Cut subsidies to wind farm developers, York MP tells ministers

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy, pictured signing a residents’ petition against the city’s Local Plan, which includes dozens of potential wind farm sites

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy, pictured signing a residents’ petition against the city’s Local Plan, which includes dozens of potential wind farm sites

Published in News

GOVERNMENT energy subsidies should be redirected away from wind turbines towards other schemes, a York MP has told ministers.

Julian Sturdy, who represents York Outer, is opposing plans for masts at Murton Moor and Kexby and has criticised City of York Council's Local Plan which includes more than 40 sites with the potential to be used for wind farms.

He and other Conservative backbench MPs have called for cuts to subsidies for wind turbine developers so other forms of renewable energy, including offshore wind, tidal and wave power, get more investment, with Mr Sturdy saying he feared turbines were being "forced on some communities by landowners hellbent on achieving very desirable subsidies".

Energy and Climate Change Minister Ed Davey said subsidies were already being balanced but he continued to support subsidies for onshore wind. Mr Sturdy claimed Mr Davey and the Liberal Democrats were blocking the Government from cutting onshore wind subsidies, saying: "it is ultimately our rural communities who have to bear the brunt of these massive and unsightly turbines, which create a meagre and intermittent energy supply in spite of the distress they cause."

Comments (8)

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9:41am Fri 4 Apr 14

zorpie says...

Good on him!
Good on him! zorpie
  • Score: 4

10:36am Fri 4 Apr 14

uriahh says...

Can we please have some proper reporting and not simply records of our MP's pathetic attempts at looking after our interests.

