Login Register
 °

Wind farm subsidies used to create jobs

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 17, 2013

GeorgeEustice

Wind farm subsidies used to create jobs

Comments (12)

A Westcountry MP and Downing Street advisor on energy and climate change has dismissed a report that says each job the wind turbine industry creates is subsidised to the tune of £100,000.

George Eustice, MP for Camborne and Redruth, who famously adopted a strong stance against wind farm proliferation before taking the Government post, said it was not the right method by which to measure the industry.

The Camborne and Redruth MP was speaking in response to a Sunday Telegraph investigation that showed wind turbine owners received £1.2 billion in the form of consumer subsidies last year, meaning each of the 12,000 jobs created was effectively subsidised by £100,000.

The figures have been described by critics as evidence the sector was not economically viable, with local campaign group Cornwall Protect saying it was proof of that the fact wind farms create jobs was a "myth".

But Mr Eustice said: "I think it's unfair to judge the industry by how many jobs it creates but we should judged it on how efficient they are as a means of generating green energy.

"It is the most effective form of renewable energy but it costs more than other source, as well having an impact on the landscape and the environment. In the future it is going to be part of our energy mix."

Cornwall-based Lord Teverson, who leads on energy and climate change for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, agreed the subsidies were not primarily for "a job creation programme", but rather allowed Britain to compete at the forefront of the renewable technology industry.

He said: "There are some high start-up costs and money is needed for investment, but after that the energy is free.

"I can see how the idea of a subsidy for renewables doesn't sit well with some, but you ask most people down here (in Cornwall) about wind turbines and it is not high on their agenda of things to worry about, unlike the shortage of affordable housing."

The Westcountry has long been seen as a hotbed for renewable energy development, with 372 wind turbines already constructed in Cornwall alone, with the Duchy also effectively ahead of its 2020 target for renewable energy.

Danny Mageean, from Cornwall Protect, said wind farms were only useful in creating jobs in the short term. He said: "It is one of the myths that they tend to use. They will create a number of jobs in the manufacturing stage but it is not a method of sustainable employment."

Tim Andrewes, the only Green Party representative on Cornwall Council, said part of the problem was Britain's relatively slow uptake on green energy. He said: "To be honest I think it would create more jobs if we got in to the whole renewable thing sooner in the UK. They are right to say that they are creating jobs but they are being created in Denmark or Germany but the big point is we have got to generate more clean electricity and the whole point of renewable energy is to achieve that. The Government support for wind turbines is to generate clean electricity not principally about jobs."

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "Subsidies for wind have multiple benefits for the UK economy, supporting jobs is only one important factor. Support for onshore wind was reduced by 10% this year and we have challenged the offshore wind industry to significantly cut costs by 2020."

Read more from Western Morning News

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters

12 comments

  • johndavies  |  June 18 2013, 3:51PM

    1newlyn ( "At what stage does the National Grid become unstable and we start suffering power cuts? " ) 1 – When supply exceeds demand, ie (high winds over Scotland at 4am and the grid connection is not big enough to transport across the border) then constraint payments are made to suppliers NOT to supply to keep the grid stable. 2 - When demand exceeds available supply including the spinning reserve. There are tiered pre existing load-shedding agreements with industry which come into action long before this happens, BUT its eye wateringly expensive. Priority users (Hospitals, data centers, metal processors, railways etc) will be on red alert & all available standby Gensets will be up & running. ( "Also how much warning shall we be given as the power stations must run industry first? " ) In theory about 4 hrs, but in practice normally none for Joe public. Radio & TV may broadcast "A major technical fault has occurred" message a few mins before, to avoid panic

    |   2
  • 1newlyn  |  June 18 2013, 3:11AM

    At what stage does the National Grid become unstable and we start suffering power cuts? Also how much warning shall we be given as the power stations must run industry first? We now often experiance frequency dips as well as voltage spikes now and it shall only get worse. Unfortunatly wind farms are not the answer , if this is the case someone had better put their thinking hats on .

