Last week, the UK’s green plans were dealt a substantial blow when Atlantic Array was shelved. The project was set to provide power for one million homes and would have created thousands of jobs. Npower have pulled the plug on the offshore project as political uncertainty and cynical political point scoring once more threaten to severely hamper green construction investment.
Struggling to Meet 2020 Targets
Npower’s move is undoubtedly bad news for David Cameron and his government who had previously been banking on wind farms to generate low carbon power. By 2020, the government had expected to generate 15% of its energy through renewable sources, but the cancellation of the npower project calls this target into question.
The Renewable Energies Association (REA) believes that npower’s withdrawal is purely down to political infighting and uncertainty over the future of green energies. It is not just Labour and the Conservatives who are fighting over green taxes and green levies; it appears at present that the Energy Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are also at odds. Next week’s autumn statement appears vital at solving the issue, clearly showing exactly where we stand on green energy construction.
RWE claim that taxes and green levies have made the project ‘unsustainable’ and that the project ‘could not be justified under the current subsidy regime’. RWE forward the view that in the autumn statement, George Osborne must raise green subsidies and increase the bill to the taxpayer for the project to work. It appears as though, with current pressure and the spotlight on subsidies that this will be unlikely, with the government trying to drive bills down. For now at least, we have reached a stalemate.
But What Can We Do?
Surveys show that despite reservations on aesthetics and price, 70% of the population remains in favour of wind farms. So, isn’t it time we started to think locally rather than nationally?
With national projects struggling to gain traction, local, small scale thinking should now take priority and there’s a gap in the construction market for local wind farms. State of the art innovation has made home wind turbines a possibility and, with the potential cost saving implications, many punters are opting for wind turbines.
Increasingly, we have seen people turn to companies such as Scot JCB to help excavate their garden for the process of installing the turbine. The main draw backs of noise and aesthetics have since been overturned and it is now possible to have a silent wind turbine that looks good too. So, with offshore energy looking unlikely and, with people turning to wind farms to cut their bills, isn’t it time we began to think more locally?