Scottish households face having to pay a £410 annual wind tax by the end of the decade, it has been claimed.
The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) believes the SNP government’s desire to build more windfarms could cost Scotland an extra £1billion, which would be recovered through the electricity bills of the country’s 2.4million homes.
John Constable, director of REF, said: “If Scottish consumers have to pay the total subsidy likely in 2020, we estimate households will need to stump up, on average, an extra £300 per annum for onshore wind.
“If one adds in the offshore as well, that will cost Scottish households an extra £110 per annum.”
The cost of subsidising windfarms is borne by consumers across Britain, but there are fears Scotland will have to shoulder it alone if it becomes independent.
Cross-border subsidies worth £320million could also be in jeopardy if the UK decides it has enough windfarms but Scotland continues to build them.
UK Energy Minister John Hayes last week signalled plans to stop construction of onshore turbines when output reaches about 13gigawatts (GW). At present, there is 11GW worth of wind either built or approved. The UK Government insists no cap has been set, but Mr Hayes’s comments fuelled speculation that the development of new windfarms in England andWales could grind to a halt in a few years.
Mr Constable added: “The subtext from London is renewables policy costs will be limited by a reduced ambition for wind power.
“If the Scottish government is out of sync with that, then households north of the border will be picking up the tab for Mr Salmond’s policies without the help they’re currently getting from English and Welsh consumers.”
REF’s calculations are based on the number of onshore windfarms built or have planning permission.
It assumes 50% of proposed windfarms are built.
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