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David Cameron Hints At Further Cuts To Green Energy Subsidies

Rowena Mason, The Daily Telegraph

David Cameron has hinted he would like to cut green subsidies that force up energy bills, after questioning the “sanity” of onshore wind farms.

The Prime Minister said he would “think very carefully” about green subsidies for energy sources such as wind farms and solar panels, as they “end up on consumer bills”.

He admitted that fuel bills are being driven up by green subsidies, even though the Department of Energy and Climate Change largely blames the rising cost of gas for soaring energy costs.

The Coalition’s official policy is to subsidise wind farms, solar panels and other renewable energy to help Britain meet its targets on reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The UK has signed up to green targets to tackle climate change.

However, Mr Cameron has come under fire from environmentalists for appearing to row back on promises to be the “greenest government ever”.

Under pressure from around 100 Tory backbenchers upset about wind farms in their constituency, the Government last year ordered modest cuts to subsidies for onshore wind farms and solar panels. This month, the Government issued new planning guidance making it harder for developers to build turbines.

In Prime Minister’s Questions today, Mr Cameron even suggested the Coalition’s policy on wind farms lacked “sanity” until Tory ministers John Hayes and Michael Fallon took action to stop too many being built.

“[Mr Hayes and Mr Fallon] have both done a very good job of bringing some sanity to the situation with onshore wind,” he said.

“On solar panels, this Government did substantially reduce the feed-in-tariffs [a type of subsidy] to make sure this industry was not over-subsidised. All these subsidies end up on consumer bills and we should think very carefully about that.”

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