Typically, Cameron and his Tory MP’s are simply starting another round of window dressing leading up to the Election, with more half measures.
There is a desperate need for a more radical change in our Energy Policy; this tinkering with the Green problem, and only on-shore Wind Turbines on the basis of visual impact, totally misses the point and effectively alters nothing. We have to completely re-examine our whole Energy Policy on a normal and sensible investment analysis basis, and properly allow for environmental considerations. This should be part of the UK Economy and Strategic Industry Recovery Programme we desperately need but still await. We should not be making such decisions on the basis of environmental/green propaganda.
There is nothing difficult about accommodating claimed global warming aka
climate change, or how we are to respond to it, and particularly how we allow for it within our UK Energy Policy. The difficulties for us have arisen simply because no one in the DECC, or the HOC and HOL, have ever had either the common sense or the expertise needed to know how to properly and rationally accommodate any environmental problems that may be involved. Too often, and for too long, the debate has been swamped and distorted by opinions, claims and denials which have polarised attitudes and our Governments have panicked and simply proceeded on the basis of throwing unjustified massive amounts of our money at it in response to alarmist CAGW propaganda. The normal methods and rules of long term investment analysis have never been applied.
Any environment consideration, such as the consequences of CO2
emissions and consequent temperature rises and their effects, is just one of many functional requirements required to be accommodated within any Power Generation System. It has a cost, including a cost for if it is not accommodated now but left for all necessary consequential, remedial, disruption and repair/replacement actions sometime in the future.
Stern has already costed out this latter option per tonne of CO2 generated. Taking the tonnage of CO2 generated by each System of Power Generation per Gwhr of power generated - as logged, maintained and updated annually in the UK by the DECC, provides a present day CO2 cost per Gwhr power generated for each Power Generated System available. It has always been possible to rationally and fully allow for CAGW supporters' concerns by adding in this CO2 cost within any Powers Systems' costs comparisons, without any histrionics or cat fights, within the free competitive market investment analyses that should be carried out when Suppliers are selecting the Power Systems to be used for additional and replacement Power Generation capacity. Simply allow for Stern's CO2 costs as some centrally agreed unit rate cost within the total life cycle costings for each Power Generation system being considered.
No subsidies, tax breaks or carbon tax considerations are needed, only an open free market. The tragedy is that such a simple solution has never been adopted as markets have been intentionally distorted and even destroyed by Suppliers demanding and getting subsidies and crony capitalism and as a result the costs to the consumer have unnecessarily escalated, damaging our competitiveness and driving up all our costs. Allowing for Stern's CO2 costing within all Power System options' total system life cycles costs, which for Wind Farms include Wind Turbine, Gas Turbine Standby and Additional Power Transmission costs, and for Nuclear waste disposal and de-commissioning costs shows quite clearly that neither of these 2 systems should have ever been built. Gas Turbines, acting alone as base load units, will still be by far the cheapest, most reliable, easiest and quickest option available to fill the UK Energy Gap. Potential UK shale gas gains will only serve to make GT's even more appropriate from cost, Balance of Trade and Security of Power points of view!
This choice is made even more of a no brainer when you consider:
1. the reduced if not stopped temperature increases as now
recorded compared to CAGW alarmist theories which launched the CGW crusade, and
2. the amount of uncontrolled CO2 our competitors have since dumped into the atmosphere from their Power Generation Systems, particularly Developing Countries, which has produced global CO2 emission increases many times even the UK’s total CO2 emissions, let alone the savings we are attempting. This has rendered all the UK's grossly excessive and unaffordable investments in Green Energy to reduce global warming not only totally ineffective but also a scandalous waste of our money!
Suppliers, working on this basis, would have to invest in R&D to develop new and/or more efficient and cheaper power generation systems within the cost leadership market that is the Power and Energy Market. The same product - electrical power, is supplied to all UK customers. Those who don't get their costs down would not survive. That was the fundamental basis for the success of the Industrial Revolution which generated our wealth and allowed us to punch well above our weight on the world's stage. It's what's desperately needed now but something clearly beyond the 3 Main UK Political Parties' and their Governments' capabilities and experience!
It is more than a coincidence, that the Chinese have obtained all the public documents of the USA’s Thorium Reactor Pilot Trials of the 1970’s at Oak Ridge and are using this data as the starter for their massive R&D Programme designed to bring Thorium Reactors on line within 10-15 years. They have a proper National Energy Plan; we need such a Plan now if only for maintaining our Power supplies once our shale gas is depleted.
We urgently need Engineers and Project Managers in the HOC and Government; people who understand technological matters and address such problems as this in a rational manner everyday of their working lives!
