Following my attempt at persuading my MP to work behind the scenes to stop the proposed moratorium of onshore wind farms in the next Conservative manifesto, the excellent Graham has also written to his MP, Mike Penning. I think Graham’s letter was better than mine, and the response was more favourable as well. Do you fancy writing to your MP?
I was very disappointed to hear that the Conservatives are planning a moratorium on onshore wind farms from 2020, in next years election manifesto.
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report calls for renewable energy production to be at least trebled and dominate world energy supplies by 2050.
Onshore wind will be cheaper than fossil fuels very shortly, which has given Ecotricity (who supply 40% of renewable energy) the confidence to freeze their electricity prices for 21 months, the longest period in the industry.
While there is local opposition to onshore wind, 60% of the country are in favour, and this figure can only increase with the latests warnings from the IPCC.
I do hope that you will oppose the planned onshore wind farm moratorium which would rob us of cheap energy and jobs in future years ?
I look forward to your reply
And the reply:
Many thanks for contacting me with your concerns over a possible moratorium on Onshore Wind Farms.
I can confirm that I am aware of residents concerns and have written to the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change on this.
I will of course be in touch as soon as I have his response.
Well done, Graham. Although, thinking about it, isn’t the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change a Liberal Democrat, and not Conservative? How can he influence what the Tories put in their manifesto?
I also emailed Mike Penning and am awaiting a response.
Nice one Dennis for also contacting Mike Penning. Maybe I should write to my MEP as well.
Your right John, regarding Liberal Democrat’s Ed Davey having no influence over the Conservative Party manifesto.
I shall write back to Mike pointing this out as soon as he sends me the reply from Ed Davey.
Letters from Mike Penning
13th June 2014
Further to previous correspondence , I have not yet received a full response from the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change.
I have, therefore, written to them again today and will, of course, be in touch as soon as they reply.
20th June 2014
Further to previous correspondence, please find enclosed a copy of a response received from The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP setting out the position with regard to the Onshore Wind Industry.
I hope that this response addresses the concerns you raised but, if not, please don’t hesitate to contact me again.
Letter from Michael Fallon MP
Thank you for forwarding your constituent’s recent letter concerning energy policy.
Improving competition within the energy industry and making sure that we have a good mixture of reliable energy are important parts of our long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain.
We remain committed to cutting our carbon emissions, and we support renewables as part of a balanced energy mix. If we are to protect Britain’s energy security, cut emission and ensure, long-term, affordable supplies of energy, then renewables-alongside nuclear, gas and carbon capture and storage – are an important component of our energy future.
As one of the oldest renewables – and one of the least expensive – Onshore Wind has an important role to play in helping us meet the UK’s legally binding 2020 renewables target and in decarbonising our electricity market by 2050. It now delivers power to four million homes. Under Coalition plans, it will deliver power to three million more by 2020. By 2020 we expect to see up to 13 GW of installed Onshore Wind capacity across the UK.
In addition to low-carbon electricity Onshore Wind brings other benefits to the UK. This includes jobs and investment, generous community benefit packages as well as helping us secure our energy supply. Since 2010, for example, DECC has recorded announced investments in Onshore Wind totalling around £4.6 bn. This has the potential to support over 7,700 jobs.
All of the projects needed to meet Britain’s renewable targets have already received consent under the existing planning regime.
That’s why the next Conservative Government will :
1] End any additional public subsidy of Onshore Wind beyond what is already planned in the pipeline;
2] Put Onshore Wind back in the locally-led planning system where it belongs. That means large-scale Onshore Wind farms will be determined by the locally-led planning system – not the national infrastructure regime;
3] Amend planning policy to give even greater protection to locally valued landscape, heritage and other concerns.
Household energy bills will not rise as a result of this policy. That’s because the amount bill payers contribute to renewable energy by 2020 is capped by the Levy Control Framework. So our policy means that household energy bills will not increase beyond the Coalition plans that have already been set out within this cap.
Once we have deployed enough Onshore Wind to meet our renewable energy obligations, Conservative Party policy is that it is right that this mature technology should stand on its own two feet – without additional subsidy and only if local communities want it.
I enclose a link to my recent speech to the Renewables UK Conference in Glasgow which may be of interest:
With all best wishes,
Minister for Business & Energy
Well, good news there that the rumour of the Tories considering a moratorium on onshore wind appears to be incorrect.
The obvious holes in Michael Fallon’s argument is that the renewable energy obligations are not sufficient to avoid catastrophic climate change, and the inclusion of gas in the long-term energy mix, where it will need to be removed within the next 20 years.
Yes, or may be they backed off after numerous complaints.
I could write back on this one but when you read articles like this, it’s difficult to find the strength.
I am actually going to the houses of parliament next week to meet MPs (as part of the “For the Love” campaign). I might raise this with them if I get the chance.
Good luck with the meeting and hopefully you can raise the contents of this article. Numerous comments of disbelief on this one.
