The following is a synopsis of the Editorial in todays (23/02/2012) Western Morning news:-
Cameron hedges bets – but wind power is in decline
Downing Street would probably call it “taking a balanced view” but David Cameron’s letter to backbenchers who called for the scrapping of subsidies on wind farms also demonstrates the conumdrum the Prime Minsiter finds himself in over renewable energy. Yes, he told them, he understands the concern of Tory MPs in rural areas, inundated with complaints about giant turbines destroying the view, But no, he went on, he won’t scrap the subsidies because he believes onshore wind plays a role in the UK electricity mix.
The Government’s inability to steer a sensible course on this issue was crystallised by its decision to cut, in very short order, the subsidies paid on solar energy – actually a much less controversial form of green electricity generation since the photo-voltaic panels are less intrusive in the landscape and the return in energy terms is generally perceived as being better than with wind turbines whose inactivity during still periods is obvious for all to see.
In the end, of course, Mr Cameron, was bound to write the reply that he did to those of his backbenchers who are highly critical of wind energy. Subsidies will be cut by 10 per cent he reminded them but wind power has a place. The subtext , however, seems to be that enthusiasm for both the cost and the impact of onshore green energy is fading within Government. On-shore wind is not dead – far from it. But the spectre of the countryside becoming covered with thousands of turbines is surely past. This letter from Mr Cameron helps to confirm that fact, whatever the bald facts in the text.