David Cameron’s chief climate adviser has claimed Britain does not need any more wind turbines to hit renewable energy targets.
Lord Deben said the public will be able to choose other ways to create green energy to avoid building ugly wind farms in the countryside.
The Tory peer’s remark fly in the face of official Government forecasts showing the numbers of wind turbines tripling by 2030 – adding almost 10,000 to the 4,000 onshore wind turbines already built.
But the claim comes after David Cameron said there would soon ‘come a time’ when Britain had built enough wind farms to slash Government turbine subsidies.
Last month Mr Cameron said: ‘We’ve got the largest offshore wind farm anywhere in the world built off the coast of the UK and another one coming on stream, almost as big very, very shortly.’
But he added: ‘In terms of onshore wind, obviously there will come a time when we will have built enough to meet all our targets and so I’ve always said with subsidies, we shouldn’t keep subsidies for longer than they are necessary and so that is something we will be looking at.’
Lord Deben, the peer better known as John Gummer, has gone even further, claiming that the are alreadt enough wind farms with planning permission and no more are needed.
He said Britain needed a ‘portfolio of different mechanisms’. The peer said: ‘I’m happy that we have already got enough onshore wind to 2020 to meet that part of the portfolio.’
The peer’s remarks come amid claims that the Tories are planning to go into the next election pledging to ‘rid’ the countryside of onshore wind farms.
A source close to the Prime Minister said Mr Cameron wants to toughen planning laws and tear up subsidy rules to make current turbines financially unviable – allowing the Government to ‘eradicate’ turbines.
The Conservatives could make a manifesto pledge to cap the total number of wind farms, toughen up planning rules to make them harder to build or even lower Government subsidies for turbines, it is understood.
It comes after the government agreed that subsidies for onshore turbines would be cut by five per cent a year after 2015 under a deal reached by the coalition partners.
In 2012, support for onshore wind was cut by 10 per cent after the PM came under pressure from more than 100 backbench MPs, who wrote to him demanding action against windfarms spoiling the landscape in rural areas.
In November it emerged that Mr Cameron had ordered aides to ‘get rid of all the green crap’ from energy bills to bring down costs.
The Prime Minister wanted the green levies, which go towards paying for renewables and helping poor people cut energy use, to be cut.