Montgomeryshire Assembly Member and Shadow Minister for the Environment, Russell George (right), has looked to gain cross-party support in the National Assembly to challenge the UK Government’s policy on subsidising onshore wind energy.
Mr George has lobbied fellow colleagues to sign a letter to the Prime Minister, asking him to dramatically cut the subsidy for onshore wind energy in order to spread the savings between other types of ‘reliable’ renewable energy production.
The letter goes on to support the stance taken by over 100 MPs last week, who urged Mr Cameron to amend the National Planning Policy Framework to improve the balance of renewable energy technologies that are promoted and to ensure planning inspectors have a duty to take the views of local people into account before decisions are made.
“I thought the letter which was sent to the Prime Minister last week by over 100 MPs from across the political spectrum, made a powerful statement to the UK Government and I wanted to replicate that to show the strength of feeling here in Wales,” said Mr George.
“I believe our letter is unambiguous in telling Mr Cameron that the current policy to heavily subsidise on-shore wind generation is the wrong policy.
“If the UK Government, like the Welsh Government, really wants to ensure that issues like demand, delivery and security of energy supply are adequately addressed in the future, then it has to broaden generation beyond large-scale onshore wind farms, which are not reliable and rarely have community support or buy-in.
“We simply cannot afford as a nation to put all our renewable eggs in one basket. We must promote and invest in a broad range of renewables if we are to meet future capacity targets and that is what we are asking for in this letter.
“I pushed my colleagues hard on this issue and I really hoped to gain the same cross-party support in the Assembly as my colleagues did in Westminster.
“Unfortunately at present, only Welsh Conservative AMs have been prepared to sign-up and effectively challenge our own government on this fundamental matter.”