The government has decided to allow ‘Remote Island Wind’ (RIW) to compete for support under the Contracts for Difference scheme. The decision follows some years of pressure from the industry to look at support for onshore wind on islands, after the government’s 2015 change of policy on onshore wind.
RIW over 5MW
This latest policy change applies to RIW projects greater than 5MW and, in their policy response to the public consultation on amendments to the contracts for difference scheme, the government says: “In view of the responses received, the government intends to proceed to legislate to differentiate Remote Island Wind from other onshore wind projects to enable them to compete for a Contracts for Difference in Pot 2.
“While it recognises the potential environmental sensitivities associated with any new energy generation development, the government believes that the planning and licensing systems are the correct place to address such issues. The government does not intend to extend the scope of RIW to encompass projects smaller than 5MW.”
The change of heart should allow onshore RIW projects within the criteria to compete for the £557m support available under the next Contracts for Difference auction, planned for spring 2019.