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Juliet Davenport

Plans to scrap wind farm subsidies ‘irrational and illogical’, says Good Energy CEO

The CEO of Chippenham-based Good Energy has hit out at the Conservative’s plans to scrap wind farm subsidies if they win the next election, calling them “irrational and illogical.”

Yesterday, energy minister Michael Fallon said any project not granted planning permission before the election would not get funds, as the UK would already have enough wind power to meet 2020 EU targets.

“Renewable energy, including onshore wind, has a key role in our future energy supply,” he said.

“But we now have enough bill payer-funded onshore wind in the pipeline to meet our renewable energy commitments and there’s no requirement for any more.”

But Juliet Davenport called the comments “political pre-election manoeuvring”.

“If the Tories are willing to remove subsidies for a proven low carbon, low cost solution to the UK’s future energy needs, are they also prepared to withdraw subsidies for fossil fuels, too?” she asked.

“Subsidies which, incidentally, are much greater than those which apply to the various forms of renewable energy such as wind, solar and biomass.”

Ms Davenport pointed to a report by the government’s own chief scientific adviser, Sir Mark Walport, who said the current rate with which carbon is being dumped into the atmosphere is unsustainable and will have catastrophic consequences for humanity.

“Does it not, therefore, make more sense to focus on low carbon energy generation, and on a technology which is considerably cheaper than its equivalent for offshore wind developments– which seems to be currently much more popular with the Tories?” she asked.

The business leader, who was awarded the OBE last year, also pointed to a report which says renewable energy is good for the British economy.

Research by the Renewable Energy Association and Innovas has shown that the UK’s £12.5 billion renewables industry currently supports more than 110,000 jobs across the supply chain, a figure which could rise to 400,000 by 2020. Onshore wind again currently accounts for almost 19,000 jobs in the UK, with the potential for thousands more over the next decade.

Good Energy, which employs 130 people from its Chippenham HQ, is the only British electricity supplier that provides only renewably generated electricity. In 2012 it reported revenues of £28,202,198.