Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
UK renewable energy company Ecotricity has turned on its latest wind farm, a small 10 MW wind farm in the west of England, but the company's founder is concerned it might be the country's last onshore wind farm due to policies which are effectively killing off the industry. 

Clean Power

Has Ecotricity Turned On England’s Last Wind Farm?

UK renewable energy company Ecotricity has turned on its latest wind farm, a small 10 MW wind farm in the west of England, but the company’s founder is concerned it might be the country’s last onshore wind farm due to policies which are effectively killing off the industry. 

UK renewable energy company Ecotricity has turned on its latest wind farm, a small 10 megawatt wind farm in the west of England, but the company’s founder is concerned it might be the country’s last onshore wind farm due to policies which are effectively killing off the industry.

The 10 MW (megawatt), three wind turbine farm is located in Alveston, South Gloucestershire next to the M5 motorway, and will provide enough electricity to power more than 3,000 homes for the next 30 years. That’s a pretty decent return on investment and could serve as a cheap and clean way to power millions of homes across the country.

However, the onshore wind industry in England has been “effectively killed off by government policy” due to an unwritten government promise not to provide subsidies for onshore wind farms.

A report published in October by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit explained that a 2015 General Election promise made by the Conservative Party (which is currently in power) not to provide subsidies for onshore wind farms could end up costing the country more than £1 billion over the next four to five years. The premise behind the argument is that onshore wind is cheaper than other technologies — technologies that the government continues to support with subsidies such as nuclear, biomass, and offshore wind — and that by refusing to support onshore wind in any form (subsidy or otherwise), the extra costs required to support the technologies the Government “approves” of will end up costing the British people more than £1 billion.

“It’s always great to build another wind park and put it into operation,” said Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, on the completion of the Alveston wind farm.

“This one is a little bittersweet because, without a change of government, or government policy, this could be the last one built in England. Current government policy, to prevent new wind parks in England makes no sense and is a political choice — because onshore energy isn’t just good for the environment, it makes good economic sense too.”

“The effective ban on the cheapest form of new power generation looks increasingly perverse,” said Richard Black, director of the ECIU, in October.

“For a Government committed to making energy cheaper, this risks not only locking people into higher bills, but also runs contrary to its aim of having the lowest energy costs in Europe. These blustery isles have no shortage of wind and while other European nations are going large on onshore wind the UK is starting to fall behind by not making the most of our natural resource.

“David Cameron promised no new subsidies for onshore wind. But it now doesn’t need a subsidy — research indicates fixed-price contracts would more than pay for themselves. So, given that the government also knows it needs new low-carbon policies the question is, why not enable onshore wind where local people want it and where it won’t harm wildlife, while continuing to support a healthy mix of other low-carbon energy generation?”

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 

Advertisement
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

I’ve noticed that a lot of new electric vehicle models have been marketed for use as emergency services vehicles in the past year. It...

Clean Transport

Originally posted on EVANNEX. By Charles Morris It sounds like the perfect plot for a conspiracy thriller: the giant oil companies are buying up electric vehicle...

Clean Transport

The move aims to drastically increase the rate at which charge points are being built so the UK can hit its 2030 target for...

Cars

The UK  auto market, Europe’s third largest, saw plugin electric vehicle share of 18.3% in August 2021, up 1.9x from 9.76% in August 2020....

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.