RenewableUK has expressed deep concern at the announcement by the Energy Minister Michael Fallon that the Conservative Party would seek to end financial support for new onshore wind farms, and would attempt to introduce draconian new planning restrictions on renewable energy projects, if they were to win the next election.
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Maria McCaffery said:
“Onshore wind is the lowest cost form of renewable energy we have, and cheaper than new nuclear. The industry has already seen a reduction in financial support, and a trajectory for further reduction is clearly laid out. However cutting all support overnight amounts to a moratorium as the Minister has suggested. That’s bad news for jobs – nearly 19,000 people currently owe their jobs to the UK’s onshore wind industry, with potential for thousands more over the next decade.
“It’s also bad news for bill-payers. As the Royal Academy of Engineering showed earlier this month, limiting onshore wind means having to rely on more expensive technologies to keep the lights on, increasing our dependency on costly fossil fuel imports and exposure to price hikes.
“It’s also a bad move electorally. Two thirds of voters back onshore wind and voters of all parties prefer it as a neighbour to fossil fuel technologies like shale gas.
“We urge the Conservative Party to work with the industry on cost reduction, and stop making arbitrary comments which threaten investment in all energy types. It’s unfortunate that we seem to have reached a point where the Conservatives are allowing UKIP to dictate Tory energy policy. When it comes to something as important as guaranteeing the security of the UK’s future energy supply, the British public deserve better than ill-considered, short-term policy making on the hoof like this.”