Claire Perry has signalled that onshore wind and solar projects will be allowed to compete for subsidies in a future Contract for Difference (CfD) auction.
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department excluded established renewable technologies, onshore wind and solar, from last year’s CfD auction.
However, in an interview with The House magazine, the energy and clean growth minister said that an auction including these so-called Pot 1 technologies was in the pipeline.
She said: “There isn’t a ban, but we will have another auction that brings forward [onshore] wind and solar, we just haven’t yet said when.”
Perry has previously said she wants to enable onshore wind projects to compete for subsidies in areas where they enjoy public support.
The Conservative manifesto for last year’s general election maintained the government’s bar on new onshore windfarms in England but kept the door ajar for such projects in areas of Scotland and Wales where they enjoy public support.
The government applied for state aid approval to classify remote island wind as a separate technology in Group 2 of the next round of the CfD auction, which is set to go ahead in the spring of 2019.
Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the Solar Trade Association, welcomed Perry’s comment.
“It’s positive that she has flagged that something could be coming.”
But she said the industry was keen to see a fresh CfD round as soon as possible.