Dogfight over wind power subsidies

Copenhagen Post Online

The Liberal Party wants to cut state funding for land-based wind turbines in favour of financing biogas, hydrogen and solar cell development. Several parties oppose the idea.

Since 2005, the wind turbine industry has received an average of 1.3 billion kroner in subsidies each year.

Mette Gjerskov, climate and environmental spokeswoman for the Social Democrats, questioned the Liberals’ proclaimed commitment to green energy, describing it as ‘purely bogus’.

She said it was the wrong signal to send such a short time before the COP15 United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen in December.

Social Liberal Party leader Margrethe Vestager criticised the government for abandoning of its support for wind energy.

‘I don’t understand why the Liberals want to phase out subsidies for wind turbines when they are fantastic for both the climate and for the Danish economy,’ Vestager said.

She believed the Liberal Party’s ideological views were superseding environmental considerations.

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen rejected the criticism, maintaining the Liberal Party was still committed to green energy. He pointed to this week’s opening of the Horns Rev II wind farm – the world’s largest offshore windfarm.

Løkke Rasmussen also said that before the next election, his party would propose how and when the country would become free from fossil fuels.

The government’s ally, the Danish People’s Party, welcomed the proposal, pointing out that the subsidies had cost residents and electric companies billions of kroner.

Party group chairman Kristian Thulesen Dahl said consumers had paid huge additional charges on their electric bills for almost three decades, based on an ideological desire to promote the development of wind turbines.

‘When the current energy agreement expires in 2012, we expect a new agreement will be reached where support for onshore wind turbines is phased out.’

See post here.

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