Renewable energy industry blames Brit-Govt for collapse of Scotland’s only wind turbine maker

IN HAPPIER TIMES: Gaia Wind on a sales mission in Japan
IN HAPPIER TIMES: Gaia Wind on a sales mission in Japan

Renewable UK says the Brit-Govt failure to set out how it intends to deliver small-scale renewable energy in the future was a key factor in one of Scotland’s iconic small-wind companies going into liquidation. 

The provisional liquidators are now looking for potential buyers for the factory which employs 12 people in Glasgow after Gaia Wind went bust last week.

Gaia-Wind opened its factory in Glasgow in 2011 and has manufactured nearly 2,000 small wind turbines – not only for the UK market, but also exporting hundreds of the them to other parts of Europe, the USA, Japan, and as far afield as Tonga in Polynesia – including the kingdom’s first wind turbine.  

For over a year, the wind industry has been urging government to start a long-promised consultation on the future of the Feed-in Tariff, which supports small-scale renewables.

This is currently due to close to new applicants in March 2019, and the absence of any clarity on future policy is now having a serious impact on wind and solar companies and their investors. Another factor is difficulties with the international export markets.

The renewable energy sector has been calling for a support mechanism which allows small-scale renewables to make the transition to becoming subsidy-free. Small-scale local energy projects create economic benefits across the country, engaging communities who often use innovative business models to finance their plans.    

Renewable UK spokesman Emma Pinchbeck said “Inaction by Government has real consequences for small businesses and the communities they work with. We have warned officials time and again that a failure to treat this issue as urgent puts jobs at risk.

“These are local jobs created by British entrepreneurs. We need clarity on the future of small-scale renewables as soon as possible for the sake of other flagship firms and innovative community energy projects nationwide”.

Meanwhile, Scottish Renewables has appointed the following industry experts to its board:

  • Professor Andy Kerr, Executive Director, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
  • Dave Pearson, Director, Star Renewable Energy
  • Euan McVicar, Head of Transaction Structuring, Green Investment Group
  • Lindsay McQuade, Chief Executive, Scottish Power Renewables
  • Nicola Percival, ‎Policy Manager, ‎Innogy Renewables UK
  • Adam Morrison, Head of Electrical, EDP Renewables

20 Mar 2018

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