The party was reacting to Thursday’s news that onshore wind farms would be seeing their strike price lowered, while offshore alternatives were boosted by the announcement that the strike price will remain the same until 2019, contrary to previous plans to decrease it.
In reaction to the new changes, Roger Helmer, UKIP ‘s energy spokesman, said that the government had bowed to the pressure from UKIP to remove the ‘blight’ of onshore wind farms from the British countryside.
Cuts ‘result of UKIP pressure’
The party has long been against renewable measures such as onshore farms, instead backing the controversial fracking extraction technique.
Helmer added that the new announcement was little more than a political ‘stunt’ from the coalition government.
“This cut in subsidies for on-shore wind farms is a political stunt by a government desperate to appease the large numbers of voters sick of turbines despoiling the British countryside.
“But it fails to address the real argument which is the nonsensical and frankly dangerous energy policy this Government is forcing upon UK taxpayers.”
The Green Party was also quick to echo the negative reaction from UKIP, with Andrew Cooper, the party’s energy spokesman, saying the government has been “lead by the nose on energy policy by unscientific climate change deniers many of whom are in UKIP and the Conservative Party.”
“This sort of knee jerk policy change by Government undermines investment and business confidence in the renewables sector which employs thousands of people in skilled jobs in the UK.
“It also means we are one of the few countries in Europe which looks set to fail to achieve our renewable energy target which is a national disgrace and a huge embarrassment to ‘the Greenest Government Ever’.”
This is in spite of the announcement from Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander winning support from a number of renewables organisations including the Renewable Energy Association, which said that the new strike prices show how well the onshore market is doing in terms of investment and the Solar Trade Association.
Opposition to onshore ‘not just aesthetic’
UKIP ‘s Roger Helmer was also quick to point out, though, that the fact the government had moved its focus in wind power offshore did not address the real issue, because it is not just about aesthetics.
“There is a real economic debate to be had especially in the light of the atrocious increases in energy prices that are pushing more and more people into fuel poverty and risking the lives of thousands of people when we are about to enter one of the coldest winters on record,” he said.
“The truth is the taxpayer, while they may not have to gaze out of their kitchen window at a blight of turbines, is still footing the bill both directly and through energy price rises for this wasteful and downright ridiculous technology to be built out of sight.”