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Britain Announces More Renewable Subsidy Cuts

Pilita Clark, Financial Times

Solar panel projects and wood chip electricity generators have been targeted in the government’s latest moves to rein in support for renewable energy.

Solar Subsidies Next To Feel Government Heat

Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, has announced she will consult on plans to end subsidies for some new solar farms early and cut back support for certain biomass generators immediately.

“My priorities are clear. We need to keep bills as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses while reducing our emissions in the most cost-effective way,” she said.

“Our support has driven down the cost of renewable energy significantly. As costs continue to fall it becomes easier for parts of the renewables industry to survive without subsidies.”

This is the latest in a series of measures ministers have announced since the May election to cut the cost of subsidising renewable energy generators.

In line with plans announced in the Conservatives’ election manifesto, Ms Rudd first scrapped subsidies for onshore wind farms, which are opposed by many Tory MPs, a year earlier than planned.

The chancellor, George Osborne, then ditched a climate change tax exemption in the Summer Budget that hit shares in Drax, the power station switching from burning coal to wood pellets.

The government had already cut back support for large scale solar projects and will now look at extending reductions to smaller solar plants of up to 5 megawatts in generation capacity.

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