The UK Independent Party (UKIP) unveiled plans today to scrap support for solar and wind power, and only invest in renewable energy “where they can deliver electricity at competitive prices”.
The only major renewable that meets the affordability test is currently hydro power.
“Wind power is hopelessly inefficient and wind farms rely heavily on reserve back-up from conventional power sources. They have blighted landscapes and put money into the pockets of wealthy landowners and investors while pushing up bills for the rest of us”, the manifesto states.
The party would however invest in coal-fired power plants, claiming they “need to be part of the solution” if the UK is to have “energy security and cheap, plentiful, reliable sources of energy”.
A commission would be set up to investigate ways to assist and rejuvenate the coal industry and get rid of the carbon floor tax “on the basis that production from coal plants is combined with carbon capture and storage”.
The party also believes its “time to get fracking” and has pledged to support the development of shale gas “provided safeguards are in place”.
“What is clearly unsafe is the UK’s over-dependence on imports from politically unstable countries. In the interests of energy security alone, the prospect of home-grown shale gas is an enormous opportunity it would be irresponsible to ignore”, it states.
UKIP plans to levy the Petroleum Revenue Tax – currently 50% – on any shale profits and invest the income into a Sovereign Wealth Fund.
The Conservatives also released their manifesto this week, which includes a ban on onshore wind subsidies, but continuing support for fracking.
Labour has pledged to tackle climate change and crackdown on high energy prices by getting tough on the Big Six.
The Liberal Democrats have promised plans for 24-hour energy switching and set out its five green pledges.
The Green Party has vowed to invest up to £35 billion in renewables and ban fracking.