David Cameron confirms no more wind farm subsidies at first PMQs

Plans to build new wind farms in England and Wales have been dealt a blow after Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed the government is ruling out future subsidies.

Prime Minister David Cameron at PMQs
Prime Minister David Cameron at PMQs

Montgomeryshire Tory MP Glyn Davies asked Mr Cameron during the first Prime Minister's Questions of the new government, whether he was standing by his pledge to end future subsidies for onshore wind.

Mr Cameron said he wanted to "be clear" that there would be no further subsidies and congratulated Mr Davies on his re-election.

He said: "I am very glad to see my honourable friend back in his place. He campaigned very hard on this in the last Parliament and in our manifesto we were very, very clear that there will be no more subsidies for onshore windfarms.

"It is time to give local people the decisive say. That is what will happen in England, in Wales - obviously the subsidy regime will be changed because it is a reserved issue, so I think that his desire has now been met."

Mr Davies had asked: "Does the Prime Minister agree that any onshore windfarm proposal not already granted planning permission should not expect to receive any public subsidy?"

  • See Thursday's Shropshire Star for reactions
    
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Comments for: "David Cameron confirms no more wind farm subsidies at first PMQs"

MrW

Expect a plethora of planning applications for solar farms now that Mr Cameron has announced this. Let's hope they are addressed sensibly and Shropshire doesn't become one huge solar farm industry for the lazy land owners.

Stantia

Hottest years on record, sea levels rising, freak weather across the world, torrential rain and no summer. Just keep burning those fossil fuels.

Pip

If we have kids or Grandkids we have to rise above these NIMBY attitudes and think what future we will be passing on to them. Fortunately we don't live on the Pacific Islands but it won't belong before parts of Norfolk start to flood as sea levels rise. We didn't campaign against electricity pylons which criss-cross our country so what's so abhorrent about on-shore wind farms - which in my view show the best of humanity .......

We need to take a longer view and bequeath our kids a more secure future.

countrypumpkin

yes, that's why we must stop windfarms. That's because they need FOSSIL FUEL backup for when the wind isn't blowing, and also need to be kept turning if there's no wind with FOSSIL FUEL generators. Do learn some basic science, it isn't hard.

nuclear power is a great help although it can't provide all our energy needs. We need solar and genuine renewable tech that works. That's not wind. We also need to use a lot less.

no summer? Are you clairvoyant? Summer begins June 21.

Llandy

Countrypumpkin:

Totally agree with you, but there's no point trying to debate with acolytes of the AGW religion. They have been indoctrinated and refuse to accept the reality that 'renewables' such as wind and solar simply do not work when there's no wind, or too much wind, or no sun. They also refuse to accept the fact that building these useless contraptions is commercially unviable without subsidies from taxpayers and/or consumers.

It will be interesting to see how many of the current pending planning applications in Salop and Powys now get withdrawn, and, as suggested by MrW, we get a plethora of solar applications instead.

Pip

'Subsidies from taxpayers/consumers' - I've included a link entitled "Fossil fuels subsidised by a 'shocking' $10m a minute, say IMF experts"

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/fossil-fuels-subsidised-by-a-shocking-10m-a-minute-says-imf-10261229.html

Llandy

Pip: Complete and utter rubbish and disinformation. To quote from the article: " Researchers defined energy subsidies as the difference between what consumers pay for energy and its “true costs”, as firms do not pay the costs levied against governments by burning fossil fuels. This sum factors in supply costs and the damage that energy consumption inflicts on people’s health and the environment."

In other words, these "fossil fuel subsidies" are what these so called "researchers" think is what they think producers should be paying over and above their production costs. Sorry, but that is a levy or tax, so they are not being 'subsidised' by not being taxed or levied in such a way.

On the other, the current subsidy system for wind and solar gives their owners actual cash in hand money over and above the real cost of the electricity they are generating (and takes no account for the health and environmental effects that those "alternative technologies" are causing) and it is coming straight out of the pockets of taxpayers and energy consumers.

TW

I read the headline and knowing the Shropshire star's obsession of twisting issues, I just had to see what all the fuss was about for myself. So having just watched PMQ back on iplayer, I thought David Cameron gave a poor answer to a poor question from someone perusing their own personal agenda against the wishes of the majority of his constituents. See the home goal by Montgomeryshire Conservative, Russell George's energy survey results which found the vast majority of people in Montgomeryshire support renewable energy and a clear majority stated that having a windfarm locally is of benefit to their area.

Looking into Cameron's poor reply, he only confirmed what was written in the conservative manifesto. A vague soundbite to appease a minority.

DC referenced manifesto commitments to changes to the planning regime in England & Wales. I can speculate that this will apply only to new applications once any change in policy is made. No timescale has yet been announced for this. Let's hope the opposition parties can stand up and add that the same rules should apply to fracking!

DC also failed to state that planning is a devolved issue with currently anything over 50MW falling to Westminster, anything below 50MW falls to the Welsh Government. Cameron also overlooked the St David’s day agreement which will see the Welsh Gov gaining more powers to determine any energy project below 350MW.

With regards to subsidy, DC stated the regime would be changed because it is a reserved issue, but he failed to mention that he has also pledged to consult the devolved nations first.

So we will all have to wait and see what he means by this. There are many legality issues around how the gov would be able to implement this poorly thought out manifesto pledge, or not as the strong case may be! It would be sensible to await much needed clarity on this issue.

I felt DC did not answer Glyn's question directly, just issuing enough false hope to keep him and the no to progress mob quiet for a while.

I felt today was a wasted valuable minute for the more important issues facing Montgomeryshire from an ineffective MP.

Llandy

TW: Not a disgruntled kipper by any chance?

Monty

> DC also failed to state that planning is a devolved issue with currently anything over 50MW falling to Westminster, anything below 50MW falls to the Welsh Government. Cameron also overlooked the St David’s day agreement which will see the Welsh Gov gaining more powers to determine any energy project below 350MW.

The question was about subsidy, not about planning permission. Should the wind farm developers receive planning permission it would then be up to them whether they wished to proceed with building the wind farm without public subsidy.

MrW

Well without subsidies they don't pay for themselves, that's the whole point. I wouldn't be surprised to see any pending wind farm applications shelved.

Greth

Shame you have to resort to untruths.

Utterly false to say that a majority said having a windfarm is of benefit.

The question asked was about wind turbines, and a small majority who lived with these felt they were of benefit to that community. Very likely to refer to single wind turbines.

The survey was strongly against the mid Wales connection project, which will now be shelved.

Get used to it.

Cj

iroincally this will kill off small single turbines for farmers and community groups but will force commercially minded companies to build bigger and bigger units to capture economies of scale so proper wind 'farms' will still be profitable the odd one (which seemingly most people dont object to) will become unviable = lol

Llandy

Cj: Sorry, but why should small single turbines for farms/community groups require public funding?

Rupert

I ask myself the very same question in relation to tax breaks for companies extracting oil and gas.

Towbar

No doubt Camerons legislation on wind farm subsidies will not apply to the Scots