    |   1
  • letigre  |  June 17 2013, 3:36PM

    "In the future it is going to be part of our energy mix." What and it isn't already!? Showing your hand there - so we can keep expecting more then even though targets are met!? "I can see how the idea of a subsidy for renewables doesn't sit well with some, but you ask most people down here (in Cornwall) about wind turbines and it is not high on their agenda of things to worry about, unlike the shortage of affordable housing." 2,000+ people signing a petition asking for setback distances from turbines not enough for you!? No, quite clearly 2,000+ people have no opinion on wind turbines at all here in Cornwall. What on earth do we need all these extra houses for anyway? What jobs do people think they'll be doing when our major income is diverted away from the county because people no longer want to come here.

    |   3
  • BradleyJJS  |  June 17 2013, 2:05PM

    The entire subject of energy has been so abused with multiple self interest groups abusing the truth that I doubt outside the science community nobody knows the truth let alone MPs who are famous for looking after No1. I have reached a level where all I know is doing nothing is not a answer and we are dammed which ever route we take. Toss a coin

    |   4
  • miniman1  |  June 17 2013, 1:31PM

    http://tinyurl.com/n3cgn3g George says judge wind power on it efficiency - another one for him to dismiss !!

    |   4
  • miniman1  |  June 17 2013, 1:19PM

    http://tinyurl.com/kuoukw4 This is the report that George Eustice chooses to dismiss. Ideal -- if a report doesn't say what you want it to say ---- dismiss it. I've just dismissed my tax return !!!

    |   7
  • TWINSCREW  |  June 17 2013, 11:51AM

    David2323, I would dispute your figures unless you can direct me to a link to prove what you say, however, nuclear provides power for 24 hours a day unlike the truer description provided by NormaStitz below, also tell me how beautiful and amazing are the pile of diesel generators being planned at a site in Plymouth to cover for the times when the wind does not blow or blows too hard.

    |   6
  • wringer  |  June 17 2013, 11:29AM

    The idea that one industry - wind turbines and solar farms as green energy on shore - can be allowed to decimate another - the tourism industry - is never taken account of by these politicians. visitors to the county hate them. they come for the countryside. they will not come back if we continue to cover our land with them. I wish that common sense would break out. if you want to use renewables then spend the many 10's of thousands of pounds currently going to one or two landowners on 5 solar panels on every building roof in Cornwall. a far better use of the money and giving a direct benefit to every person living in cornwall. its the unfairness of it all that gets me. a minority creaming in huge government subsidies, blighting the landscape and wild life, blighting other long established businesses and all in the name of greed energy.

    |   10
  • nickthompson  |  June 17 2013, 10:23AM

    George Eustice, MP for Camborne and Redruth, who famously adopted a strong stance against wind farm proliferation before taking the Government post .----------------------------------------------------------Says it all, another Parasite we could well do without, taking as he does from us a salary of £66,396 PLUS ALL expenses, he would perhaps be better employed were he to stand in front of one of the windmills he USED to hate, and spout his rubbish, his wasted breath would help spin the blades.

    |   15
  • Gurnards_Head  |  June 17 2013, 9:52AM

    As far as I am concerned the jury is out with regard to their efficiency or otherwise, aesthetically they are not unattractive in groups but not so good as random oddities that seem to bwithout any coherence. With regard to those monsters at Carland Cross it would appear that the the landowner has chanced on an absolute bonanza, anecdotal evidence suggests that the 10 turbines will return circa £400k in rent alone which must be a major cost driver that cannot possibly contribute to keeping energy costs down. Surely it would have been much better at the outset if the green energy drive to site windmills dictated that that turbines were owned and operated by the communities, which many suggest they blight, on a not for profit basis which would ensure that electricity prices were kept as low as possible rather than enriching the generally foreign owned power companies.e the latest must have fashion accessory for bandwagon riders springing up everywhere

    |   -7

      YOUR COMMENTS AWAITING MODERATION

       
       
       

      MORE NEWS HEADLINES