UK utlity giant and renewable power generator Scottish Power last night made clear it would not be stumping up money to fund a judicial review challenge – at a potential cost of £1 million or more – to fight the Government decision to end subsidies to onshore wind farm developers through the courts.
Keith Anderson, Chief Executive of the Glasgow-based company (which is owned by Spanish renewables behemoth Iberdrola) – said in reply to a question directly asking if Scottish Power would underwrite a judicial review: –
“We are not interested in going down this route.
“We don’t want <onshore wind farm> subsidies. We want an end to these subsidies. But we want them phased out over a period of time.
“Going forward, our focus now is on driving down the costs of generating electricity from our actual and planned new wind farms.
“Onshore wind is one of the cheapest ways of generating electricity and the industry has succeeded in driving down unit costs from £120 to about £80 per kWh. And by the time we get to 2020, wind power would have been on the same cost-price level as coal or gas-fired generation.
“We are trying to provide secure energy supply which is carbon-free and which is affordable to customers – and onshore wind turbine generation has been reasonably successful.
“The big question here is this; if we don’t generate from wind, what are the alternatives – when offshore turbine electricity is costing currently about £120 per kWh unit and even more – £150 per unit – for tidal/ turbine power””.