Deliverance for Brits: David Cameron Empties Subsidy Trough & 250 Wind Farms Get Scrapped
The wind industry isn’t powered by wind; it’s fuelled by massive and endless subsidies. If ever that proposition needed support, then events in the UK since David Cameron’s election win provide plenty.
250 onshore windfarms will be scrapped as taxpayer subsidies are axed
22 June 2015
LARGE swathes of the British countryside are to be spared the blight of windfarms by the axing of taxpayer subsidies, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has revealed.
She said about 2,500 proposed turbines in 250 projects are now “unlikely to be built”.
The Renewables Obligation subsidy for new onshore wind farms is being scrapped a year early from April next year.
Ms Rudd said this would save consumers cash by avoiding a surplus of state-funded windfarms and by helping newer green technologies compete.
Ms Rudd, who has also announced plans to give local communities the final say over windfarms, said: “We are reaching the limits of what is affordable, and what the public is prepared to accept.”
But critics said taxpayers still face a soaring bill for subsidies to costly offshore windfarms.
Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Forum, which argues that many anti-climate change measures are too costly, said: “This announcement is a move in the right direction but it is a bit schizophrenic.
Tory Chris Heaton-Harris said many of his Daventry constituents had been so alienated by backers of windfarms who had “destroyed people’s faith in renewable energies as a whole”.
But Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint accused Ms Rudd of causing “confusion and concern”.
She said: “Despite the Prime Minister’s warm words on tackling climate change in this most important year of global negotiations, this Parliament has hardly begun but already the cheapest form of renewable energy is under attack and other renewable investors are worried that they are next.”
Earlier Ms Rudd had explained that Britain is on course to exceed its 2020 target of 30 per cent of the UK’s electricity from renewables.
She said Britain is also on course to meet its targets for electricity from windpower which means the impact of subsidies on domestic bills will grow.
She said that Britain currently has about 8.3GigaWatts of electricity from onshore wind – enough to power the equivalent of over 4.5 million homes.
But the ending of subsidies means another 7.1GW will not now go ahead.
She said: “Consumer bills will not rise because of this change. Indeed, those onshore wind projects unlikely now to go ahead would have cost hundreds of millions of pounds.”
RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith disputed Ms Rudd’s figures.
He said: “She is wrong to say that we have enough onshore wind in the pipeline to meet our legally-binding 2020 renewable energy target.
“Government has today put us on a trajectory to undershoot this target because renewable heat and renewable transport fuel are behind on their own targets, which means renewable electricity is expected to make up the shortfall.”
He added: “It’s unfortunate that the Energy Secretary has again failed to grasp the importance of onshore wind. It’s our best option for keeping the lights on and keeping our bills down. It already costs less than nuclear and other renewables, and by 2020 will be competitive with new gas. It’s a mystery why she’s chosen to disregard the high level of public support for this technology, which remains consistently at two-thirds of the population; much higher than for alternatives being championed by Government.”
“The Government is phasing out subsidies for onshore wind but they are still subsiding offshore turbines which are twice as expensive.
“This will not reduce the overall cost for renewables because that was agreed by the coalition Government a year ago.
“Under the Levy Control Framework subsidies for renewables will double from £4billion now to about £8billion in 2020.
“So while many rural communities will celebrate the scrapping of onshore wind subsidies, offshore farms will continue because there are no voters to object.”
The axing for onshore support was welcomed by some Tory MPs including John Redwood who said his party was the only one that cared about the consumer and sought to get energy bills down.
The guff about wind power “powering” 4.5 million homes and providing an “answer” to “climate change” (the apparently apocalyptic threat, formerly known as “global warming”) is, of course, patent nonsense:
But it’s the fact that wind industry shill, Caroline Flint is accusing Amber Rudd of causing “confusion and concern” that has STT grinning.
You see, the propaganda parrots that spruik the “wonders” of wind power have been telling us for years now that it’s a “product” with all the admirable characteristics of the REAL stuff, that’s so cheap it should be jumping off the shelves. Those from the wind industry’s more deluded fringes even run the ludicrous claim that wind power is (now) actually cheaper than coal-fired power – see this piece of twaddle from ruin-economy, for example.
RenewableUK’s head spruiker, Maf Smith – like his equivalents elsewhere – ties himself in knots, trying to turn fantasy into reality. He’s not alone – the same pitch has been run all over the globe.
Here, the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers – like The Climate Speculator’s, Tristan Edis (see our post here) – keep telling us, over and over again, how cheap wind power is by comparison with conventional power sources – a story pitched up in order to counter the recent challenge to the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target and its insane cost to power consumers.
Having boasted about the wonders of their product – and its ability to “compete” with the big boys – in the very next breath, these subsidy leeches start wailing – like crazed little brats – at the prospect of there being so much as the slightest interference with a stream of subsidies, so massive that their scale makes Croesus look like a penny-pinching pauper.
Either wind power is economically viable, or it isn’t? If the former, then there’s no need for mandated subsidies and/or massive penalties, at all.
Trouble is, the conduct of the actors – as is usually the case – reveals the teensy, weensy flaw in their ‘case’.
If, as Maf Smith claims, onshore wind “already costs less than nuclear and other renewables, and by 2020 will be competitive with new gas” then wind power outfits have no need for subsidies, mandated targets, or guaranteed, fixed-price government contracts at all.
In which event, instead of developers pulling the plug on 250 threatened wind farms, they’d be spearing those 2,500 turbines all over Ol’ Blighty as fast as they could – wouldn’t they? So what’s all the fuss about?
STT thinks it all boils down to the quality of the “product” on offer. Break down the terms on which wind power is “supplied”, and the “deal” reduces to this:
- we (“the wind power generator”) will supply and you (“the hopeful punter at the end of the line”) will take every single watt we produce, whenever that might be;
- except that this will occur less than 30% of the time; and, no, we can’t tell you when that might be – although it will probably be in the middle of the night when you don’t need it;
- around 70% of the time – when the wind stops blowing altogether – we won’t be supplying anything at all;
- in which event, it’s a case of “tough luck” sucker, you’re on your own, but you can try your luck with dreaded coal or gas-fired generators, they’re burning mountains of coal and gas anyway to cover our little daily output “hiccups” – so they’ll probably help you keep your home and business running; and
- the price for the pleasure of our chaotic, unpredictable power “supply” will be fixed for 25 years at 4 times the price charged by those “evil” fossil fuel generators.
It’s little wonder that – in the absence of fines and penalties that force retailers to sign up to take wind power (see our post here) and/or massive subsidies (see our post here) – no retailer would ever bother to purchase wind power on the standard “irresistible” terms above.
There is NO market for electricity that cannot be delivered on demand – wind power has NO commercial value for that very obvious reason. The “demand” that exists is nothing more than legislated policy artifice – in the absence of mandated fines, penalties and/or endless subsidies the wind industry would have never got going at all.
Any policy that is unsustainable will either fail under its own steam; or its creators will eventually be forced to scrap it. Endless streams of massive subsidies for a meaningless power source fits the “unsustainable” tag to a T.
The wind industry has been telling the world it’s almost ready to stand on its own two feet for over 30 years (see our post here).
To the horror of the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers, David Cameron, Amber Rudd & Co have offered it the chance to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the big boys. We wish it the best of luck.