has real consequences for small businesses and the communities they work with,” said RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck. “We have warned officials time and again that a failure to treat this issue as urgent puts jobs at risk. These are local jobs created by British entrepreneurs. We need clarity on the future of small-scale renewables as soon as possible for the sake of other flagship firms and innovative community energy projects nationwide.”