The Conservative party could pledge to cut back on onshore wind farms in its next manifesto, a senior party source has told a national newspaper.
The Telegraph reported that David Cameron was “of one mind” with some of the strongest opponents to onshore turbines. It added that he was prepared to “go further” in cutting back on their rollout – despite the fact they provide clean, renewable energy and often result in cheaper bills for local residents.
The source was also quoted in the Guardian as saying that the cutback could be met through reducing the overall output of wind farms, tighter planning regulations or lower subsidies.
Without funding, it is unlikely that wind farms can be developed to their full potential, with storage capabilities one of the key obstacles to full scale use of turbines across the UK. Last month, a study concluded that most turbines are capable of stockpiling three days’ worth of uninterrupted energy.
According to the source, the revelation is likely to cause a rift in the coalition, with deputy prime minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said to fight against the move.
“Nick Clegg was simply not going to allow the Tories to move the goalposts on green energy again“, the source reportedly said.
“Some sort of crude block towards onshore wind would seriously damage investor confidence in Britain’s energy markets. It would be a double whammy – bad for both British business and for the environment”.
A recent government poll suggested that wind farms are more popular among the British public than fracking, which the Conservative government has given strong support to.
Some even suggested that the prime minister was offering “bribes” to the shale gas industry by allowing councils, who have seen their budget grants from central government slashed in recent years, to retain 100% of business rates collected from fracking sites.
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