Pressure is mounting within the Conservative party to end its block on new onshore windfarms after evidence that Tory supporters overwhelmingly back their return. Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, who are battling to become the party’s new leader, are facing internal calls to give the green light to new onshore wind projects that could slash the price of energy. Latest research suggests Tory voters are far more concerned about fracking than they are about onshore windfarms. Polling of more than 15,000 Tory voters suggests there is now clear support for onshore wind farms. The survey, carried out by Survation, for the Conservative Environment Network, showed that 74% of people who voted Conservative in the last election support onshore wind farms. The figure was twice the number of Tory voters who back fracking – just 37%. Analysis of the poll carried out by Chris Hanretty, professor of politics at Royal Holloway University, found support was high in eight of the 10 constituencies identified by Conservatives as swing seats, targeted by Liberal Democrats. This includes Bath and Richmond Park, where support is 80.7% and 78.1% respectively. There is mounting evidence that onshore wind is significantly cheaper than other forms of energy. The government has already committed to a “net-zero” carbon emissions target by 2050. Onshore wind is currently excluded from competing in Contracts for Difference auctions, which are designed to provide stability and certainty to investors. The exclusion has been blamed for stopping further investment.
Observer 30th June 2019 read more »