Turcan Connell attended yesterday's emergency summit meeting in Glasgow called by the Scottish Government and industry group Scottish Renewables in relation to the UK Government's recent announcement regarding the early closure of the Renewables Obligation (RO), the current system of support for renewables projects of upwards of 5MW capacity.
The meeting was attended by several hundred key industry representatives, including figures from the engineering, community, land-owner, turbine supply, finance, and legal sectors.
The UK Government's announcement directly affects medium and large-scale onshore wind projects scheduled for completion in 2016/7. Given the long development period for such projects, many schemes will already have seen significant investments made in terms of planning and grid connection costs.
Scotland is home to more than 70% of all onshore wind farms in the UK and accounts for around a third of the total of the electricity generated from renewable sources across the UK.
Andrew Fairlie, head of Turcan Connell's Construction & Projects team, said:"A significant number of schemes will be directly affected by this announcement. Additionally, the appetite from investors looking to commit to future schemes in the UK will undoubtedly be affected. Although the Government has suggested a grace period will apply in order to provide some schemes with RO funding which otherwise would be excluded by virtue of the early RO closure, the exact requirements of the grace period have not yet been finalised. This uncertainty looks set to continue until the grace period conditions are fixed. Yesterday's meeting was a positive step for the Scottish Renewables sector to contribute constructively to the debate and seek to work with the UK Government to secure a viable future for the right developments in the right places.