Wind Power in Britain: it’s Robin Hood in Reverse

robin hood 3

They’ve done WHAT to my redistribution policy?

A while back, there was a plucky young English lad, called Robin Hood, who was pretty handy with both long-bow and sword; and so comfortable with expressing his “feminine side” that he wasn’t afraid to be seen in figure hugging green tights.

Hood hung out with his band of Merry Men in Sherwood Forest, dodging his arch-enemy, the Sheriff of Nottingham. The Sheriff – a fiscal filcher, if ever there was one – spent his days collecting unlimited taxes from the people of Nottingham and hunting Robin Hood and his troupe of generally happy chappies.

But it was Robin Hood’s attitude to wealth distribution that made him stand out from his outlaw peers.

Instead of indiscriminate thieving, Hood became renowned for robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. These days, some might simply call it “good progressive politics”.

In any event, Hood’s policy of “progressive redistribution” (albeit based on stand and deliver tactics) did no apparent harm to Hood’s reputation over the centuries. Indeed, it made him the legend he became – which provides a pretty fair example of the human paradox: people are ready to ignore highway robbery, provided it’s the toffs that are being rolled.

In recent times, however, Robin Hood’s much adored strategy of “targeted wealth redistribution” has been tipped on its head with insane renewables policies – that have set up the largest transfer of wealth from the poorest to the richest in modern history.

Under Britain’s ludicrous wind power policy, ordinary British power punters – who can least afford it – are being fleeced by those who can – and at a rate that would’ve made even the Sheriff of Nottingham blush.

Here’s the Sunday Post on how Britain’s wind power policy is robbing from the poor and giving to the rich.

Special report: The true cost of our wind farms
Sunday Post
Ben Robinson
4 May 2014

The true cost of the massive expansion of wind farms in England can today be revealed by a special Sunday Post investigation.

Staggering new figures show turbine operators have been handed taxpayer-funded subsidies of £7 billion in just over a decade. That means an average of £1,211 has been paid from the public purse every MINUTE since 2002.

The eye-watering costs are recouped by being added to fuel bills, leaving each household £178 worse off.

Now there is concern at the size of the subsidies being siphoned off for renewables at a time when 2.4 million people in England are living in fuel poverty.

The revelations come in the wake of Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement that the Conservatives will end their support for onshore wind farms if they win the next election.

Tory MP Philip Davies who represents Shipley in West Yorkshire, said: “Not only are they a blight on the landscape, they are the most expensive, inefficient and unreliable form of energy. Many people are struggling to pay their energy bills and the dash for wind energy unnecessarily adds a considerable amount on to everyone’s bills in order to line the pockets of rich landowners.”

“It is Robin Hood in reverse — taking money from the poorest in order to line the pockets of the richest.  It is also making our manufacturers extremely uncompetitive when they are up against other firms based abroad who enjoy much cheaper energy bills.”

European law dictates the UK must achieve 15% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020, which has sparked heavily subsidised incentives for large wind farms and individual turbines to be built.

We can reveal between 2002 and December 2013 wind farm owners received £7bn under the renewables obligation scheme which subsidises large-scale green energy production.

Introduced by the Labour Government to encourage investment in renewables, the money is recouped via a supplement added to all domestic and commercial electricity bills.

According to the Renewal Energy Foundation, since 2002 the levy supporting English renewables has added about £178 to the average UK household’s cost of living, with £89 of that in electricity charges alone.

These subsidies have bankrolled 259 operational wind farms with around 850 turbines.

Our probe has found northern England is bearing the brunt of the drive for renewables by hosting half the country’s wind farms. Using Government planning statistics, the Renewable Energy Foundation looked at the number of wind farms in operation or with planning permission across England.

It found Northumberland has the largest wind farm capacity of any county, with around 155 turbines spread over 19 farms, generating up to 302 megawatts (MW).

East Yorkshire is second highest, while Lancashire is sixth, Durham seventh and Cumbria eighth.

Don Brownlow, from Berwick-Upon-Tweed, who has battled a series of large-scale wind farms in Northumberland, claimed developers see the region as an easy target.

He said: “Contrary to popular belief this is not about the region being windy. Most of Northumberland outside the national park is fairly poor for that. The reason, first and foremost among developers, is landowner compliance.  A lot of wind development in Northumberland has been old estates being broken up which means landowners have borrowed a lot of money to buy them and they see the opportunity to reduce their debts. We are also seen as having compliant local planning authority.”

Across the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber there are 129 wind farms containing around 500 turbines already in operation — half of the entire country’s wind energy capacity.

But planning permission has been given for another 100 farms to be built which will add another 330 turbines to the landscape.

It means residents in the north will see a massive 70% increase in the number of turbines, while a further 150 turbines are in the planning system.

Dr John Constable, director of Renewable Energy Foundation, a UK charity publishing data on the energy sector, said: “The northern counties of England are bearing a disproportionate share of the national onshore wind burden.  Not all of this focus can be explained by better wind conditions.  Northumberland in particular is relatively windless. I’m afraid the explanation is that developers have picked on the rural north because it lacks the resources to defend itself in the planning system.  Extremely high subsidies have overheated and corrupted the wind industry; site choice has been poor and little respect has been shown to the opinions of rural populations, whose local environments have too often been significantly damaged.”

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said: “As you would expect, there are more wind farms where there is more wind.  Wind farms will only get planning permission where the impacts – including visual impact, cumulative impact and impact on heritage sites – are acceptable.  We have also changed the law to require wind farm developers to consult with local people before they put in a planning application.”

Top 10 counties with most wind farms

1. Northumberland Onshore wind capacity 311MW – Sites 19 – Approximate turbines 155

2. East Yorkshire – 302MW – sites 49 – turbines 151

3. Lincolnshire* – 281MW – sites 22 turbines – 141

4 Cambridgeshire – 273MW – sites 32 -turbines – 136

5. Northamptonshire – 185MW – sites 20 – turbines 92

6. Lancashire – 177MW – sites 23 – turbines – 88

7. Durham – 168MW – sites 24 – turbines – 84

8. Cumbria – 158MW – sites 38 – turbines – 79

9. Devon – 133MW – sites 22 – turbines – 66

10. Cornwall – 130MW – sites 86 – turbines – 65

*Historic county of Lincolnshire, comprised of Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.
Sunday Post

robin hood famous duel 4

Listen Hood, I’m the “Sheriff” and it’s my job to rob the poor, not yours.

 

 

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. The CERES is sinking!
    The much vaunted 600 MW Ceres project on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula is succumbing to market forces and the weight of the local community who unreservedly don’t want it. The local council that has voted unanimously against the project and the Warburton ice berg looms.
    The proponents are scrambling for the Clean energy finance corporation life boat.
    However even they should be cut free – a victim due to an expensive undersea transmission link, small Adelaide power market, poor turbine layout and a hefty $1.5 billion dollar price tag.
    The expensive dreamliner Ceres was a long time in the planning but the end is nigh.

  2. cornwallwindwatch says:

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch.

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