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Ministers to review wind farm community benefits

The government is to invite suggestions on how local communities can be given more influence over onshore wind farms and how they can derive more economic benefits from them.

The promise emerges in a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) statement setting out subsidy levels for wind power and other renewable energy technologies over the next five years. 

The statement confirms that support for onshore wind developments under the Renewables Obligation will be cut by ten per cent from next year. 

DECC guaranteed that the new level of support will remain unchanged until 2014 but could change thereafter if there is a “significant change” in the costs of producing wind power. 

The statement said DECC is launching a call for evidence this autumn on onshore wind industry costs, with a report promised early in 2013.

This review will also cover community input and benefits from wind farms, according to the statement. Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of trade body the Renewable Energy Association, said: “Onshore wind developers have been prepared for this modest reduction, although it will have an impact on smaller and community schemes.” 

A copy of the statement (contained in the response to consultation) can be found on the DECC website.

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