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New Onshore Wind Capacity Dries Up (As Subsidies End)

October 30, 2017

By Paul Homewood



The Renewables Obligation scheme was closed to all new onshore wind generation in May 2016, although certain grace periods were allowed for projects in the pipeline.

It may still be early days, but the effect seems to be that new onshore capacity coming on stream in the UK has virtually dried up.





According to government figures, only 202 MW was added, and all of this seems to have been on projects that have been ongoing for sometime, eg:

Kilgallioch – 73 MW

Pen y Cymoedd – 33 MW

Beckburn  – 31 MW

Auchrobert – 39 MW


All of these four are accredited for RO, so will carry on being subsidised.


There is an additional 748 MW of capacity due to commission by 2020, which have CfD contracts from earlier rounds. But the CfD auction is also now currently closed to onshore wind, so there will be no more added unless the government changes its mind.


The renewable lobby keeps telling us that onshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of generation around now, if not the cheapest.

The fact that nobody seems to be interested in building new wind farms, now that the subsidies have ended, would appear to show that they are not telling the truth!

  1. Jackington permalink
    October 30, 2017 12:50 pm

    But we need lots more for the impending changeover to electric cars – permission to panic Capt Mainwaring.!

  2. Robert Fairless permalink
    October 30, 2017 1:43 pm

    Undoubtedly, wind turbines were the biggest con trick perpetrated on the British public. The subsidies paid were huge, running to billions, a few privileged benefited but every household in the country was penalised and now find their cost of electricity is twice what it should be. It matters not whether you are rich or poor, employed or not, a pensioner or a worker, well or invalided you have got to pay like it or not. And the cost to industry has destroyed many.
    There is another side to it of course; the last time I looked, Cameron’s father in law, Samantha’s Daddy, was earning £1,000 a day for his few wind turbines. Since then he has had more erected. No wonder Cameron was in favour of them.
    Whatever folly the government decides to pursue, the reality is that electric cars madness is doomed to failure. It is impossible for the country to produce enough electricity to satisfy this demand unless of course the entire country is covered with turbines. Surely they are not that daft, are they?

    • October 30, 2017 7:48 pm

      The question really is: Surely WE are not that daft, are we?

      All we have to do is vote out the guilty people, or at least refuse to vote for them.

      • October 31, 2017 2:08 pm

        Yes but you are in good company. I think More immigration will fix the problem…S tag

  3. Gerry, England permalink
    October 30, 2017 2:01 pm

    Well who on earth would have guessed that when the taxpayer cash dried up so would the windmills?

    We couldn’t make – sorry import – windmills and get them installed quick enough to provide power for all the cars. Can’t even be done quick enough to cover the loss of power stations to come.

  4. AZ1971 permalink
    October 30, 2017 2:48 pm

    Whether they build them or not, the wind doesn’t consistently blow and therefore doesn’t consistently produce power. Wind replacing coal and gas as baseload supply is absolutely irrational.

  5. CheshireRed permalink
    October 30, 2017 2:55 pm

    Retrospective evidence the entire scheme was a rigged racket from start to last. Remove absurdly generous subsidies from wind and activists claims that ‘renewables are cost competitive with fossil fuels’ have evaporated. Fake news, fake energy policy, real racket. Disgraceful.

  6. October 30, 2017 3:13 pm

    There is also the fact that the planning law changed meaning that in England wind turbines can only be constructed in an area identified as suitable for wind energy developments in a Local or Neighbourhood Plan. To my knowledge no such areas are identified.

    Lat year I produced a report based on the RegenSW progress reports showing renewable energy developments across the SW and England. It was evident then that renewable energy developments were drying up due to the FiT and RO subsidy rates becoming negligible. The RegenSW report for this year is long overdue – I suspect they are embarrassed to reveal how the renewable energy industry is now as good as dead.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 31, 2017 1:42 pm

      I wonder how companies report this to their shareholders in the light of the warmists trying to prove the oil companies should be punished for not informing investors of the risk that the dumb keep it in the ground policy presents to their investments.

  7. MikeW permalink
    October 30, 2017 3:52 pm

    Along with being an economic parasite, wind power is the most environmentally destructive power source in the world. From the rare earth mines in China, to the cobalt mines in Africa, to the wind turbine slaughter of migratory birds and bats, the wind power industry wreaks environmental havoc across the globe. No fossil fuels operation is allowed to pollute the environment to the extent that wind power does.

  8. Bellevue permalink
    October 30, 2017 4:00 pm

    Not telling the truth……. I am shocked, I tell you, shocked!

  9. October 30, 2017 4:54 pm

    Just by pure coincidence, I learned today about the experience of a local farmer who several years ago applied to put up a wind turbine. He was told by the salesman how much money he would make, but we warned him it was a big con. The farmer was clearly only thinking about the guaranteed £s. The locals objected, as did CPRE Devon, and we got the LPA to refuse it on landscape grounds. The farmer appealed and we went through more effort in submitting evidence at the appeal. Of course the Inspector allowed the appeal and the wind turbine was duly erected on top of the hill where, as predicted, it looks awful and spoils everybody’s view. Today the farmer reported the following on the Farming Forum (you have to excuse his Devon accent):

    ‘Mine will take around 10 years to cover my main loan and then there’s a over draft facility that due to a exceptionally prolonged build project and there for started off way to high as it was heading close to a year from starting repayments to first fit payment landing and has crept up. Alot of this doesn’t help by running it as a limited company but it’s constantly hemorrhages money mainly due to my sites wind speed being well over exaggerated by the site survey and only has ever produced 2/3rds of forecast production 168000 Kw’s as true production of 120,000 Kw’s is real border line viability and far worst now ALL cost have shot up but Fits had dropped several times while going through planning. There has never been extra monies within the limited company and its constantly needing money from my farming and contracting by many 10’s of thousands:(
    My turbine is just over 3 years old and I really wish it had never come through my planning appeal and look forward to seeing it come down!!!!!!!’

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      October 30, 2017 5:16 pm

      You do a wonderful job, Phillip! Seriously!

      Maybe this report needs to be “tidied up” (not that I have a problem with a Devon accent but there are some as may) and sent to every applicant for a wind farm and their local authority and MP. And not forgettiing the MSPs since the situation in Scotland is, if anything, more disastrous than in England.

      Nothing like personal experience to give pause for thought.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 31, 2017 1:40 pm

      My hearts bleeds. I do have a bit of sympathy for farmers trying to get a good return from their land in the face of evil supermarkets pushing for ever lower prices. One of my local guys tried to go for solar panels but got turned down. At least windmills don’t use up valuable growing land that we will desperately need from April 2019 onwards.

  10. richard permalink
    October 30, 2017 8:34 pm

    “Warren Buffet, who owns one of the largest wind farms in Iowa, said it without embarrassment: “On wind power, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. This is the only reason to build them. They do not make sense without the tax credit.”

  11. CheshireRed permalink
    October 30, 2017 8:49 pm

    Slightly OT both the Guardian and BBC are in dismay over ‘record CO2 emissions’ in 2016. Paul, if humanity has spent trillions in the ‘absolutely essential’ global ‘battle against climate change’ yet we haven’t reduced CO2 emissions by so much as a single gram, what is this but the worlds biggest policy failure?

  12. tom0mason permalink
    October 30, 2017 9:51 pm

    Why Scotland? Surely with all the money spent on wind, solar, and even tidal power, the Isle of Wight must be fully energy independent by now? If so why not use them as the test bench for all electric motive power, and see how well it would work there?

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