By Janice Gillie
A reduction in onshore wind farm subsidies looks set to make very little
difference to the number of turbines in the Berwickshire landscape.
The UK Government announced last week that the subsidy for onshore wind
farms was being reduced and subsidies for offshore turbines increasing,
But despite local MSP John Lamont’s hope that it will take the pressure off
the local landscape, wind farm developers and anti-wind farm protestors
don’t believe that the change will make much impact.
TCI Renewable is planning a wind farm at Rumbletonrig, Greenlaw, and after
the government’s announcement Paul Beale, project manager, said: “Reduced
subsidies for onshore windfarms indicate that the costs of the technologies
are coming down.
“This will not have any impact on our proposed wind farm development at
Rumbletonrig and the communities of Greenlaw and Hume and Gordon and
Westruther will still benefit from a community benefit fund amounting to
£112,500 per annum.”
Wind farm protestor, Mark Rowley, from Longformacus, said: “Despite the
political hype and the howls of anguish from the wind industry, the cut is
so minimal it will make little difference.
“Windfarm developers will be guaranteed £95mw, down from £100. No-one
imagines that the invasion of Berwickshire by German, French, Norwegian,
Spanish and English energy multinationals will stop because of a 5%
reduction in subsidy two years hence?
“In the Borders, with fuel poverty recognised as affecting at least 37% of
households, the onslaught of wind development is a visible reminder that it
is the consumer paying the price of wind farm folly.
“It is a start, but it is woefully little and will discourage too few
speculative developers who clearly recognise that onshore wind is the
greatest government-sponsored gravy train of our time.”