Jobs and Growth in a Low-carbon Economy
Opposition Day — [Un-Allotted Day]
Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey, Conservative)
As in the case of most Opposition motions, there is much in the motion before the House with which I agree. For instance, there have been mixed signals from Government over the level of their commitment to the renewable energy programme, and that uncertainty has hit the confidence of many investors. The uncertainty was reinforced by the letter from 106 of my colleagues to the Prime Minister calling for a reduction in the subsidy offered to onshore wind farms.
I appreciate that those who signed the letter did so with the best of intentions. They believe that renewable energy should not be subsidised because it is uneconomic. However, some in the anti-onshore wind farm lobby demonstrate slightly muddled thinking. I have heard many opponents say, “But of course I support offshore wind farms.” Let us be quite clear. A threat to onshore wind is a potential threat to offshore wind. Although it is unquestionably true that wind energy is currently uneconomic, with the new generation of wind turbines, wind energy will become cheaper and more predictable. It is also worth pointing out that onshore wind is the cheapest form of renewable technology that can deliver at scale.