Onshore Wind Generating Stations in England and Wales

Part of Energy Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 7:24 pm on 9th May 2016.

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Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change 7:24 pm, 9th May 2016

I beg to move, That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 7TB.

Here we are again to discuss this Bill, and in particular the delivery of our manifesto commitment to end new subsidies for onshore wind. The other place has seen fit yet again to try to overturn that manifesto commitment, and to seek to impose further costs on consumer bills, but this Chamber, and this Government, are determined not to put up with that. As I made clear on 20 April, the Government are intent on bringing forward the closure of the renewables obligation to new onshore wind in Great Britain. I therefore urge the House to support the Government’s motion to disagree with the Lords amendment.

The Government signalled their intent well before last May’s general election, so I will not repeat that evidence again. I remind the House, however, that even with cost control measures in place, our estimates show that we are on track to deliver 35% of the UK’s electricity from renewables in 2020-21, exceeding our stated ambition of 30%. That is up from 9% in 2011—quite an achievement—and we simply do not need more subsidised onshore wind. The costs for this established technology continue to fall, so it is right that we should scale back support and let the industry stand on its own two feet. The Government’s policy—a manifesto commitment—has now been agreed twice in this House, yet we now have an amendment from the other place that is similar to that previously rejected by this House, and relates to projects that did not have planning permission on 18 June last year.