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Onshore Wind Development Collapses As Subsidies End

May 8, 2018

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Patsy Lacey

From the Independent:

 

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The government failed to consider the climate or the economic costs of a policy change that contributed to the collapse of onshore wind in the UK.

Planning applications for new onshore wind developments have plummeted by 94 per cent since the introduction of new policies governing their construction in 2015.

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information rules for The Independent by Christine Ottery at DeSmog UK and environmental group 10:10 Climate Action have revealed the government did not conduct relevant impact assessments before implementing these changes.

They found no assessments had been made of how the new policies would affect carbon emissions, despite the key role onshore wind is thought to have in transitioning to a greener energy system and meeting climate targets.

There was also no detailed assessment of how policies would affect the future of the nation’s wind industry, or consumers’ fuel bills.

Instead, the only impact assessments that were carried out were into the effect of such policies on equality and “the strength of family relationships” in local communities.

Onshore wind is one of the cheapest and most efficient sources of renewable electricity, and surveys show most British people support it.

“This is a shocking revelation,” said Caroline Lucas, MP and co-leader of the Green Party.

“For no assessment to be made in relation to the impact on the industry really does expose the government’s contempt for onshore wind, and their utter unwillingness to see reason.

“We know that ministers are more motivated by a small cabal of their own backbenchers than the evidence on this issue – and their failure here underlines this.”

Alan Whitehead, Labour’s shadow minister for energy and climate change, said the lack of impact assessments showed “a shocking display of poor governance”.

“This ill-considered action has thrown away a strong British industry of the future and potentially increased energy prices by effectively outlawing the cheapest form of clean energy in the country today,” he said.

The government action in 2015 was part of a wider strategy aimed at giving communities more say in where wind turbines can be built.

The policy change came after a group of more than 100 MPs wrote an open letter to David Cameron calling for him to remove support for “inefficient and intermittent” onshore wind.

Under the new rules, onshore wind developments were only allowed to proceed in areas designated suitable by local authorities.

There was also a transfer of power from the government’s energy and climate change department to what is now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

While onshore wind has not been banned outright, these policy changes, combined with the withdrawal of subsidies, have been described by experts as an “effective ban” due to the block they put on new projects.

Historically, new wind projects were reliant on government subsidies. Following the 2015 general election the Conservatives made a manifesto promise of “no subsidies” for new operations, effectively stifling the industry.

However, wind farm technology has now progressed to the extent that many onshore wind farms being built across Europe are set to be subsidy-free.

Industry experts see onshore wind as playing a key role in the UK transitioning to a greener future.

“It’s the cheapest option for new power in the UK, and in the 2020s we have to procure very large amounts of new power to replace very large amounts of power that is going offline and to meet our carbon budget,” said Luke Clark, director of external affairs at trade association RenewableUK.

“Given its low-cost nature, onshore wind should certainly have a role to play in meeting those needs.”

In response to the government’s lack of preparation, Dr Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), said: “This looks like another snap policy decision made in the rush to nix onshore wind that wasn’t really fully considered”.

“In rushing through as many roadblocks to onshore wind as possible, the government knackered the industry, as we have seen in the years since.”

Analysis by ECIU has revealed that policies blocking the development of onshore wind could add £1bn to the UK’s energy bills over five years.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/environmental-impact-policies-led-collapse-112611228.html

 

As I have been pointing out for the last few months, new onshore wind developments have plummeted to virtually zero since subsidies were withdrawn in 2016. This proves for once and for all that onshore wind is nowhere near to being viable without the generous subsidies and guarantees previously handed out.

As for the claim that wind farm technology has now progressed to the extent that many onshore wind farms being built across Europe are set to be subsidy-free, the dearth of new investment reveals this to be just more lies from the renewable lobby.

 

The various whingers listed by the Independent might like to consider that the withdrawal of subsidies was a manifesto promise by the Conservatives at the 2015 election. Apparently Caroline Lucas and co don’t believe in democracy. They would rather force their eco-nonsense down people’s throats, whether they like it or not.

