A very hard hitting piece in the Daily Express today 25th April 2014 by Chris Roycroft-Davis that will bring a smile to many a jaded eye. Whether we agree that Cameron and the high command, well infiltrated with “Pigs in the Trough” syndrome, really mean that they are going to do something this time or are just throwing out sound bites for the rural voter remains to be seen. After all the credibility rating with those in the Cabinet is at an all time low. With the exception of Pickles and Patterson. When do you know a politician is telling the truth? When his mouth isn’t moving.
However we have to read between the lines of the Spin Doctors. We have heard reduction theory before and only 10% was removed. When developers are pocketing the best part of £60 per MW for doing nothing, 10% is a minor inconvenience. They can soon make that up with constraint payments. Also contracts are in place so any reduction is stated as only for new wind farms. Actually there is a simple mechanism which can be worked two ways. One is to reduce the Renewable Obligation on the energy companies. Renewable Certificates are trading based on a balance of supply and demand. Reduce the demand and the price will drop through the floor. Renewable Obligations are based on the Carbon controls so it is relatively easy to adjust as long as you have the will and are prepared to tell Europe to go and get stuffed. Certainly something that would prove popular in the UK at the moment! The other is to reduce the Renewable Obligation Certificates per MW. Make on-shore one ROC for every 10MW and you reduce “subsidy” by 90% in one step. Renewable Obligations must be reduced at the same time otherwise demand and supply would simply increase the value! FITs are another can of worms but as they don’t normally effect the big players but more the ordinary people, they are more ‘adjustable’. Second point is that 3000 wind turbines are already approved and without a reduction in “subsidy” they will still be built. That is almost doubling the installed wind base. Third is that Cameron has not said NO MORE TURBINES. He has said that they will be controlled by local planning. Does he mean at Community/Parish level or at Council level. Does he mean devolved powers by planners and what about the appeal process. That is a legal procedure there to protect far more than wind farms. Or is this a double gain by his advisors where planning controls can in fact be eased whilst we think they are being strengthened. Always make sure you can see both hands of any politician! I see little difference especially in Scotland were we have Section 36(>50MW) which are decided by Scottish Government Energy Consents[the devil is in the name] anyway. We know that the Poluticians(sic) think that we are as corruptible as them and we will all take the Community Benefit and they have simply failed to comprehend that our interest does not end with Twitter, Starbucks and our I-pads. For this they continually press for £5k per MW and yet fail to make any payment mandatory as is the case with Planning Gain. What they fail to see is how divisory that is on local communities with self interest and ambition raising their ugly heads and those removed from the wind farm counting the shekels whilst those close by see only pain and sleepless nights as their “benefit”. This sounds more like a con in the making! Last, but not least, he says that it will be in the next Parliament if the Conservatives are re-elected. Well should that happen, and it is far from a done deal, history may point to dozens of promises that were so delayed in their implementation as to be worthless. The EU Referendum is a good place to start, but there are dozens more. I think, like Fracking today, it would be so delayed as to be after the event. Too many troughs and too may piggies! One thing he could do is remove “double jeopardy” where an area where a wind farm has been turned down cannot be re-targeted for another application or a reduced scheme. Too many see this happening and after three years of stress and cost are faced with a re-enactment. The developers well know that people are fed up and will rarely put up such a concerted fight second time around. They probably cannot afford either the time or money! So how genuine is this “offer” or is it appeasement by the Westminster Village and Political Caucus to their awkward but electionally necessary Rural cousins?
Do they think that the rural voter is that naive that they will still believe platitudes without seeing the money on the table? Will they hell! Cameron and his Eton buddies have got to do better and that means action now, not 2016 and beyond. At this rate, the protest vote will consign them to history as it did Blair and to a great extent the Lib-Dems at the last election. That their influence in the Coalition is so pervasive is parody of natural justice and democracy. Enough of my rantings. The Daily Express story is here! Click and behold. Best reason I know to put Levenson back in his box.