Plans to end subsidies for new onshore wind farms have been welcomed by a Wirral Euro MP.
UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall said “Wind power has never been the answer to Britain’s energy needs and it is iniquitous that householders have been forced to contribute towards this madness.”
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has unveiled proposals to close the existing subsidies payment schemes a year early for new onshore wind projects, to fulfil a Conservation election manifesto promise.
The Tories claim the onshore turbines “often fail to win public support and are unable by themselves to provide the firm capacity that a stable energy system requires.”
Mr Nuttalll told the Globe: “These turbines have blighted some of our most beautiful countryside and sadly there are many more with planning permission waiting in the wings to add to this sacrilege.
“I am delighted that onshore wind farms will be excluded from this generous hand out scheme a year earlier than anticipated and hope that many of the estimated 3,000 schemes awaiting planning permission will now wither on the vine with the funding tap turned off.
“These subsidies benefit wealthy developers and investors and penalise energy users.
“Many householders are struggling to make ends meet while the fat cats just get fatter.
“We are all held to ransom through levies on our fuel bills to meet ridiculous renewables targets and these levies should be reduced from April in line with the subsidy cut.
“But I dare say I’ll just be whistling in the wind with that hope.
“And let’s not forget off-shore wind farms which are also ugly eye sores and equally as useless and their subsidies should also be scrapped.”
But the industry and environmental campaigners have criticised the Conservatives for attacking the cheapest form of clean energy, and one which enjoys the support of 65% of people, while saying they want to cut carbon in the most cost-effective way.
It will push up energy bills, as support will have to go on more expensive forms of low-carbon energy to meet targets to tackle climate change, they warn.
The move also leaves thousands of jobs and millions of pounds of investment hanging in the balance, the industry said.
And it has prompted an outcry in Scotland, where the majority of the planned new wind farms will be constructed, with Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP saying he has told the UK Government the decision may be the subject of a judicial review.
Industry body RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said the decision to prematurely end financial support for onshore wind sent a “chilling signal” not just to the renewables industry, but to all investors right across the UK’s infrastructure sectors.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding