It is a bit ironic for Environment Minister Liz Truss to come to Northumberland to complain about wind turbines when it is the British Government’s dogma-driven approach to meeting our vital renewable energy obligations which has created the problem.
Its obsession with ‘markets’ has already placed our railways and utilities in the hands of big foreign state and corporate-owned monopolies.
The first thing to make clear is that the technology of wind power is nothing like as inefficient as its fanatical detractors claim.
In terms of energy returned on energy invested (EROEI), it is better than nuclear and shale gas, yet safe and clean.
It is infinitely more energy-efficient than utilising good farmland for biofuel production. Ninety-seven per cent of the dash for turbines is outside the UK, with such politically diverse places as China, Chile and Texas piling into wind power. Can the rest of the world really be so wrong?
The latest figures show that in October, Scotland’s wind turbines produced more Kw/hrs than the country consumed.
Yes, they receive taxpayer support, but only a tiny fraction of the money which our Government has promised to France and Communist China for building two nuclear power stations in Somerset.
In the more genuine democracies, windfarms and other renewables are readily accepted because they are much more under the control of local communities who, in turn, benefit from the cheap power they produce.
In contrast, our Government has devised an anti-local, anti-democratic system where the big, foreign corporations installing them give some of our tax money to the (often absentee) landowner. It is hardly surprising that local communities who receive no benefit resent their imposition.
It is disgraceful that so much of the money added to our energy bills to support renewables only benefits already wealthy landowners for wind turbines and also those with large country houses and adjoining cottages who are the lucky minority able to meet the tight criteria ‘entitling’ them to large sums from ordinary people’s bills to warm their chilly mansions with biomass heating systems.
The average householder fitting an equally ‘renewable’ wood-stove gets nothing.
Why, Ms Truss? She was accompanied on her visit by anti-wind campaigner and Conservative prospective candidate Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
I agree with Ms Trevelyan’s statement that ‘it is an entirely unacceptable situation affecting the poorest the most as they struggle to pay their fuel bills’.
I only hope that she has stuck to her principles and is not among those owners of stately homes who have accepted large amounts of public money to finance 25 years of cosy warmth from their vast biomass boilers at the expense of ‘the poor man at the gate’ who has to pick up the tab for their luxury and comfort through the enhanced energy bills she mentions.