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MPs oppose wind turbine subsidies

Wednesday 8th February 2012 (Andrew Griffiths)
MPs oppose wind turbine subsidies

TWO of the area’s Conservative MPs have called on the PrimeMinister to cut £400 million a year subsidies for wind turbines.

Burton MP Andrew Griffiths and South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler were among more than 100 Conservative MPs who have written to David Cameron urging himto cut themassive subsidies.

They also want planning rules changed to make it easier for local people to object to their construction.

Mr Griffiths, who publicly opposed plans for a wind farm at Bagots Park near Abbots Bromley, told the Mail: “We all recognise the need to cut our carbon emissions and help the environment.

“However the subsidies that are currently paid to large energy companies are distorting the market and leading to increased bills for consumers in places like Burton.

“In addition I have got genuine concerns about subsidising wind turbines that have such a devastating impact on the beauty of some of Britain’s most attractive countryside.

“I think it is clear that these energy companies would not be so enthusiastic were they not receiving huge subsidies at the taxpayers’ expense — this is why they keep returning to places like Bagots Park as without the subsidy, the costs would escalate.

“It is also right that people should have a say on what gets built in their area and I for one am in support of off-shore wind farms rather than on-shore, which spoil the countryside.”

In letter sent to No 10 Downing Street last week, the MPs said they had become ‘more and more concerned’ about Government ‘support for onshore wind energy production’.

“In these financially straitened times, we think it is unwise to make consumers pay, through taxpayer subsidy, for inefficient and intermittent energy production that typifies onshore wind turbines,” they said.

The MPs want the savings spread between other ‘reliable’ forms of renewable energy production.

They have also called on Mr Cameron to change the proposed Nat ional Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) so that it gives residents who object to proposed wind farms a better chance of victory in the planning process.

The framework has finished a public consultation process and is awaiting the green light fromministers.

South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler said she was ‘delighted to be part of the campaign’.

She said: “I am keen to see the amount of money available in subsidy for onshore wind reduced and this saving spread across other renewable energy types and also spent on local energy efficiency measures.”

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