Local residents will get new powers to block all new onshore wind farms within six months of a new Conservative government taking office, the party will promise on Thursday.
No subsidies will paid to operators of new onshore wind turbines if the Conservatives win a Commons majority next May, they will promise.
The commitment to stop the erection of new onshore turbines – revealed in The Telegraph earlier this month – is the latest hardening of Conservative rhetoric on green energy.
Subsidies for existing onshore wind would remain in place and wind farms currently under construction or given legal consent would still be completed, almost doubling the onshore wind sector’s capacity by 2020.
But no more onshore turbines would be put in place beyond that, Michael Fallon, the energy minister, will say.
Under current planning rules, big onshore wind farms are handled by a national infrastructure regime that can ignore the wishes of local people.
The Tories would change those rules so that major sites would be processed by local councils, allowing local politicians to reflect the views of residents.
Planning policies would also be altered to give greater weight to local concerns about landscape and heritage.
If the Conservatives win the election next year, they would put new curbs on wind farms in place by November 2015, Mr Fallon said. The UK has “enough” onshore turbines he said.
“We remain committed to cutting our carbon emissions. And renewable energy, including onshore wind, has a key role in our future energy supply. But we now have enough bill payer-funded onshore wind in the pipeline to meet our renewable energy commitments and there’s no requirement for any more.
“That’s why the next Conservative Government will end any additional bill payer subsidy for onshore wind.”
[rest of article available at source]
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