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British Government Announces End to Onshore Wind Farm Subsidies

London, June 19 (RHC)-- In Britain, the Tories have put an end to wind farm subsidies, sparking fierce opposition from green campaigners and renewable energy leaders.

Fergus Ewing, Scottish minister for business, energy and tourism said "the decision by the UK government to end the Renewable Obligation next year is deeply regrettable and will have a disproportionate impact on Scotland, as around 70% of onshore wind projects in the UK planning system are here."

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd insists that the initiative is simply a manifesto commitment. She said that the Tories are "driving forward our commitment to end new onshore wind subsidies and give local communities the final say over any new wind farms. Onshore wind is an important part of our energy mix and we now have enough subsidized projects in the pipeline to meet our renewable energy commitments."

But Scottish Renewable chief executive Niall Stewart slammed the decision by the Tory government, claiming that there is no justifiable reason to put an end to the wind farming subsidies. He said "we believe this decision could put around two gigawatts of onshore wind projects in Scotland at risk. "These are projects that could provide the equivalent electricity demand of 1.23m Scottish homes and significantly improve our energy security, while bringing around £3bn pounds of investment."

Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint also criticized the Tories plans, saying that wind energy is the safest and cheapest type of energy. She said, "Onshore wind is the cheapest and most developed form of clean energy and there are 1,000 projects whose investment plans could be affected by the latest moving of the goalposts. Ministers need to make clear which projects exactly the grace period will apply to."

The Tories and some Labour politicians have backed the government's decision to scrap wind subsidies. But there is a groundswell of anger among campaigners and renewable energy business leaders who fail to see the sense in refusing to invest in a long term and sustainable energy source.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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