Wind energy must get cheaper according to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in order to ensure lower energy bills.
The cost of building onshore wind farms and developing other sources of renewable energy has fallen but both domestic and business energy bills are still increasing.
At the moment bills are some of the highest they have been largely as a result of high fossil fuel prices and green taxes. High wholesale gas prices are helping to keep domestic and business gas prices high.
All energy companies have to generate a certain amount of electricity from sources of renewable energy such as wind or solar. However, the cost of doing this is then passed on to the consumer. It’s these green taxes which Mr Cameron wants to see come down.
Speaking at the Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in London, Mr Cameron said “As costs fall so it is right that consumers should pay less in subsidies for new projects. We don’t just need greener energy – we need cheaper energy too”.
The cost of onshore wind, while still more expensive than gas, is now on a par with coal and nuclear power. The Government plans to double onshore wind capacity which is already at over 3,500 turbines and Mr Cameron said energy companies can get costs down further.
He said “We can get these costs down further. I really believe that more mature renewable technologies can be among our cheapest energy sources within years, not decades”.
However, according to the executive director at Which? the government needs to help to make energy bills lower. Richard Lloyd said “We welcome the Prime Minister discussing green policies and the need to be financially sustainable, but once again the Government seems to forget it also needs to be affordable for consumers who are the ones left picking up the bill”.
Meanwhile the Director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, Dr John Constable, said the cost of renewables is likely to go up rather than go down. He said “Income support to renewable electricity generators last year cost the consumer £1.5 billion, over half going to wind power, and by 2020 this will be around £8 billion a year”.