Prime Minister David Cameron keeps up the expected politicisation of the UK energy sector, having announced his intention to end subsidises for onshore wind farms starting 2020 if re-elected. As predicted earlier this year, the UK will be forced to endure an additional twelve months of draconian political policies that will be in line with “the party” rather than the interests of the UK as a whole.
In an official statement by the energy minister Michael Fallon, he stated, “We now have enough bill payer-funded onshore wind in the pipeline to meet our renewable energy commitments, and there’s no requirement for any more.” It is also a far cry from what David Cameron stated publicly in February of 2012, “Onshore wind plays a role in a balanced UK electricity mix, alongside gas, nuclear, cleaner coal and other forms of renewable energy.”
With the majority of Conservative party voters in rural England opposing wind farms for various reasons, it is a clear indication that David Cameron has chosen to put his party before the country.
Under current planning rules, onshore wind farms are handled by a national infrastructure regime that can ignore the wishes of local people. The Tories would change those rules so that major sites would be processed by local councils, allowing local politicians to reflect the views of residents.
The consequences are likely to be similar to those of the solar industry in April 2013 when the government scaled back subsidies; leading to numerous solar developers going into bankruptcy and several thousand job losses across the country. This does not bode well for the UK economy post 2020, especially with what the UK plans to do regarding renewable energy targets for that same period. It also compounds the uncertainty for investment in UK infrastructure, where over £100billion is required but there is very little incentive to invest.