Julian Calls on Government to ‘Rebalance’ Wind Farm Subisidies
April 3, 2014
Julian has called on the Government to rebalance the subsidies away from onshore wind power and towards other forms of renewable energy in two separate questions to the Energy Ministers in the House of Commons this morning.
The move comes after Julian joined several communities to the East of York in fighting proposals for two 80m wind turbines at Murton Moor and Kexby in his York Outer constituency. Mr Sturdy has also been a vocal opponent of the Council’s draft Local Plan, which seeks to impose over 40 ‘areas of search for renewable electricity generation’, or potential wind farms, around the City.
Several backbench Conservative MPs who are sceptical about the efficacy of onshore wind power, including Julian, have been calling for a reduction in the amount of subsidies offered to wind turbine developers in order to ensure that other forms of renewable energy, including offshore wind, tidal and wave power, receive greater investment. Julian is also concerned over the degree to which wind turbines are being forced on some communities by landowners who are hell bent on achieving the very desirable subsidies.
The Government’s target for onshore wind is 13GW of capacity by 2020. However, figures for operational wind turbines and those in the pipeline with planning permission already obtained, suggest that the targeted capacity has already been exceeded.
During Energy Questions in the House of Commons this morning, Julian called for an updated on future investments for tidal and wave energy. He also said: “The communities to the east of my constituency are facing proposals for two 80M wind turbines. To add to their misery, proposals are in the pipeline for a further 40 wind farms around York if the Council gets its way with the Local Plan. Given that we have already achieved the Government’s targeted capacity of 13GW for onshore wind when taking together operational turbines and those that have received planning permission, will the Minister agree to look again at the subsidies for onshore wind and attempt to rebalance them in favour of other renewable alternatives like offshore wind?”
The Liberal Democrat Secretary of State, Ed Davey MP, responded by claiming that renewable energy subsidies were already being rebalanced but that he continued to support the subsidies for onshore wind.
Reflecting on his comments Julian said: “I’m disappointed that our Lib Dem partners are continuing to prevent the Government from reducing the enormous subsidies that favour onshore wind power. It is ultimately our rural communities who have to bear the brunt of these massive and unsightly turbines, which create a meagre and intermittent energy supply in spite of the distress they cause. And all the while other more effective renewable energy sources are being neglected in terms of investment. I am, however, pleased to hear that the Prime Minister is considering a moratorium on new onshore wind turbines in our next manifesto.”
Pictured: Julian signing a petition against the Council’s draft Local Plan.