Building new wind farms is good for the communities nearby, Cabinet minister Ed Davey has claimed.
Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, also insisted that Britain needed more onshore wind turbines, despite growing political hostility to their construction and use. The Coalition is committed to increasing the share of Britain’s energy needs that is met from “renewable” sources including wind farms and tidal barriers, to wean the country off increasingly expensive imported oil and gas.
Critics, who include many Conservative MPs, say wind turbines – which can be up to 450ft tall – are unsightly and inefficient.
Proposals for new wind farms often provoke local opposition, but in a BBC interview, Mr Davey said turbines could be good for people living nearby.
“There are a lot of wind farms that are being put up to the benefit of local communities,” he said. Last month, more than 100 Conservative MPs wrote to David Cameron urging the Prime Minister to get rid of the subsidies paid to wind farm operators funded from household energy bills.
Mr Davey told the Andrew Marr Show that such subsidies would fall as wind technology became more efficient and could disappear in the coming years. Mr Davey also argued that using public money to support wind technology would increase employment and exports.
He said: “If Britain can get ahead of the game by not just investing these technologies for our own energy needs, but also developing the industry so we can sell them to the world, this is about huge numbers of green jobs.”
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