Can we please have some proper reporting and not simply records of our MP's pathetic attempts at looking after our interests. Typically, Cameron and his Tory MP’s are simply starting another round of window dressing leading up to the Election, with more half measures. There is a desperate need for a more radical change in our Energy Policy; this tinkering with the Green problem, and only on-shore Wind Turbines on the basis of visual impact, totally misses the point and effectively alters nothing. We have to completely re-examine our whole Energy Policy on a normal and sensible investment analysis basis, and properly allow for environmental considerations. This should be part of the UK Economy and Strategic Industry Recovery Programme we desperately need but still await. We should not be making such decisions on the basis of environmental/green propaganda. There is nothing difficult about accommodating claimed global warming aka climate change, or how we are to respond to it, and particularly how we allow for it within our UK Energy Policy. The difficulties for us have arisen simply because no one in the DECC, or the HOC and HOL, have ever had either the common sense or the expertise needed to know how to properly and rationally accommodate any environmental problems that may be involved. Too often, and for too long, the debate has been swamped and distorted by opinions, claims and denials which have polarised attitudes and our Governments have panicked and simply proceeded on the basis of throwing unjustified massive amounts of our money at it in response to alarmist CAGW propaganda. The normal methods and rules of long term investment analysis have never been applied. Any environment consideration, such as the consequences of CO2 emissions and consequent temperature rises and their effects, is just one of many functional requirements required to be accommodated within any Power Generation System. It has a cost, including a cost for if it is not accommodated now but left for all necessary consequential, remedial, disruption and repair/replacement actions sometime in the future. Stern has already costed out this latter option per tonne of CO2 generated. Taking the tonnage of CO2 generated by each System of Power Generation per Gwhr of power generated - as logged, maintained and updated annually in the UK by the DECC, provides a present day CO2 cost per Gwhr power generated for each Power Generated System available. It has always been possible to rationally and fully allow for CAGW supporters' concerns by adding in this CO2 cost within any Powers Systems' costs comparisons, without any histrionics or cat fights, within the free competitive market investment analyses that should be carried out when Suppliers are selecting the Power Systems to be used for additional and replacement Power Generation capacity. Simply allow for Stern's CO2 costs as some centrally agreed unit rate cost within the total life cycle costings for each Power Generation system being considered. No subsidies, tax breaks or carbon tax considerations are needed, only an open free market. The tragedy is that such a simple solution has never been adopted as markets have been intentionally distorted and even destroyed by Suppliers demanding and getting subsidies and crony capitalism and as a result the costs to the consumer have unnecessarily escalated, damaging our competitiveness and driving up all our costs. Allowing for Stern's CO2 costing within all Power System options' total system life cycles costs, which for Wind Farms include Wind Turbine, Gas Turbine Standby and Additional Power Transmission costs, and for Nuclear waste disposal and de-commissioning costs shows quite clearly that neither of these 2 systems should have ever been built. Gas Turbines, acting alone as base load units, will still be by far the cheapest, most reliable, easiest and quickest option available to fill the UK Energy Gap. Potential UK shale gas gains will only serve to make GT's even more appropriate from cost, Balance of Trade and Security of Power points of view! This choice is made even more of a no brainer when you consider: 1. the reduced if not stopped temperature increases as now recorded compared to CAGW alarmist theories which launched the CGW crusade, and 2. the amount of uncontrolled CO2 our competitors have since dumped into the atmosphere from their Power Generation Systems, particularly Developing Countries, which has produced global CO2 emission increases many times even the UK’s total CO2 emissions, let alone the savings we are attempting. This has rendered all the UK's grossly excessive and unaffordable investments in Green Energy to reduce global warming not only totally ineffective but also a scandalous waste of our money! Suppliers, working on this basis, would have to invest in R&D to develop new and/or more efficient and cheaper power generation systems within the cost leadership market that is the Power and Energy Market. The same product - electrical power, is supplied to all UK customers. Those who don't get their costs down would not survive. That was the fundamental basis for the success of the Industrial Revolution which generated our wealth and allowed us to punch well above our weight on the world's stage. It's what's desperately needed now but something clearly beyond the 3 Main UK Political Parties' and their Governments' capabilities and experience! It is more than a coincidence, that the Chinese have obtained all the public documents of the USA’s Thorium Reactor Pilot Trials of the 1970’s at Oak Ridge and are using this data as the starter for their massive R&D Programme designed to bring Thorium Reactors on line within 10-15 years. They have a proper National Energy Plan; we need such a Plan now if only for maintaining our Power supplies once our shale gas is depleted. We urgently need Engineers and Project Managers in the HOC and Government; people who understand technological matters and address such problems as this in a rational manner everyday of their working lives! uriahh
  • Score: 3

