Skip to main content

Wind Power

Volume 592: debated on Thursday 5 February 2015

6. What estimate he has made of the proportion of electricity consumption that will be sourced from wind by 2017. (907448)

Electricity consumed in the UK comes from a range of sources. In 2013, 35% came from coal, 27% from gas, 18% from nuclear and 15% from renewables, including wind generation. The “Electricity Market Reform Delivery Plan”, published in December 2013, stated our aim of achieving total UK renewable deployment of around 43 GW by 2020, which would generate about 109 TWh.

Given that the Minister cannot possibly know how windy it will be in 2017—there are huge variations in these things—or the relative price of different methods of energy generation this year, let alone in 2017, why not scrap the wind subsidies to the big corporations and allow energy producers to compete freely and produce energy at a price householders are willing to pay? Surely that would give people a much better deal.

Wind is an essential part of the renewables mix. I appreciate the hon. Gentleman’s point that it is not 100% reliable—the wind does not always blow—but that is why it is part of the energy mix and is supported by other energy sources. We are continuing as a Department to invest in the battery industry and we hope that when that industry develops we will be able to find wind more reliable, with the subsidies coming down accordingly.

Transmission lines from large wind farms such as Clocaenog in my constituency can have a severely detrimental effect on the lives of residents in the locality. What consideration has my hon. Friend given to requiring the heavily subsidised developers of those wind farms to pay for installing those lines underground?

It is an interesting question. The National Grid is responsible for surveying and implementing these matters, in conjunction with the Planning Inspectorate, and it will be for them to take that into consideration, if appropriate, for the different wind farms.