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“Stop Euro funds for wind farms” says MEP

Tuesday, 5th July 2011

A Euro MP from the East Midlands has called for over one billion euros of funding for UK wind farms to be switched off. In a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Philippe Maystadt, was warned that the funding of industrial wind developments is “an unfolding financial scandal” that the EIB should no longer support.

The EIB is providing up to €1 billion for the construction of wind turbines and other renewable energy projects in the UK. While this fits neatly within the EU strategy to fight against climate change, it is very worrying that the current criteria governing EIB funding lack transparency and accountability when it comes to examination and due diligence of the projects concerned. €6 billion is being provided for wind farm developments across the EU according to Mr. Maystadt. But the EIB simply accepts the applications for funding from the governments concerned without scrutiny. Helmer argues that this is not good enough, and that the viability of individual projects should be examined.

He said:

“Renewable energy companies in the UK claim that their turbines have a load factor of 30%. In fact, over the whole of last year, their load factor was only 21%. They do not work when the weather is coldest and demand for electricity is at its peak. They are not economically viable and will double or triple electricity prices for consumers while failing to cut CO2 emissions. This is an unfolding financial scandal and the EIB should stop funding wind energy projects.”

Helmer is particularly concerned about the mass of wind farm developments across the East Midlands Region, where he says that wind farm planning applications, driven by preposterous subsidies, are “breaking out like a rash”.