12:17pm Fri 4 Apr 14

MarkyMarkMark says...

Gas turbines may meet the short term to energy needs of the UK, but not sure that relying on anything that we buy a lot of from Russia and the Ukraine is a sensible option to invest in right now.

Go nuclear long term (modern, safe nuclear - don't forget Chernobyl and Long Island, learn from them instead), and move us away from using hydrocarbon based fuels and dependency on other countries who may not always be our friends and/or allies.

There are so many more useful things you can do with hydrocarbons in terms of manufacturing. Burning in low efficiency conversion to electrical energy is such a waste.
Gas turbines may meet the short term to energy needs of the UK, but not sure that relying on anything that we buy a lot of from Russia and the Ukraine is a sensible option to invest in right now. Go nuclear long term (modern, safe nuclear - don't forget Chernobyl and Long Island, learn from them instead), and move us away from using hydrocarbon based fuels and dependency on other countries who may not always be our friends and/or allies. There are so many more useful things you can do with hydrocarbons in terms of manufacturing. Burning in low efficiency conversion to electrical energy is such a waste. MarkyMarkMark
  • Score: 4

1:07pm Fri 4 Apr 14

uriahh says...

MarkyMarkMark wrote:
Gas turbines may meet the short term to energy needs of the UK, but not sure that relying on anything that we buy a lot of from Russia and the Ukraine is a sensible option to invest in right now.

Go nuclear long term (modern, safe nuclear - don't forget Chernobyl and Long Island, learn from them instead), and move us away from using hydrocarbon based fuels and dependency on other countries who may not always be our friends and/or allies.

There are so many more useful things you can do with hydrocarbons in terms of manufacturing. Burning in low efficiency conversion to electrical energy is such a waste.
We need such a short term fix provided by UK engineered and manufactured Gas Turbines in order to fill the Energy Gap in time to avoid power cuts and provide the cheaper power needed for our economic and strategic recovery, particularly with UK shale gas. Uranium fuelled Nuclear Reactors will take far too long to build to fill the Energy Gap and will provide massively more expensive power, particularly when the costs of nuclear waste storage and destruction and Plant de-commissioning costs are included, as they should, within the full life cycle costs of such Plants.
WT's need Gas Turbine back up's to meet Power Demand in no/low wind conditions and are far too expensive and dependent on subsidies. Both Nuclear and Wind Turbines are foreign controlled and yet another import to be paid for. Gas Turbines will fill the gap and give us time to develop the next generation of Power Generation that will be needed.
The Chinese have the sense and the leadership to realise that they need a long term National Plan and cheaper power and know that Thorium Reactors are much cheaper, safer, can be built locally as small units where power is needed and have minimal and more easily handled nuclear waste, use far more abundant fuel, and far simpler de-commissioning.
What have we got in place but: confusion, delays, massive costs, and control by foreign organisations and companies.
[quote][p][bold]MarkyMarkMark[/bold] wrote: Gas turbines may meet the short term to energy needs of the UK, but not sure that relying on anything that we buy a lot of from Russia and the Ukraine is a sensible option to invest in right now. Go nuclear long term (modern, safe nuclear - don't forget Chernobyl and Long Island, learn from them instead), and move us away from using hydrocarbon based fuels and dependency on other countries who may not always be our friends and/or allies. There are so many more useful things you can do with hydrocarbons in terms of manufacturing. Burning in low efficiency conversion to electrical energy is such a waste.[/p][/quote]We need such a short term fix provided by UK engineered and manufactured Gas Turbines in order to fill the Energy Gap in time to avoid power cuts and provide the cheaper power needed for our economic and strategic recovery, particularly with UK shale gas. Uranium fuelled Nuclear Reactors will take far too long to build to fill the Energy Gap and will provide massively more expensive power, particularly when the costs of nuclear waste storage and destruction and Plant de-commissioning costs are included, as they should, within the full life cycle costs of such Plants. WT's need Gas Turbine back up's to meet Power Demand in no/low wind conditions and are far too expensive and dependent on subsidies. Both Nuclear and Wind Turbines are foreign controlled and yet another import to be paid for. Gas Turbines will fill the gap and give us time to develop the next generation of Power Generation that will be needed. The Chinese have the sense and the leadership to realise that they need a long term National Plan and cheaper power and know that Thorium Reactors are much cheaper, safer, can be built locally as small units where power is needed and have minimal and more easily handled nuclear waste, use far more abundant fuel, and far simpler de-commissioning. What have we got in place but: confusion, delays, massive costs, and control by foreign organisations and companies. uriahh
  • Score: 2

1:23pm Fri 4 Apr 14

again says...

Britain's rise to dominant world power was aided by its insulation from the stifling power of the church on mainland Europe. Thanks Henry VIIIth.

That was soon turned around; Britain's insularity became its downfall (as it remains today). The 19th century saw mainland Europe start forging ahead, led by Germany. An effective electrical supply in Britain in the first part of the 20th century was delayed by vested interests and lack of any central plan. It's happening again and we have to get our act together, smartish.