 

As for the ECIU’s newfound concern about energy bills, I wonder why they never seem to mention the fact that the green policies they espouse are already costing £11.3bn a year, a figure which will inevitably continue to grow for many years to come.

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24 Comments
  1. May 8, 2018 4:39 pm

    I’m looking forward to the time when existing onshore wind turbines are dismantled when they become too expensive to maintain, or when their subsidy contract ends.

    • Broadlands permalink
      May 8, 2018 5:04 pm

      It has already been done on the windy big island in Hawaii…

      ttps://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/blog/2012/03/apollo-energy-removing-old-wind.html

    • Simon from Ashby permalink
      May 9, 2018 12:42 pm

      When all of the subsidies eventually run out wind turbines will be uneconomical and the companies that operate them will be allowed to go bust. The Wind turbines themselves will be abandoned leaving a huge quantity of ugly, deteriorating and ever more dangerous industrial waste scattered across the country.

      The operating companies will be untouchable because they will have no assets to seize and the companies officers will have broken no laws.

      The value of the scrap will not come close to the cost of removal and reinstatement of the land they stood on so the only way to get rid of them will be for tax payers to pay for it – just like we did for their construction.

      Meanwhile the original owners of the wind farms, via holding companies, and the wind farms’ landlords will have enriched themselves at the expense of consumers who often couldn’t afford the increase in cost.

  2. Ian Magness permalink
    May 8, 2018 4:46 pm

    “This is a shocking revelation,” said Caroline Lucas, MP and co-leader of the Green Party.
    Alan Whitehead, Labour’s shadow minister for energy and climate change, said the lack of impact assessments showed “a shocking display of poor governance”.

    “Oh dear
    How Sad
    Never mind..”

    Windsor Davies from “It ain’t half hot with all this Global Warming Mum”

  3. Emrys Jones permalink
    May 8, 2018 4:51 pm

    It was clear that Merkel didn’t believe in man made Climate Change when she decided to close all Germany’s nuclear power facilities and rely on coal instead. There seems to have been a similar quiet shift away from financial support in most countries. They continue to talk about it’s importance in public, whilst quietly spending less money on it.

    Never listen to what politicians say they will do, never listen to what they say they have done, only look at the outcomes and the numbers.

  4. May 8, 2018 5:14 pm

    Not much to crow about when wind and solar only supply 0.8% of the World’s power!

  5. HotScot permalink
    May 8, 2018 5:16 pm

    I stopped reading (after I had stopped cheering) when I saw the odious organisation desmog mentioned.

    Interestingly my autocorrect replaced it with despot.

    Coincidence. I think not.

  6. mikewaite permalink
    May 8, 2018 6:00 pm

    I am most concerned by the comment “— and surveys show most British people support it.”
    Is that true? If so the reintroduction of onshore wind farm construction on the massive scale required for the phasing out of ICE vehicles, by weak ministers obsessed with publicity, is just a matter of time.

    • May 8, 2018 6:56 pm

      It may well be, but building a national energy supply based on opinion polls is a complete nonsense. Anyway, Polls show most people are against immigration. Would Lucas agree to stop immigration based on those polls? No, of course she wouldn’t.

      • May 8, 2018 7:28 pm

        Most people live in towns and cities and never see the devastating effects wind turbines have on the landscape and on peoples’ lives. They also don’t realise how much wind power costs compared to conventional, dispatchable power.

    • May 8, 2018 7:27 pm

      Most people live in towns and cities and never see the devastating effects wind turbines have on the landscape and on peoples’ lives. They also don’t realise how much wind power costs compared to conventional, dispatchable power.

    • May 8, 2018 9:07 pm

      Unfortunately the gullible public are not aware of the facts – that windpower is adding to their energy bills.

      Also most live in cities, well away from being in contact with wind farms

  7. charles wardrop permalink
    May 8, 2018 6:07 pm

    Wind powered “renewables” are the second worst scam since WW2, the worst being the speculative AGW, which we cannot, realistically, counter, China, USA and India having opted out from the probably useless decarbonisation programmes.

