Energy and Climate Change is one of my main interests; one of my earliest memories is of the power cuts and blackouts in 1973.

Recently, as a country, we are using more energy and we have become more reliant on dwindling supplies of fossil fuels. We use energy to communicate, to travel and for businesses. If our 'lights went out' the effects would be devastating to our economy and our way of life. That is why it is vitally important to take energy security seriously. And it is vital to act now.

Wholesale energy price continue to rise on the international market. Gas prices have increasing by over 57% in the past 5 years and nearly 300% in the past 10 years. So sensible action is needed to keep bills as low as possible as long as possible without damaging the vital investment that needs to be made in our energy infrastructure (pipes, pylons and power stations ignored by Labour) which comes with a price tag of £200billion. We must ensure the industry is able to invest otherwise it will end up as a bill footed by the taxpayer.

As part of the Energy Bill the Prime Minister has pledged to ensure that every consumer is put on the lowest price plan for their needs. The Government has also introduced smart metering allowing consumers to know exactly how and when they are consuming energy and where potential savings can be made. The 3rd Government measure to ensure household energy bills are kept low is the introduction of the Green Deal to ensure that homes are properly insulated and efficient cutting down our bills further. If you want more information on the Green Deal click here or write to me and I will send you a pack.

In the medium term we desperately need to start constructing more nuclear power stations. Our current fleet face decommission and far too many groups oppose the building of new stations. This is why I support the Governments recent announcement to build the first nuclear power station in this country for over 20 years. This deal will give enough electricity to support nearly 6 million homes, saving 9 million tonnes of CO2 and create 25,000 new jobs. Nuclear energy keep our lights on when the wind doesn't blow whilst helping us meet our carbon target. Nuclear is a home-grown source of electricity that is dependable and clean whilst reduces our dependence on imported gas.

If we diversify our energy imports then we will start to protect our security of supply in the short term. More importantly this will help reduce our exposure to international arm-twisting. This is elucidated – and ever more imperative - with the current diplomatic tensions with Iran and the possibility of closing the Strait of Hormuz. There are many potential trading partners in the world we can utilise to avoid us from being dependent on the few. Currently we import no energy from Central Asia, the South Caucasus and other areas of the world – many have large energy reserves. If we push for the Nabucco energy pipe-line then there will be an alternative for Eastern Europe to importing gas from the Russian Federation. The more countries we import energy resources from the more secure European energy supply will be.

In the immediate term we need to make energy use more efficient and the Government is pushing for this. People need to be aware of how much energy households use – and more importantly – how much energy people will save just by turning down the thermostat by a degree. There are many ways for people to save energy in the home. Energy usage can also be lowered by changing peoples' transport habits – trains, bicycles, car sharing, etc. The important thing is the less energy we use now the less we have to generate, which in turn, means less dependence on other countries or intermittent supplies. This could have the effect of lowering energy bills which will pull more residents of Tamworth, and the surrounding villages, out of fuel poverty. Not just at winter time, but all the time. 

I am pleased to see that this Government is committed to diversifying its energy supply: we are maximising the number of stable countries from whom we import gas, oil and coal; investing more and more in various renewables; investing in nuclear power stations; exploring new technologies such as CCS, bio fuels and hydrogen. At the same time we are committed to promoting energy efficiency to reduce the overall fuel budget and encouraging the population to use less energy-intensive forms of transport.

Since being elected to the Energy and Climate Change committee I have been involved in many enquiries that have ranged from the electricity market reform and shale gas. I continue to be active in this Select Committee.

If you would like to investigate the Conservative's policies on Energy and Climate Change, please click here, and for information from the Government on Energy Policy please visit their website.


25 NOV 2013

Conservatives are taking action to reduce Energy Bills now

Christopher Pincher, Member of Parliament for Tamworth, supports action to help reduce household energy bills immediately by rolling back green levies, making it easier for people to switch suppliers and putting people on the lowest tariffs. As a Member of the Energy and Climate Change Select...


31 OCT 2013

Tamworth MP calls for the removal of green levies to cut energy bills

Christopher Pincher MP, Member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, has called for a cut in green taxes and measures to increase competition within the energy market to help reduce energy bills. Mr Pincher scrutinised the "Big Six" Energy Companies this week in a high profile session...


14 JUN 2013

Christopher Pincher welcomes greater say for local communities over wind farms

Changes introduced by Conservatives this month will help shift the balance of power and strengthen community power against unwanted onshore wind turbine proposals that have threatened local communities in Lichfield District and Tamworth Borough. These changes...



Since being elected in 2010 I have worked hard, together with local residents, councillors and parliamentary colleagues, in campaigning against wind farms in our part of the world. These turbines cause blight to communities and are of no direct benefit to local people. Recently, applications have been made for wind turbines near Dosthill and at Relay Park in North Warwickshire, Haunton, Little Hay and Wall.

I welcome changes introduced by Conservatives in Government that will help shift the balance of power and strengthen community power against unwanted onshore wind turbine proposals that have threatened local communities in Lichfield District and Tamworth Borough. These changes will:

Give local people much earlier and better involvement in turbine plans

Ensure a five-fold increase in benefits to be paid by developers to local communities

Provide planning guidance to make clear need for renewable energy does not automatically override concerns of local communities.