We are very good at having MPs who tell us what not to do and very bad at producing any who can give real leadership and positive ideas.

I am certainly very doubtful about the value of Julian Sturdy's contribution.
Britain's rise to dominant world power was aided by its insulation from the stifling power of the church on mainland Europe. Thanks Henry VIIIth. That was soon turned around; Britain's insularity became its downfall (as it remains today). The 19th century saw mainland Europe start forging ahead, led by Germany. An effective electrical supply in Britain in the first part of the 20th century was delayed by vested interests and lack of any central plan. It's happening again and we have to get our act together, smartish. We are very good at having MPs who tell us what not to do and very bad at producing any who can give real leadership and positive ideas. I am certainly very doubtful about the value of Julian Sturdy's contribution. again
  • Score: 3

2:36am Sat 5 Apr 14

Magicman! says...

Wind turbines are the most inefficient for of green energy generation though. I have no issues about going 'green' to generate electricity if it is done sensibly. Near Llanberis within the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales is a staffed hydroelectricity power station, which uses water from Padarn Lake to generate electricity - that was able to be built despite being within a National Park... so think about just how many reservoirs we have dotted around Yorkshire, which could all be tapped to produce electricity.

And as I recall, at naburn Lock the river ouse has a form of barrage which seperates the saltwater Ouse from the freshwater Ouse... and barrages are where tidal power can be used.

There are far more effective and simple ways to generate electricity without ending up with a sea of birdie-blenders everywhere.
Wind turbines are the most inefficient for of green energy generation though. I have no issues about going 'green' to generate electricity if it is done sensibly. Near Llanberis within the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales is a staffed hydroelectricity power station, which uses water from Padarn Lake to generate electricity - that was able to be built despite being within a National Park... so think about just how many reservoirs we have dotted around Yorkshire, which could all be tapped to produce electricity. And as I recall, at naburn Lock the river ouse has a form of barrage which seperates the saltwater Ouse from the freshwater Ouse... and barrages are where tidal power can be used. There are far more effective and simple ways to generate electricity without ending up with a sea of birdie-blenders everywhere. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

2:24pm Sun 6 Apr 14

energytech says...

You are all calculating numbers based on the past. Those numbers won't work in the future.
Here is a real world example for you that should be a wake up call. Here in Canada we just had an extra cold winter (perhaps due to climate change). The price of natural gas was increased by 40% as of April 1st. Yes, I just said 40% in a single unplanned increase. Lucky for us winter is over but if we were using this in an electricity generating plant we would have a 40% increase in energy input cost to out generating plants.
Now consider wind turbines. Their energy input is wind, wind is free. If the price of wind goes up 40% or 400% it doesn't matter because it's still free and will remain free.
Is it really a good idea to build carbon based generation plants that you have to pay present and future fuel costs for when you can have a form of generation that has free input?
Think about that twenty years in the future when the price of natural gas may be 600% of what it is now. The wind will still be free. Now how do you cost per power calculations look?
You are all calculating numbers based on the past. Those numbers won't work in the future. Here is a real world example for you that should be a wake up call. Here in Canada we just had an extra cold winter (perhaps due to climate change). The price of natural gas was increased by 40% as of April 1st. Yes, I just said 40% in a single unplanned increase. Lucky for us winter is over but if we were using this in an electricity generating plant we would have a 40% increase in energy input cost to out generating plants. Now consider wind turbines. Their energy input is wind, wind is free. If the price of wind goes up 40% or 400% it doesn't matter because it's still free and will remain free. Is it really a good idea to build carbon based generation plants that you have to pay present and future fuel costs for when you can have a form of generation that has free input? Think about that twenty years in the future when the price of natural gas may be 600% of what it is now. The wind will still be free. Now how do you cost per power calculations look? energytech
  • Score: 0

10:17am Tue 8 Apr 14

uriahh says...

