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UK Labour in tune with young people’s enthusiasm for renewable energy: Tories are tone deaf

Dave Toke’s Blog 14th March 2018, How Labour can really put the wind up the Tories. Labour is well placed to
embarrass the Tories by attacking the Government’s war on the onshore
wind industry in the UK.

Despite onshore wind now being the cheapest widely
available electricity source the Government is actively sabotaging the
industry by refusing to allow long term contracts to be issued to wind
developers.  Meanwhile large subsidies are being offered to gas, coal and
nuclear power stations.

Under the last Labour Government incentives were
given to build up a large increase in onshore wind power, which now
supplies around a tenth of UK’s electricity supply, with offshore wind
and solar farms now supplying around another ten per cent of UK

But right wing English Tory pressure has prevented any move
towards enabling long term contracts to be issued so that new windfarms can
be financed. Meanwhile the UK risks becoming increasingly dependent on
supplies of gas from places like Russia and Qatar.

The Labour frontbench is beginning to realise that young people in particular want to see green
energy being given a chance, and, for example, John McDonnell has recently
attacked the Tories for failing to doing anything to revive support for the
feed-in tariff scheme that helped people install solar panels on their

But attention ought also to be turned to promoting onshore
windfarms. Doing so would embarrass the Government and also sow division
inside the Tory ranks. More practically, it would offer hope to people who
are working in the industry that they might have a future.

Places like Grimsby are benefitting from offshore wind projects which are still being
built, but onshore wind factories are being closed down, the latest being
the Glasgow based Gaia Wind. The Minister of State for Energy, Claire
Perry, has, in recent months, been making some encouraging noises about
providing some ‘contracts for differences’, but appears to lack the
required political clout to do much that changes anything, especially to
overcome the vocal hostility of the climate-and-wind sceptical group of
Tory MPs.


March 17, 2018 - Posted by | politics, UK

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