Wind subsidies

The latest claim by Scottish Renewables, “Wind farm subsidy axe to cost Scottish councils £44 million” (18 July) reeks of desperation by the wind lobby.

We should be asking why councils are in the business of acquiring wind turbines at all as it is hardly a recognised council role.

Could the answer be that they, like all wind subsidy farmers, are trying to cash in on the 
huge, electricity consumer-
funded financial rewards?

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Furthermore, in response to the almost daily industry claims of job losses due to welcome subsidy cuts to be made, where is the supporting data for claims?

Where is the comparison of those losses with those lost in our vital, sustainable tourist industry and in other industries because of high electricity costs?

Media reports have already highlighted the serious situation. One example is the effects of fuel poverty where the most vulnerable or poorest bear the highest burden via their electricity bills from these subsidies.

Another example is that on top of closing its Cheshire-based soda ash plant (the chemical arm of Tata) Tata Steel has dropped 720 jobs, blaming energy taxes.

The firm suffered a £1m bill after operating during a half-hour peak period.

Possibly the most damning of all those reports were those that revealed that developers received £1.2 billion in consumer subsidies from a supplement on all our bills.

Scotland’s 203 onshore wind farms directly employ just 2,235 people, attracting a subsidy via renewables obligation certificates of £344m.

Is the resulting underwriting of £154,000 per job good value or in any way sustainable?

That’s the tip of the iceberg, as even more revealing facts 
supporting the need for subsidy cuts continue to be reported and better understood by those 
having to bear such costs.

C Metcalfe