Oh and good luck with the new work contracts, you’ve done some amazing campaigning work for the environment and Transition Town.
Yes, well done John and good luck at parliament.
Letter from Edward Davey Secretary of State to Mike Penning MP
Thank you for your letter dated 24 April, enclosing correspondence from your constituent, Mr Graham Cox, about UK policy on energy. I apologise for the delay in replying.
We need to move from finite, high-carbon fossil fuels to clean, secure energy. The UK faces an unprecedented energy challenge – we must replace around a fifth of our existing electricity generation over the next decade – and as such we need to call on all tools at our disposal to keep the lights on.
The Government has made it clear that it is committed to achieving the UK’s legally binding target of 15% renewables by 2020. This target has not been subject to change. Wind will be a key component in meeting the UK’s 2020 target for energy from renewable sources and onshore wind could deliver around 14% of the required total energy. It has the potential to produce enough power for 7.7 million homes (32TWh).
Onshore wind is one of the more cost-effective and established renewable technologies, so it makes sense to use it. Studies indicate that the UK has one of the best wind resources in Europe, and of course the wind itself is a free and unlimited source of fuel, so it protects consumers against the volatile but generally increasing cost of fossil fuels. It is also reliable, with the likelihood of low wind speeds affecting 50% of the country occurring for less than 100 hours per year. The chance of turbines shutting down due to very high wind speeds is also very low. Onshore wind is the cheapest large scale renewable technology, and brings real benefits to the UK through jobs and investments and is helping to ensure a secure, low carbon electricity supply. In addition to low-carbon electricity onshore wind brings other benefits to the UK. Since 2010, for example, this Department has recorded announced investments in onshore wind totalling around £4.6bn. This has the potential to support over 7,700 jobs.
The Government has announced that we are moving to ‘competitive allocation’ for new onshore wind projects when we introduce the new renewables support mechanism in 2015. Requiring low carbon technologies to compete on cost for Contracts for Difference will reduce deployment costs, improve value for money for consumers (who meet the costs of supporting onshore wind through their electricity bills) and ensure that our support regimes are in line with EU state aid requirements.
The Government’s approach to avoiding the risk of dangerous climate change has at its heart the Climate Change Act 2008. As the worlds first long term legally binding national framework, the Act requires the UK to reduce its emissions by at least 80% by 2050 and 34% by 2020. It also puts in place a system of five-yearly ‘carbon budgets’ to keep the UK on an emissions pathway to 2050.
While our vision for 2050 is clear, there are huge uncertainties as to how this vision will be realised. We have taken a scenario-based approach to determine what the UK might look like in 2050 and used this analysis to inform our strategy to meeting carbon budgets to 2027. The Carbon Plan sets out proposals for achieving the emissions reductions committed to in the first four carbon budgets.
We are on track to meet the first three carbon budgets, but will need additional action if we are to meet the fourth budget. The latest projections suggest the UK is on track to meet its first three budgets with current planned policies.
In November 2013, DECC published an updated Renewable Energy Roadmap, available on the following web page: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-renewable-energy-roadmap-second-update. This update brings together the story of our rapid progress and sets out our shared high ambitions to go further than many thought possible just a few years ago. I would encourage your constituent to view this document for further information on how the Government plans to develop our renewable generation.
Interesting. I got a similar letter back from David Gauke on behalf of the Conservatives, on their manifesto plan to remove subsidies for onshore wind. Did you type a printed letter out for this comment?
Yes I did type a printed letter out, not too many mistakes I hope.
The Conservatives are in a difficult position with onshore wind now being cheaper than gas.
Do they scale back onshore wind in favour of the more expensive offshore to please local Tory voters but then face criticism for higher energy bills?
I think this was Owen Paterson’s idea, yet another reason he lost his job. He wrote a scathing article on the green movement in the Telegraph last week referring to us as the ‘Green Blob’. He is also guest speaker at Nigel Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation in October.
Impressive dedication in typing out the letter. Just read the Owen Paterson article – I can only hope his views are not widely held. Interesting to note that he purloined the green organisations that do some lobbying for being unelected, but is siding and supporting the unelected anti-green lobbying group of GWPF.
Thanks! I have a second hand scanner in the loft, but never got round to setting it up!
Owen Paterson also praises Australian PM Tony Abbott who scrapped the Carbon Tax and Canadian PM Stephen Harper who promotes the Tar Sand industry.
I hope Nigel Lawson and Owen Paterson live long enough to see the demise of the fossil fuel industry and both receive a birthday card from King Charles with a wind turbine on the front!
Eric Pickles certainly wants a moratorium on onshore wind farms.
What an annoying plonker he is. It’s one thing giving local communities the right to challenge, and another to override the decisions of the planning committees.
Fingers crossed he loses the court case – keeping a close eye on it.
I like that website though, there are some very good articles most days.