The Government vowed yesterday to keep its promise to end new public subsidies for onshore wind farms.
The move came after anger that ministers were considering an “outrageous” plan to dodge the pledge – an industry proposal for wind farms to keep qualifying for a guaranteed fixed price for the electricity they produce.
One deal last year set the price to be paid for the electricity produced by a wind farm at more than twice today’s market rate.
The industry argues that such backing should not be defined as a “subsidy” if wind farms can be built at lower cost to consumers than power stations.
The Conservative 2015 election manifesto pledged to halt the spread of onshore wind farms and to end “any new public subsidy” for them.
Critics voiced fury at any suggestion the Government might break its promise.
Conservative MP and former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: “There is no place for subsidising wind – a failed medieval technology which during the coldest day of the year so far produced only 0.75 per cent of the electricity load.”
A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “To be absolutely clear, there is no change whatsoever to our commitment to end new onshore wind subsidies.”