The rumbling from the new environment minister’s office is growing louder…
“Soviet-style” green subsidies for wind farms must be scrapped because turbines are blighting local communities, the new Environment Secretary said on Tuesday.
Owen Paterson, who took on the role last month, said wind developers should “stand on their own two feet” instead of asking for money from the state.
He said green technologies such as wind farms might actually have a worse impact than climate change, because they are causing “public insurrection”.
“There are significant impacts on the rural economy and the rural environment, all of which probably weren’t intended when these things were thought up,” he told an event at the Conservative Party conference. “It is not very green to be blighting the economy in one area.”
Mr Paterson said he would write to the Department of Energy with his view on ending green subsidies as part of a Government review of support for renewable energy.
“If you start having subsidies you end up with a Soviet-style system, where politicians make decisions that might actually be better made by the market,” he added.
Mr Paterson said he believes humans are contributing to climate change but “some of the steps we are taking might actually cause more damage than the original problems itself”.
His comments came as Greg Barker, the climate change minister, promised that the Government was dealing with the “never-ending gravy train of green subsidies” to bring down energy bills.
The Conservative minister insisted the party was “not abandoning its green pledges” or “scaling back” its commitment to tackling climate change.
But he acknowledged the green industry needed to “tighten their belts, do more for less and make subsidies go further” to get a better deal for the taxpayer.