WHAT is it about Conservatives and opposition to on-shore windfarms? (Bury Free Press, February 11).
Is it because they are closet climate change sceptics?
An analysis of those who think climate change poses no threat reveals them to be predominantly men (70 per cent) and about twice as likely to be over 65 and to have voted Conservative in 2010, than the general population.
The accusation that wind-power is ‘intermittent and inefficient’ has been dismissed by experts time and time again. Wind power, as part of the whole portfolio of renewables, is an effective and efficient way of reducing our carbon output and in meeting our future energy needs. Onshore wind power is the cheapest of all the low-carbon technologies.
That we are living in ‘financially straightened times’ is very true, but support for the renewables industry through our energy bills is essential if we are to plan effectively for the future. Research and development of new technologies nearly always require financial support. It should also be remembered that oil, gas and nuclear all receive very large subsidies.
It is estimated that subsidies for all forms of renewables will rise to about four per cent of the average energy bill by 2020. In return for this investment, we will be able to meet our obligation to cut climate warming emissions and enhance our national energy security. Remember that our exposure to international fuel prices is a major factor in accelerating increases in home energy bills.
David Ruffley and his co-signatories would like more money to be spent on alternative renewable sources, such as wave and tidal power. But these get five times the subsidy of onshore wind. Granting this request would push bills even higher.
However, they are right to argue for improved home efficiency measures because this is the cheapest way to cut bills and carbon emissions.
Britain’s homes are old and leaky by international standards and millions of lofts and cavity walls remain poorly insulated.
Sadly, the Government’s green deal policy to transform the energy efficiency of 14 million homes and create 65,000 jobs seems doomed to fail through lack of willpower and investment.
We are facing a national emergency in terms of securing our future energy supplies. Onshore windpower is the cheapest and easiest way to cope with this emergency in ‘financially straightened times.’ We should give it our full support.