Windfarm Subsidies 10 minute rule. 2nd reading 6th March 2015

Windfarm Subsidies
10 minute rule bill 21st January 2015.
Second reading 6th March 2015

The following was written by Mike Hulme of the Den Brook Community Liaison Group and was sent to his MP (Mel Stride) and has since been copied to our MP (Geoffrey Cox) encouraging them to make sure they support the second reading as the first was only passed with 59 Ayes against 57 Noes!  You may not have been aware of Nigel Adams MP presenting a 10 minute rule bill last Wednesday calling for the abolition of onshore wind turbine subsidies.

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In the context of large subsidies benefiting mainly wealthy landowners and foreign owned corporations, and exclusively paid for by electricity consumers many of whom continue to experience fuel poverty, the following extract from Mr Adams speech is perhaps worthy of note:

“I should like to mention single turbines.  These are usually applied for and sited on farmland ………  Farmers are paid to generate even if they use the power and on top of this they are paid a further amount for any power fed into the grid.  So for example, for a 50kW turbine, the basic tariff is 17.78p per kwh, that’s £177.80 per mWh and a further £47.70 (per mWh) for power fed into the grid.  If a farmer with such a turbine uses 80% of the power himself, which is not unrealistic, the power fed into the grid and therefore paid for by the consumer will cost a staggering £936.70 per mWh, which is nearly 20 times the wholesale market price.

Even if the farmer doesn’t use any of the power himself, that is nearly 5 times the wholesale market price.

As many parts of your constituency are being inundated with applications for such wind generators, these statistics are noteworthy. Moreover, It is surely outrageous that along with often being unreasonably noisy ‘neighbours’ our highly valued countryside is being severely impacted whilst paying such ridiculously high levels of subsidies.”

In addition to the subsidies that were identified in Nigel Adams’ presentation speech, there are other hidden subsidies that you need to be aware of:

  • The extra hidden cost of grid transmission because wind farms are typically further from centres of population than conventional generators.
  • The constraint payments mentioned in the presentation of the bill, should also be regarded as a subsidy.
  • The additional cost that is carried by coal and gas generation just to ramp up and down their output to match the huge fluctuations in wind power should also be regarded as a subsidy.
  • The impact of these accumulating subsidies is simply not sustainable and for that reason alone they must surely be brought to an end.

As you know, those of us who have been challenging the installation of wind turbines in this area are very concerned about this issue and hope you are able to support the second reading of this bill on Friday 6 March. No doubt others copied in will also write to you and endorse the widespread and growing concerns in relation to this vitally important matter as the election approaches.

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