Belfast Telegraph

Subsidies for small wind farms facing axe

By John Mulgrew

Plans are underway to bring an end to subsidies for small on-shore wind farms.

The controversial plans from Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell come after he pressed ahead with a decision to end a Government incentive scheme for large scale wind farms.

The Ulster Farmers' Union and Simple Power said they would seek leave for a judicial review of the decision. The minister has confirmed that the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) scheme for new large scale projects, those generating over 5MW of power, will close on April 1.

Plans to close the NIRO were criticised by farmers, who had invested in single turbines in the belief that there would be no change to subsidies until 2017.

A consultation process has now opened over the closure of the subsidies for small schemes.

Earlier this month, Mr Bell said jobs will be lost when another major green energy scheme is scrapped.

Belfast Telegraph