6th January 2014
Local Conservative MEP, Ashley Fox, has joined the debate on taxpayer subsidies for wind farms and fully supports the intervention last week by the European Commission.
The Commission has informed the British Government that its current levels of wind farm subsidies constitute ‘state aid’ and need to be phased out by the end of the decade. This phasing out of support applies to both onshore and offshore wind farms, as well as the solar industry.
The Commission argued that both industries were mature enough to survive without such large taxpayer support.
Welcoming the news, Mr Fox said: "I rarely encourage intervention by the European Commission, but I fully support them on this issue. The energy market needs to be able to function without state subsidy - in fact, that is one of the foundations on which a free market operates.”
“Wind farms have been given too much preferential treatment for far too long. The planning system is heavily skewed in their favour as they are often able to override any legitimate public objection. Furthermore, the current subsidies for wind farms have led to increased fuel bills and pushed up the cost of living for hard working families.”
“I have always found it absurd that we have paid out massive sums of money to support an inherently unreliable source of energy. If, as some people argue, wind farms are part of the solution to our energy problem then it is time that they stood on their own two feet. The EU Commission is right in defending the interests of the consumer and the taxpayer.”