Ministers to hold autumn talks over funding for onshore wind farms in the UK

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd will meet her Holyrood counterpart

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Ministers from Westminster and Holyrood will hold diplomatic talks this autumn to discuss future funding for UK onshore wind farm projects.

The new energy and climate change secretary, Amber Rudd, will meet her Holyrood counterpart, Fergus Ewing, to debate the Conservative government’s decision to end  subsidies for key onshore renewable energy  projects.

The end of state support for wind farms was one of the Conservatives’  promises in their recent election manifesto.

The Scottish Government claims the move will disproportionately affect businesses and allied jobs and want either an opt-out or special dispensation for projects north of the border.

 

The two ministers agreed to extend their discussions at the  Global Offshore Wind 2015 conference in London’s ExCel .

Onshore wind farms will be excluded from a new subsidy regime that begins  in April next year.

The aim, according to the Tory manifesto, is to give greater control to local communities over large-scale energy  projects.

However the Scottish Government believe investment cash already identified with new projects in Scotland could be at risk.

Mr Ewing is understood to have told Ms Rudd that  around 70% of onshore wind projects that may be directly affected by the UK government policy are located in Scotland.

A spokesman from the Department of Energy and Climate Change said Ms Rudd had already planned to visit Scotland later in the year.

David Cameron defended his decision to accelerate the end to subsidies a year ahead of schedule during Prime Minister's Questions.

The SNP’s  Trade and Investment spokeswoman, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh,  told the Prime Minister his government’s energy policy sent out a message to the world that Scotland was "closed for business" if investment in renewables was threatened. 

The PM  said it was a "privilege" to be able keep a Conservative election promise.

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