PM Rules Out Further Onshore Wind Farms
David Cameron has told Sky News the country does not need any more onshore wind farms as he defended Tory plans to scrap subsidies for future schemes.
The Prime Minister also said there would be measures in the planning system to ensure local people's views were not "overridden" if the Conservatives win next year's general election.
But the pledge by Tories to ditch subsidies for newly-planned onshore turbines and give councils power to block new schemes was branded "disastrous for business and jobs" by Ed Davey, the Lib Dem Energy Secretary.
Conservative insiders said the proposals, which would be implemented within six months of a Tory win, would "effectively curtail further large-scale onshore wind developments".
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Cameron said: "Onshore wind has an important role to play in generating electricity in our country. We want a varied supply of electricity.
"We're going to have a decent number of onshore wind turbines but the fact is we don't need any more than what we've got in the planning system."
He added: "A future Conservative government would no longer subsidise onshore wind and would have proper safeguards in the planning system so that local views are paramount and not overridden by national imperatives.
"It's not the end of onshore wind and it will make an important contribution to our country's electricity, but you won't see lots of new large-scale wind farm developments."
However, Mr Davey said: "Putting the brakes on onshore wind would be disastrous for business and jobs in our growing green economy.
"Onshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of green energy, so cutting it could lead to higher bills.
"You can't trust the Conservatives on their own to build a fairer society. Only with Liberal Democrats in Government can we build a stronger economy and a fairer society."
Environmental campaigners have also criticised the Conservative policy, warning it would increase bills and damage efforts to tackle climate change.
According to figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change, wind farms with a combined capacity of 13.8GW have already been built, are under construction or have planning permission.
It said the figure is enough to meet targets of 11-13GW, even if some projects fail through a lack of finance or other problems.
Onshore wind farms already have enough electricity to power up to four million homes, with this figure forecast to rise to seven million by 2020 under the coalition's plans.