A former planning chief has warned there could be a “sudden rush” in applications as a result of the UK’s decision to end subsidies for onshore windfarms early.
The government announced it would be closing the existing payment scheme in April 2016 earlier this week.
There will however be a grace period for projects which already have planning consent, a grid connection and land rights.
Yesterday, Aberdeenshire Council’s former infrastructure services committee chairman Peter Argyle said the move could lead to an influx of turbine applications in the coming months.
Mr Argyle – who has previously called for a moratorium on turbines in the north-east – said: “It was inevitable at some point that the huge subsidies on wind would dry up, it’s just a little bit earlier than expected – the government is clearly of the view that the subsidies have achieved what they set out to achieve.
“Hopefully this decision will mean investment in other forms of renewables. The development of wave and tidal power is not very far advanced and we need that, here in Scotland particularly.”
“It will be interesting to see the effect of this in Aberdeenshire.
“If someone is in the process of submitting their application and are hoping to be connected to the grid before April 2016
they may be pushing it. There may be a huge surge in the number of applications though, it’s possible there will be a sudden rush of people trying to get in before the cut off.”
Mr Argyle added that after the cut off for the Renewables Obligations (RO) scheme, he was sure there would be difference in the number of applications.
“It will undoubtedly have an impact on the number of applications we receive,” he said.