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MP admits Tories split on wind power

The Conservatives are split over the benefits of onshore wind farms, their energy minister has said.

Shadow energy minister Charles Hendry said the party was enthusiastic about offshore wind generation but remain divided about wind farms in the mainland UK.

In an interview with Public Servant Daily, Mr Hendry was asked if the Tories would get behind onshore wind, which the government is championing as part of its bid to increase renewable energy.

The MP for Wealden responded: “I think frankly you will find different views among colleagues – colleagues are more divided on onshore wind than nuclear power.”

The shadow minister agreed onshore wind developments have a significant contribution to make in helping Britain meets its renewable energy targets.

However, his comments will prompt speculation Tory MPs are liable to oppose wind developments in their own constituencies.

Seizing on his comments John Hutton, the business and enterprise secretary, argued the Conservatives cannot be trusted on green energy.

Mr Hutton said: “Beneath the veneer of David Cameron’s green posturing, the Tories offer no substance or leadership on tackling climate change.”

He argued the Tory leader “is not even able to persuade his own MPs to back green energy in their constituencies”.

Mr Hutton added: “Visiting Greenpeace and talking about green energy is a sham if the rhetoric is not backed up by a genuine will to deliver on renewables.”

The government, which has itself been attacked for not doing enough to increase renewable energy usage, believes Britain is naturally well-placed to harness wind and tidal power.

Labour wants a “massive increase” in renewable energy production, with the hope that all homes in Britain will be powered by renewable energy sources by 2020.

politics.co.uk

19 December 2007