Energy giant says it believes financial support could yet be available to revive up to £800m of projects in Scotland and Wales
UK onshore wind farm projects worth £1bn have now been scrapped or put on hold by RWE Innogy following recent policy changes, the German energy giant has disclosed.
Up to £800m investment in 10 to 12 proposed wind farms in Scotland and Wales is on hold until ministers confirm whether any subsidies will be available to support them, the company said.
Hans Bünting, RWE Innogy chief executive, said it had "stopped all further investment" and completely frozen its development pipeline while it awaited an announcement from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
"As far as I understand it, Amber Rudd has not cancelled onshore forever."
The projects on hold are in addition to £250m investment in nine wind farms in England that RWE Innogy announced last year it was cancelling, due to the hostile planning environment and restrictions on subsidies.
Although the Conservatives vowed in their manifesto to end all new onshore wind subsidies, Mr Bünting said he believed ministers could yet offer financial support that could allow the Scottish and Welsh projects to proceed.
"As far as I understand it, Amber Rudd has not cancelled onshore forever," he said.
He suggested the "industrial logic" behind onshore wind as one of the cheapest forms of renewable power would win through.
To date, Ms Rudd's implementation of the Conservatives' manifesto pledge has focused on shutting down the Renewables Obligation subsidy scheme a year early.
But a generous grace period for projects that were seeking RO subsidies means the change will make little difference, blocking fewer than 80 turbines, official estimates suggest.
None of RWE's proposed projects were affected by the early closure.
Far more significant is the question of whether any more support will be available for onshore wind through a successor scheme of subsidy contracts, which would have been the route to market for most projects still in development.
Ms Rudd has previously suggested these contracts too would be ended, telling MPs last summer the Government would be "implementing the terms of our manifesto" in respect of the scheme.
She also said that the entire pre-consent onshore wind development pipeline of about 7GW, or about 250 projects, was "unlikely to go ahead".
Yet she has also given hope to the onshore wind industry by confirming the Government is considering the concept of so-called "subsidy-free" contracts.
Under industry proposals, these could see onshore wind farms paid the same level of support as new gas plants would need to be built.
Ms Rudd has already acknowledged that no form of power generation can be built in the UK without financial support, so the wind industry argues support at the minimum level required for new build no longer constitutes a subsidy.
On Monday night, ministers vowed to press ahead with plans for the early closure of the RO scheme, reintroducing the proposals into the House of Commons after they were thrown out in the Lords last year.