Alec Salmond will be disappointed that England and Wales have cut subsidies to onshore wind by the pathetic 10% to match the cut in Scotland. This in spite of evidence that the Treasury accepted demonstrated a case for a 25% cut. Another review next year and not accepting long term “climate change targets” seems to be the trade-off. Oh yes, and more cash to communities to compensate them. Bribery, then.
Please let the politicians know what you think. No doubt the wind industry will be grateful and withdraw their threat of legal action. So we need to continue campaigning, locally and nationally. How can a body producing so little energy wield so much power? Oh yes, that will be the money you and I are giving them.
If you would like to see the paltry contribution wind is making to the nation’s energy needs, you can check all sorts of energy production statistics here.
A small consolation is that the Valuation Office Agency has provided some official backing to the well-known but oft-denied fact: wind farms negatively affect the value of your home.
The lights may well go out, because we can’t afford to put them on and because the wind has stopped blowing.
A slightly more mellow view to the subsidy changes has been taken by the Renewable Energy Foundation:
The Renewable Energy Foundation  today welcomed DECC’s announcement of cuts to overall renewables subsidies that will contain costs to the domestic consumers and the wider economy.
“In a shock announcement Ed Davey has today made public sweeping changes to the Renewables Obligation subsidy system, including cuts to wind power subsidies and a major change of emphasis to encourage the use of biomass in converted coal power stations, which is one of the cheapest ways of generating green electricity . The UK already has one such conversion, at Tilbury, thought to be the world’s largest biomass generator.
Renewable Energy Foundation notes that the DECC’s cost cuts are very close to those required in a leaked letter from Mr Osborne to Mr Davey which was made public over the last few days, where the Chancellor said that:
“We need to set out an approach which puts the cost to consumers at its heart.”
Mr Osborne’s letter made it clear that DECC was about to overspend its renewables support budget by £500 million in the year 2013/14. DECC’s plans published today are aimed at preventing that overspend by switching emphasis to the use of biomass. DECC estimates that this shift, together with the re-banding of wind, could save £6 a year on domestic electricity bills in 2013, which, when savings to the industrial sector are included, will total about £480 million a year.
Dr John Constable, director of REF, said:
“This dramatic reorientation in favour of biomass is a welcome diversification of the wind-centric policy and should reduce costs to consumers.”
Dr Constable continued:
“There are genuine concerns about the sustainability of biomass feed-stocks, and the industry must deliver high standards in order to retain public confidence, but the potential for low cost, fully controllable, biomass electricity is large.”