energytech wrote:
You are all calculating numbers based on the past. Those numbers won't work in the future.
Here is a real world example for you that should be a wake up call. Here in Canada we just had an extra cold winter (perhaps due to climate change). The price of natural gas was increased by 40% as of April 1st. Yes, I just said 40% in a single unplanned increase. Lucky for us winter is over but if we were using this in an electricity generating plant we would have a 40% increase in energy input cost to out generating plants.
Now consider wind turbines. Their energy input is wind, wind is free. If the price of wind goes up 40% or 400% it doesn't matter because it's still free and will remain free.
Is it really a good idea to build carbon based generation plants that you have to pay present and future fuel costs for when you can have a form of generation that has free input?
Think about that twenty years in the future when the price of natural gas may be 600% of what it is now. The wind will still be free. Now how do you cost per power calculations look?
Totally missing the point and not understanding the problem.

You fail to explain why Canada's local gas price escalated. I suggest it is because you have a rigged and not open free market like the USA where prices in such a market are much, much lower.

In 20 years time, we ought to have next generation Power Generation. The Chinese already have programmes in place to achieve this! We haven't!

Typically, if you replace 100 units' capacity of Coal Fired Power Station with 100 units of Wind Turbines you will also need roughly 100 units of parallel permanently allocated new Gas Turbines acting as standby units to accommodate no/low wind conditions and the resultant WT's unreliable and ever varying output, in order to meet current Power Demands. Periods of maximum power demand too often occur during periods of extended, almost zero winds. The Government has had to accept that GT's are the only Power Generation system that can tolerate and operate the ever varying output needed to top up WT's varying outputs.

Typically WT's annual output is only 20%-30% of its rated capacity due to the varying wind depending on whether the WT's in question are onshore or offshore. That means 70-80% of the Wind Farms' output , i.e. from WT's and their standby GT's, is generated by the standby Gas Turbines. In addition, you'll still need the Gas for heating - there is no viable alternative!
[quote][p][bold]energytech[/bold] wrote: You are all calculating numbers based on the past. Those numbers won't work in the future. Here is a real world example for you that should be a wake up call. Here in Canada we just had an extra cold winter (perhaps due to climate change). The price of natural gas was increased by 40% as of April 1st. Yes, I just said 40% in a single unplanned increase. Lucky for us winter is over but if we were using this in an electricity generating plant we would have a 40% increase in energy input cost to out generating plants. Now consider wind turbines. Their energy input is wind, wind is free. If the price of wind goes up 40% or 400% it doesn't matter because it's still free and will remain free. Is it really a good idea to build carbon based generation plants that you have to pay present and future fuel costs for when you can have a form of generation that has free input? Think about that twenty years in the future when the price of natural gas may be 600% of what it is now. The wind will still be free. Now how do you cost per power calculations look?[/p][/quote]Totally missing the point and not understanding the problem. You fail to explain why Canada's local gas price escalated. I suggest it is because you have a rigged and not open free market like the USA where prices in such a market are much, much lower. In 20 years time, we ought to have next generation Power Generation. The Chinese already have programmes in place to achieve this! We haven't! Typically, if you replace 100 units' capacity of Coal Fired Power Station with 100 units of Wind Turbines you will also need roughly 100 units of parallel permanently allocated new Gas Turbines acting as standby units to accommodate no/low wind conditions and the resultant WT's unreliable and ever varying output, in order to meet current Power Demands. Periods of maximum power demand too often occur during periods of extended, almost zero winds. The Government has had to accept that GT's are the only Power Generation system that can tolerate and operate the ever varying output needed to top up WT's varying outputs. Typically WT's annual output is only 20%-30% of its rated capacity due to the varying wind depending on whether the WT's in question are onshore or offshore. That means 70-80% of the Wind Farms' output , i.e. from WT's and their standby GT's, is generated by the standby Gas Turbines. In addition, you'll still need the Gas for heating - there is no viable alternative! uriahh
  • Score: 0

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