Bishop of Chester asks Government about wind turbine subsidies

14.03 Bishop of ChesterOn the 22nd June 2015 the Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, responded to a Government statement on wind turbines. The Bishop asked how long subsidies for wind turbines would be guaranteed. The full statement from the Government can be read here

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, if and when the new subsidies are ended, we will have 6,000 or 7,000 subsidised windmills. Can the Minister remind the House for how long the subsidies for these thousands of wind turbines are going to be guaranteed, and what the total cost will be over their lifetime? If the figures are not available, could the Minister write to me?

Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth: The right reverend Prelate makes an important point. I do not have the specific figure, but it is certainly billions of pounds, and the typical lifetime of a contract or a subsidy in relation to a wind farm is 20 years. But I would remind the House that this is for an important purpose. It is in order that we can reach our decarbonisation targets, and we are determined to do that by getting the mix right. This is about balancing the interests of the consumer and keeping bills down—which I think we would all want to ensure as much as possible—with the interests of ensuring that we have clean and secure energy. As I say, it is about getting the mix right, and I believe we have done that.