Onshore Wind Farms

Energy and Climate Change – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 16th September 2010.

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Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire 10:30 am, 16th September 2010

Whether historical wind measurements are taken into account in determining subsidy allocation for onshore wind farms.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Onshore wind farms can claim one renewables obligation certificate for each megawatt-hour of electricity actually generated, which focuses investment in those areas where the wind resource is strongest. It is therefore in the developers' direct interest to study very carefully the historical wind measurements.

Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire

As my hon. Friend is no doubt aware, Leicestershire is one of the most inland and least windy counties in England. Will he please assure me that subsidies for wind farms will only be allocated in areas that can demonstrate that the amount of wind is sustainable and economically viable?

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

I can absolutely assure my hon. Friend that the way the ROC system works ensures that the greatest incentive is there to develop wind projects where the wind resource is strongest. We are absolutely committed, too, to the principle of localism for those below 50 MW and for local communities to be directly involved in these decisions and to receive a more direct benefit than was the case under the previous Government.

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David Shadow Minister (Wales)

How much onshore wind generation does the Minister calculate is needed for the United Kingdom to meet its 2020 renewable energy target?

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

We recognise that onshore wind is one critical element of the process. We set out in the 2050 pathways, which were mentioned earlier, a number of different options. Offshore wind is going to be critical, as is biomass. We want a range of renewable technologies to come forward to help us meet the 2020 targets, and the policies that we are putting in place are designed to drive forward investment in those sectors.