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Abandon wind farm subsidies

Comment 5th July 2010

The granting of subsidies to wind farm builders is wasting huge amounts of taxpayers' money since it has been clearly demonstrated that inland wind farms cannot generate enough power to make them cost effective.  Their carbon footprint can be higher than the savings expected over the full 25 year life cycle. One acknowledged authority, Dieter Helm, professor of energy policy at Oxford University, calculates that it costs consumers up to £510 for each tonne of CO2 emissions avoided through wind energy.  These grants are distorting the emerging renewable energy market and are being use to impose large wind farms on local people for short term profit from government subsidies.  According to new industry figures, a typical 2 megawatt turbine can now generate power worth £200,000 on the wholesale markets – plus another £300,000 of subsidy from taxpayers, but will often generate a small fraction of this amount due to lack of wind but still get the same subsidy!  This subsidy is based on false premises, is a disgraceful waste of taxpayers' money and should be repealed immediately.

Why does this matter?

The repeal of these subsidies is very important because of the sheer unfairness of subjecting local people to the distress of having their cherished surroundings brutalised by these huge monstrosities knowing full well that short term profit and sheer greed is the driving force behind their construction and not the welfare of the people.  People who will moreover, be paying according to Ofgem, an additional £60 on their electricity bills this year to pay for the subsidy!   It seems more important to save the distress to birds (The Lewis project was rejected by Scottish councillors because of wildlife fears) and bats (rejected by Devon councillors), than to save the distress to these local communities. Offshore wind farms have a far healthier energy generation profile but they are more expensive to build and therefore not so attractive for short term profit.  This is why these subsidies are so unfair and should be made illegal. 


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