RES blames subsidy uncertainty for cuts to UK workforce

Renewable energy firm RES has said the closure of the Renewable Obligation together with uncertainty over onshore wind’s access to Contracts for Difference (CfD) means it will be cutting its UK workforce, with the onshore wind development team reduced in size. This is part of a change in the company’s focus, which will also include “reductions and enhancements internationally”.

RES group chief executive Ian Mays said: “In the UK, the closure of the Renewable Obligation together with uncertainty about onshore wind’s access to the Contracts for Difference regime has resulted in an inevitable period of reduced activity in the UK onshore wind sector. These changes have led us to review the focus of our markets, activities and investment.”

RES chairman, Gavin McAlpine added: “By readjusting our focus, RES is positioning itself to meet the challenges of the evolving market place, whilst building upon the opportunities this creates to invest in international renewable markets to support growth towards its ambitious strategic objectives.”

In an interview with New Power earlier this year after the subsidy changes, Gordon MacDougall, RES’ UK and Europe managing director, said the UK now had “the least favourable political regime in terms of onshore wind. But the UK remains our home market; it’s been a very good market and we are still committed to it. Onshore wind, under all logic, has a big part to play in the UK’s energy future and we expect that the politics should be secondary and logic should be primary – and we have to see that coming through at some point. What wind can offer the UK consumer is too significant to be ignored in the long term.”

He also warned: “Developing an offshore windfarm takes a huge amount of money upfront and it’s all extremely expensive; you will only do it if you believe there is a market at the end of it. That’s a worry over the Levy Control Framework and the amount of money the government will allocate for the auction. It’s a lot of money to have at risk to not have a product at the end of it because of a regulatory change.”

Members can login to read the full interview with Gordon MacDougall.

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