Wind farms off the England and Wales coast should face legal restrictions on height, numbers, location and taxpayer subsidies, Parliament has heard.
Offshore turbines would have to be smaller than 100 metres (328 feet), be in groups of no more than 100 and could not be built within 15 miles of the coast nor 20 miles of any world heritage site, under legislation moved by Conservative backbencher Christopher Chope.
The MP for Christchurch in Dorset also said taxpayer-funded payments for electricity generated by the offshore renewable source should be limited to the wholesale price of electricity.
The world’s biggest offshore wind farm has been proposed off Navitus Bay in Dorset, a scheme that would see 218 turbines built offshore, affecting Dorset and Devon, close to the coastline deemed a World Heritage Site.
Mr Chope’s Private Member’s Bill is highly unlikely that it will make it into law without Government support and it is running out of parliamentary time to complete the necessary stages should it clear its second reading.
But it underlines the ongoing opposition from Conservative MPs to the technology, which has caused deep opposition from MPs across the rural South West, which has been targeted by developers.
He told MPs offshore wind farms were guaranteed £155 per megawatt hour, which is three times the current wholesale price of electricity and 60% more than what onshore turbine projects receive.
Mr Chope added it was “far in excess” of the £92.50 strike price available for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.
He told the Commons yesterday: “This Bill would restrict those subsidies. It’d also do a lot of other worthwhile things which would be popular with my constituents who are absolutely incensed at the prospect of having the Navitus Bay wind farm set in Christchurch Bay and within sight of the cliffs of Christchurch and Highcliffe and within a short distance of a heritage site.
“My Bill would also restrict the height of these turbines to 100 metres. At the moment they are proposing turbines in excess of 200 metres, that’s over 600 feet, which is more than the height of Beachy Head and it means they will be able to be seen from tens of miles away, in the same way when one is in Calais one can see the cliffs of Dover.
“They would be very visible and my Bill would restrict the size and number and location of these wind turbines.”Mr Chope was speaking during the second reading of the Control of Offshore Wind Turbines Bill.
Energy Minister Michael Fallon refused to back the Bill as he explained that the Government seeks to support a range of different renewable technologies.
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