  8. May 8, 2018 6:37 pm

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    Hilarious to see the wind industry promoting onshore wind as the cheapest renewable source but still wholly reliant on public subsidy after all these years. A phrase involving the words “brass” and “necks” comes to mind.

  9. May 8, 2018 7:16 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  10. May 8, 2018 7:53 pm

    The Independent is bad as the Grauniad, the BBC and Channel 4 for only giving one side of any story.

    Why is there not one single mention of the Levy Control Framework?
    “The LCF was designed to control the costs of supporting low carbon electricity, paid for through consumers’ energy bills. It set an annual budget for projected costs of all BEIS’ low carbon electricity levy-funded schemes until 2020/21”. With the cost of subsidies for ruinable energy schemes spiralling out of control, the Government had no option other than to scrap a lot of the subsidies.

  11. May 8, 2018 8:41 pm

    Onshore wind marches on in Scotland, sadly.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-44041223

  12. John F. Hultquist permalink
    May 8, 2018 10:14 pm

    Paul,
    You and your readers may find this interesting.

    Country comparisons

  13. Athelstan permalink
    May 8, 2018 10:21 pm

    ‘environmental group 10:10 Climate Action’

    Isn’t that the bunch of braindead Communist lunatics who commissioned the exploding heads video?

    Fucking loonytunes – who would give a monkeys what they think?

    On onshore wind subsidies and land whirlygigs dying the death, it would take somebody with a heart of stone – not to laugh loud and long.

  14. Robert Fairless permalink
    May 9, 2018 5:39 am

    The spread and use of wind turbines was never about limiting CO2 or climate change or any other such nonsense: that was for the plebs who in any case were forced to pay for them on their monthly electricity bills.
    It was about MONEY; that was the great motivator. When David Cameron’s father in law erected his five wind turbines on his land do you think he gave a hoot about the new religion which was consuming the thoughts of the gullible?
    No, you can bet Samantha’s daddy thought only of money. Whether it came from the EU or the UK mattered not. It was the one thousand pounds per day that dominated his thoughts. That is £1,000.00 PER DAY. Not a week or a month but a DAY.
    We do not know how much that influenced the policies of our former Prime Minister but could he ignore that which was making his family extremely rich?

  15. Henning Nielsen permalink
    May 9, 2018 7:47 am

    So, it can be established that turbines come to a halt when:
    a) The wind stops blowing.
    b) The money stops flowing.

  16. May 9, 2018 8:41 am

    Onshore bird-choppers dying is good news.
    Subsidies for cronies finishing is also good news.
    Transporting wood pellets from US to Drax which sits on a huge coalfield is insanity.
    Offshore bird-choppers is insanity.

    We should be building lots of nuclear power plants, way cleaner & safer than coal, but that would be nixed by our traitorous fake news MSM.
    Book: Merchants Of Despair by Robert Zubrin, a PhD nuclear engineer with 9 patents to his name or pending.

    We are being led into a situation of insufficient & unreliable power supply as we approach the coming mini ice age indicated by low sunspot numbers & predicted by increasing numbers of honest scientists. This will fit nicely with the depopulation policies of UN Agenda 21 & the Brit/US/Zio Empire. Zubrin’s book covers the depopulation efforts also.

    http://www.ukcolumn.org
    & scroll down the homepage to The Bradbury £ & UN Agenda 21. Both are a must-read.
    John Doran.

  17. Ben Vorlich permalink
    May 9, 2018 11:01 am

    The most important sentence is

    Onshore wind is one of the cheapest and most efficient sources of renewable electricity, and surveys show most British people support it.

    The most important phrase is
    cheapest and most efficient sources of renewable electricity

    Not claim it is the cheapest form of energy, nor for that matter is it claimed to be the most efficient form of energy, just it is both of these as far as renewable energy is concerned. Depending of the phraseology of the question it would be easy to get a positive answer, as Philip Bratby has pointed out most people are unaware of the true cost of wind generated electricity.

  18. Gerry, England permalink
    May 9, 2018 12:47 pm

    No impact assessment? So that would be the same as when the stupid Climate Change Act was introduced?

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