Wind Power Is UK’s Cheapest Source Of Energy, But Conservatives Are Still Not Convinced

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Conservatives are continually urged by UK industries to halt their ban on subsidies for onshore wind farms, while the public put pressures on the government to end its de facto against wind power.

The ongoing policy discounts onshore wind from competing for government contracts and the responsible administration, which created hurdles in preventing these wind farms from forming is the conservative party. They opposed to wind turbines and canceled subsidies for new onshore wind farms. However, industry figures showed that nearly 800 renewable projects are ready to be built as long as the bar lifted.

Earlier this year, the fight to lift the ban was pushed through by dozens of prominent firms such as Scottish Power, Vattenfall, E.ON, and Innogy. These industries plan to construct 794 projects which have already won a permit on the planning system.

Together, it would generate around 12 terawatt hours of energy a year. As per Emma Pinchbeck, executive director of “RenewableUK,” they have ready-to-go onshore wind that can help ace the gap between the low carbon power that the country needs and the government policies on wind farms.

The said ban was formulated back in 2015, where UK Prime Minister David Cameron ends on-shore wind farms by cutting subsidies for new and incoming projects. After getting re-elected a year later, new plans were shut off. He cited that poor public opinion and a lack of need for new projects are the leading causes for the cut-off.

The recent poll debunked the idea that the public does not in favor of wind power as the country’s primary source of electricity. Repeated government surveys show high support for wind turbines with an average of 68 percent over six years.

The public also wants the government to put an end to its de facto against onshore wind farms, as indicated by the poll from RenewableUK last year. Sixty-six percent of respondents or a total of 3,609 adults agreed on the return of wind farms, while only 15 percent opposed the proposal. The majority has seen the benefits of wind farms as a form of renewable energy, but currently, the conservative party has been deaf to the calls of its people.

Despite recent calls to stop the prohibition, ministers continue to insist that there is no ban in the country. But ever since the new guidance has come into force, only four wind turbines have been allowed. Today, England suffers a 94 percent collapse in the latest planning applications for overall wind energy. Through the Renewables Obligation, British electricity suppliers are now required by law to give a proportion of their sales from renewable sources such as wind power or even pay a penalty fee. 

The United Kingdom is known for housing best wind power in the world and is considered to top in Europe. Wind power contributed to about 60 percent of electricity generation in the UK. It is the largest source of renewable electricity and the second largest source of renewable energy after biomass.

But wind industries suffer from the ban and strict provisions instigated by the conservative party. These businesses see the changing economic value for on-shore wind, which is becoming cheaper nowadays. But the government is blind and remained unconvinced of this improvement. The on-shore wind is significantly less expensive than other forms of energy and much lesser than coal, oil, or even offshore turbines which the government is pushing through since 2016.

Aside from its lower cost, wind turbines have the lowest global warming potential per electricity generated. Compared with the environmental impacts of fossil fuels, wind power is relatively small. According to the IPCC, wind turbines have a median value of between 15 and 11, which indicated lower global warming impacts.

Despite campaigners’ effort to emphasize the benefits of building onshore wind farms, the Conservative government has made it purely difficult for new onshore wind projects development. They continue to contend that although onshore wind may be the cheapest energy source, it could still acquire massive subsidies. After all, nuclear and fossil-fuel powered plants also receive support, and that would be its priority for the meantime.

But what the government failed to realize is that onshore wind is UK’s cheapest new power source — and not including it in the market will resort to more expensive technology to meet the demands. This is why the public, as well as several environmental organizations and wind industries, form to reinstate wind farm in the UK, because more likely, it is not the government which will suffer in the years to come. The country and its people for sure will face impending doom.

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