The Government has suffered another blow in the Lords over its plans to abolish subsidies for new onshore wind farms.

Peers voted by 182 to 178 in favour an Opposition amendment to the Energy Bill to widen the grace period criteria for onshore wind farms impacted by the early closure of the Renewables Obligation.

The amendment would allow projects to qualify where a planning authority had resolved to grant planning permission for a wind farm by 18 June 2015.The amendment must first be approved by the House of Commons before it can become law.

The Lords had initially deleted the plan to remove the subsidies when it was put before them last year.

Minister accused of damaging investor confidence

But the Government reinserted it into the Bill in the Commons and said that as it is one of their General Election manifesto pledges it has to be implemented.

In the debate, Labour spokesman Lord Grantchester said he believed it was fair to make a small extension to exceptions already agreed by the Government for schemes given planning permission last year.

Liberal Democrat spokesman Lord Wallace of Tankerness, who also supported wider exceptions, said Government ministers had damaged investor confidence in the sector.

A bill may go back and forth between the House of Commons and House of Lords reach agreement on the exact wording of the bill, a process known as ‘ping pong’

> Read more on the debate here