Ed Davey: Onshore windfarm opposition risks UK jobs

Wind turbine - Some rights reserved by thomas vlThe Guardian reports:

Energy secretary Ed Davey has warned that the Conservative party’s opposition to onshore wind turbines risks undermining the creation of British jobs as new data showed 15,400 people are now employed in the wind power industry.

…But Davey said that the Conservative party’s “ideological” opposition to onshore turbines was undermining new British jobs and driving up customer bills because wind is the cheapest clean energy.

“We have had a major leap forward in recent years and there is a really good story to tell,” Davey said. “But I want to be clear I am having a go at the Conservative party here. It has made it clear onshore wind is something they don’t want to see in the future expansion of low-carbon energy and I think that is undermining investment now and undermining jobs.”

You can read the full article here.

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  • According to Renewable UK each job costs the taxpayer a £115,000 in subsidies.

    The Renewable Energy Foundation estimates that the subsidies to wind farm owners is £1.8 billion.

    What an utter disgrace. Ed Davey should be sacked.

  • Richard Dean 13th Nov '14 - 2:25am

    £115,000 is something like 4 to 5 times the median income. So if the same was spent on subsidies onshore, it might have created something like 75,000 onshore jobs, instead of the 15,400 it created offshore. So is there be some other beneficial factor involved?

    Reducing carbon emissions, for example? 🙂 Making our air cleaner and our soils less polluted? Reducing risks to aquifers? Reducing energy imports? Reducing dependence on countries whose governments or cultures are uncomfortable for us? Potential future export sales of offshore windfarm machinery, or expertise?

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 13th Nov '14 - 10:04am

    Puzzling analysis of payments to land-owners which suggests that the only ones being paid to rent their land are those where wind-farms are located. Are other locations for generating power always free? I suspect the full data is never shared on these topics – only the apparently debate-winning data.

    A second point concerns the said Mr Pickles. Is he not the same minister who is destrying the High Street, the local Councils, probably society as we used to know it? It is interesting that Mr Cameron puts people into positions which allow them to undermine his own more centrist ideas (will not call them principles).

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 13th Nov '14 - 10:07am

    Oops no corrections possible yet. [for ‘destroying’]

  • It is good to be able to agree with Ed Davey on something.
    In The Guardian article he makes the good point that the public stance of Conservatives on wind power is like a contagion spreading to attitudes towards all renewables.

    The lessons from Germany on electricity production and energy security ought to be learned by the UK Conservatives (keeping in mind that Germany has a right wing government for a long time now).
    A high proportion of electricity generated in Germany comes from solar panels on the roofs of ordinary homes. But the ignorant stupidity of the UK Conservative stance on all renewables slows the progress towards greater take up of solar in this country.

    Whose interests are the UK Conservatives serving by attacking sustainable energy sources which benefit ordinary families as well as the environment?

    Of course, if we had invested more in renewables when we had the chance instead of running after over-subsidised new nuclear (despite our promises of NO SUBSIDIES) we would be in a better position to attack the Conservtives.

  • Really. I have been looking across the issues on lib dem voice. How have you people supported this horrible government for so long? You’re better than that

  • Daniel Henry 13th Nov '14 - 8:21pm

    Democracy Alan.
    This is the only government that could form following the result of the 2010 elections so it’s the one that did.

  • Are the jobs at risk EU jobs or UK jobs will they pay a fair wage will the normal person see cost advantages how much extra power do we need to generate because of the increased population. If the population keeps growing can we ever get energy security. What has happened to wave power should the government force free solar panels on all roofs

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