As of the 1st of April 2016 the Conservative government will be cutting subsidies to new onshore wind farms. Armchair environmentalists are spewing outrage from the warmth of their centrally heated homes. Of course screeching accusations of nimbyism by ideological zealots and exceptionally rich businessmen has been the norm in the UK wind energy sector for years now. It’s astounding then, and I had to do a lot of soul searching before I could write this, that the Conservative government, on behalf of the slavering Daily Mail readers who make up their core voter base, may have actually done something positive for the rest of us lowly mortals. I wouldn’t say that lightly and I will be willingly accepting savage beatings regardless of the fact that I stand by the statement. We’re all about facts and figures at HYDROMAG, though, so stick with me while I explain myself.
It may seem counterintuitive, but where subsidies helped to build the industry, at the same time they stunted it. The traditional idea of a ‘wind farm’ is one of massive bladed turbines turning gracefully on the side of a windswept mountain. It’s a powerful image and you can’t fault the intentions behind it, but just as communism is a noble sentiment at its core, the practical applications of both are entirely different beasts. The reality is that wind farms are not farms at all, they’re power stations.