Local

I have written to Lichfield District, Staffordshire County Councils, Tamworth Borough Council and North Warwickshire Borough Council expressing the concerns I have regarding the building of inappropriate wind turbines in our vicinity. Please click here to see the letters I have send to Staffordshire and Tamworth Councils. In response, Staffordshire County Council recently released a statement which said that "Wind farms should not be located in areas where they would damage the Staffordshire landscape or its economy" which summarises my views.

Recently I have objected to proposed wind turbine developments at the Wienerberger Brick Works at Rush Lane and close to the M42 service station at Relay Park in North Warwickshire. A copy of the letters I have sent to North Warwickshire Borough Council can be found here (Rush Lane development) and here (Wienerberger development).

National

As well as writing to local planning authorities, I have been actively pursuing the Department for Communities and Local Government to refine planning rules to help local communities say no to inappropriate wind turbines. I also wrote to Andrew Stunnell MP, the then local Government Minister, who suggested that local councils utilise their option of identifying suitable areas for wind farms and make them known to developers to prevent the erection of inappropriately placed turbines.

I and 104 other MPs wrote to the Prime Minister asking him to agree that the subsidies provided to on-shore wind developments be cut "dramatically" and as a result in July the Government announced a 10% cut in the on-shore wind turbine subsidy. Please click here for the letter. This goes some way to ensuring that wind turbines are not build under incorrect economic guises and thus are not profitable for individuals at the expense of tax-payers.

Get Involved

If you are concerned about wind farms, even if you are not directly affected, I encourage you to complete the Department for Energy and Climate Change on-shore wind farm consultation which aims to work closer with local residence to ensure that their concerns are heard. The consultation has a close deadline and any applications need to be submitted quickly. Please click here for find the consultation. I have also submitted a consultation to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, please click here to see my Call for Evidence consultation.

I have submitted consultations myself apposing various widn turbines, please click here to see my consultation report for Weeford.

You can also contact your local Councillor on the issue of wind turbines in your area. Please click here to find contact details for your local Councillor.

If you would like to be kept informed and up to date on wind farm developments please click here and send me an email with your name address.

Articles, Press, Speeches and Select Committee

Please click here to see my previous press releases on wind turbines.

I have also written a couple of articles which clearly express my opinion of wind turbines. If you wish to read these articles please click here.

I have spoken in the House on the issues of wind farms and turbines. Please click here to see a transcription of my speeches.

The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, of which I am a member has taken evidence on wind turbines and this can be found by clicking here.

Current Proposals

Clifton Campvile:

An application was made on 6th March 2012 for a single wind turbine at 35.4m to the hub. The planned location is: Statfold Farm, Clifton Lane, Tamworth.

The application has been permitted.

Full details of the application including location can be found by clicking here.

Haunton:

The application for a wind turbine has been twice, on each account they have been rejected.

The latest application was made 11th June 2012 for two wind turbines with hub height of 75m and overall height to tip of 102m. The planned location of the two wind turbines is: Hogs Hill, Off Main Road And Syerscote Lane, Haunton.

The original proposal was successfully opposed but another, smaller, application has been submitted and approved. After the first application I organised a petition, calling for more power for local communities to oppose wind farms in their vicinity, which was signed by local residents. I then presented this to the Department for Communities and Local Government. I received a response from the Department of Communities and Local Government to this petition acknowledging local residents concerns.

The current application has been refused by Lichfield District Council

Little Hay:

An application was made 16th July 2012 for a single 3 bladed wind turbine with a maximum hub height of 75m (height to tip of 102m). The planned location is Thickbroom Farm, Little Hay Lane, Weeford.

The application is pending consultation and will go before the planning committee on 19th August 2013. The complete application and maps can be viewed by clicking here.

Wall:

An application was made on the 17th July 2012 for two 50kw wind turbines with hub height of 36.4m and overall height to tip of 46m. The planned location is: Manor Farm, Wall Lane, Wall, Lichfield.

This application has been rejected by Lichfield District Council. The decision has been appealed.

Tamworth Service Station M42 – Stonydelph and Wilnecote:

The current proposed wind turbine is not in my constituency; it in North Warwickshire, Dan Byles is the local MP. Dan and I have worked together to oppose wind developments on the border as the visual disruption clearly affects both constituencies

Originally an application was made for a wind turbine on the North Warwickshire side of the service station. This was opposed. Consequently an application for a 50 metre temporary wind mast was made on 2th July 2012 on the Tamworth side of the service station. The proposal was turned down. An appeal was then made on the 15th October 2012 for the original application on the North Warwickshire side. The planned location for the wind turbine is: Tamworth Motorway Service Area, Green Lane, Tamworth

The application was rejected for a number of reasons including the destroying of trees and the blight it would cause to local residence. The planning committee's decision can be found by clicking here.


Christopher Pincher's statement on fracking in national parks:

'Whilst I appreciate some of the genuine concerns about fracking as method of gas extraction, I think several claims are exaggerated and with proper regulation and controls fracking is safe and has huge potential to change the makeup of British energy supply.

I can reassure you that the Government is creating a regulatory regime that provides clear, strong protections for the environment. With these in place, I think it is right that we explore and make use of shale gas and oil. The opportunity to extract this energy, as well as to secure jobs and investment, cannot be ignored.

The Government has introduced draft regulations to Parliament that define the areas in which fracking will be banned. I can assure you that National Parks are covered by these protections, and as such, fracking cannot take place at depths of less than 1,200 metres in these areas. The Government has clearly committed to ensuring that fracking cannot be conducted from wells that are drilled at the surface of National Parks, and I am confident that these protections will ensure that the beauty of our National Parks is protected.'


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