Whilst the Slyer’s Lane wind farm saga has so far remained an inter-community matter, changes to environmental policy – announced by the Government this month – could place power into the hands of politicos.
Coming on the heels of Osborne’s crippling environmental budget plans, signs show a Government intent on disdaining the want for renewable energy; at the risk of quite literally leaving Britain in the dark.
The subsidiary proposal may not come into action until next April, but it is a clear re-iteration of the Conservatives’ incline towards on-land fracking, and their support for North Sea Oil reserve revival in the future.
Despite jeopardising the future of 1,000 potential onshore turbines (including the Charminster project), new energy secretary, Amber Rudd, is convinced that the termination of wind farm funding would not damage hopes of meeting the EU’s green energy targets.
This is not necessarily a view shared by the target setters themselves, however.
Reflecting on energy progress reports published by the European Commission in June, the EU concluded that Britain must ‘look into its policies and adjust them’, if it is to successfully source 15 per cent of energy from renewables by 2020.
From now on, renewable electricity will no longer be exempt from the climate change levy, which currently allows companies to pay no tax on energy generated by wind turbines.
By making business pay tax on renewable energy, the Government is killing off another incentive for potential green energy programmes; sacrificing the chances of meeting goals that it is are already chasing.
You cannot fault the Conservatives for their willingness to adjust the policies set by the coalition, but you can for their complete contempt for the EU’s directives.
Despite a reputation polluted by dirty and exploitative energy ingestion, China have made clear their intentions of meeting the same goals set by the EU; and with its capacity currently increasing by 20GW a year, they are well on track to meet the 15per cent.
The rise of China’s wind programme should be a wake-up call for the Conservatives.
The reversing of turbine investment is a completely backwards approach; and a grand teller of the UK’s refusal to join the winds of change.
If Slyers Farm is failed by its own community, it will be a shame for Dorset. But if Slyers Farm is failed by financial policy, it will be a shame for British politics as a whole.
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