The most unexpected consequence of selling the country’s electric legacy, the consequence that most directly contradicts what the Thatcherites were trying to do, was the gradual absorption of swathes of the industry by EDF. Beginning with the takeover of London Electricity in 1998, exploiting the Thatcherites’ open-door market structures and their decision to split the electricity industry into small, easy-to-swallow chunks, France in effect renationalised the industry its neighbour had so painstakingly privatised. Renationalised it, that is, for France. As well as being one of the six dominant UK suppliers of energy, EDF now owns a fat portfolio of British power stations, including the fleet of nuclear reactors that still provides around a sixth of the country’s electricity.
The aristocrats cashing in on Britain’s wind farm subsidies
Growing numbers of the nobility are being tempted to build giant wind farms on their estates by the promise of tens of millions of pounds being offered green energy developers.
They are among the nation’s wealthiest aristocrats, whose families have protected the British landscape for centuries. Until now that is.
For increasing numbers of the nobility – among them dukes and even a cousin of the Queen – are being tempted by tens of millions of pounds offered by developers to build giant wind farms on their estates.
An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph reveals how generous subsidies – that are added to consumer energy bills – are encouraging hereditary landowners to build turbines up to 410ft tall on their land.
With controversy over onshore wind farms growing, the role of the landed establishment in fuelling the ‘scramble for wind’ will alarm opponents.
They claim wind farms are blighting the countryside while failing to deliver a reliable supply of electricity despite the cost.
Latest figures show the amount of electricity generated by UK wind farms actually fell last year because of the lowest average wind speeds this century.
Renationalise is the answer!