UKIP worried “renewables running out”

Last week an article in the Independent shone a light on the ignorance of UKIP candidates about their own policy on renewable energy. Apparently UKIP candidate for Grimsby, Victoria Ayling, had caused chortles and sniggers during a local debate having asked “what happens when renewable energy runs out?”

Councillor Ayling has since become something of a celebrity on Twitter and other social media with thousands of quotes and re-tweets.

Subsequently Ayling has said what she meant to ask was “what happens when the subsidies for renewable energy run out?” which is probably not a great deal less silly given the UKIP policy to end subsidies for renewables.

Clearly the councillor has no idea what impact her own party’s policies would have.

Worse still is the focus on one particular subsidy among many thousands purely because of an ideological hatred of wind energy. Why not come clean and just say they hate wind turbines? Both UKIP and the Conservatives pick on subsidies because energy industry regulator OFGEM continues to support on-shore wind saying it is the cheapest form of renewable energy available – ie it does actually work and is cost effective.

Both UKIP and the Conservatives are pro-fracking and would most likely seek to bias the planning system in favour of the “strategic delivery” of fracked gas in the same (but inverse) way that Mr Pickles is currently refusing wind farm appeals.

Whatever the result, the outcome of the General Election will have a major impact on the ability of the UK to deliver on future (and much tougher) environmental targets.