In a surprising moment at the House of Commons in the middle of December last year, David Cameron made a remark about the UK wind industry that would be best described as ignorant. As the UK Prime Minister panders to UK Independence Party or UKIP on global warming, many environmentalists are unwittingly caught in a culture war.
Declaring that “people are fed up with wind turbines”; Cameron’s remark begs the questions: which people? He gave no indication as to who he is referring to. What about the evidence for their UK wind industry boredom? He gave no proof.
Despite these ambiguities, he proceeded to announce a moratorium on subsidies for the UK wind industry should the Tories get a majority in May. He also mentioned that he will offer considerable tax cuts for fracking.
UK wind industry supported by residence despite PM remarks
Contrary to what Cameron declared, a Survation poll done in late 2013 revealed that majority of people, around 70 per cent, support wind farms being constructed near their residences.
Likewise, there is a clear majority supporting UK wind industry across people voting for all parties. Around 81 per cent of Liberal Democrats supporters, 74.6 per cent Labour backers, 60.8 per cent Conservative voters, and 57.8 per cent of UKIP supporters have indicated that they would be glad to see wind farms near them.
The Greens are avid environmentalists therefore, even if there are no available figures from them in this regard, it can be safely assumed that they would any developments within the UK wind industry.
Wind industry developments a clear favourite over a new fracking rig
Another survey, which was reported in the FT in April, 2014 showed that most people, by a great margin of 3:1 would rather have a wind farm near them than a fracking rig. And yet another survey done in May, 2014 revealed that wind power is the most popular source of energy in the UK.
In normal circumstances, the policy declared by David Cameron would tantamount to be nothing less than a direct assault on the UK wind industry and the future. Delivering this statement, right on the heels of the Lima climate summit makes Cameron appear like a clown on the world’s stage.
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Thankfully, his incredulous global reputation would not warrant a serious consideration of his comments. Resorting to this kind of tactic not because of some technical problem with the UK wind industry, but because of what he claims as the unpopularity of wind farms, is truly despicable.
RenewableUK report disproves Cameron’s earlier claims
However two days after Cameron made his comments, the Government released its current Energy Trends update. It showed the abiding confidence in the UK wind industry by the trade body RenewableUK which said that “the Prime Minister was wrong to attack onshore wind earlier this week.”
“Electricity generated from renewables – up again. Clean power provided by wind for British homes – up again,” said Jennifer Webber, RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs.
“No wonder two-thirds of the public repeatedly tell every independent polling organisation from YouGov to Ipsos MORI that they support wind energy, and a majority of people want to see more onshore wind farms built near them,” she added.
What UK citizens need to ask is: Why did Cameron make that misguided statement?