David Cameron defends wind farm plans to Tory MPs

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The prime minister has mounted a strong defence of the government's plans to build huge wind farms around the country in the face of strong opposition from his own members of parliament.

David Cameron has written to more than 100 of his own backbenchers who published an open letter to the PM asking for subsidies for 'inefficient' on-shore wind power to be slashed, and complaining about planning policies putting national energy policies ahead of local objections.

In his reply, addressed to Chris Heaton-Harris, the Tory MP who organised the original letter, Cameron says he has sympathy with local residents' concerns, but insists there are 'perfectly hard-headed reasons' for building more on-shore wind farms - regardless of the UK's commitments to meet targets for renewable energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

'On-shore wind plays a role in a balanced UK electricity mix, alongside gas, nuclear, cleaner coal and other forms of renewable energy,' said the prime minister. 'A portfolio of different supplies enhances energy security and prevents the UK from becoming over-reliant on gas imports.'

In a nod to the growing pressure on the government to do more to stimulate the economy and in particular meet ambitious promises to create thousands more 'green jobs', Cameron added: 'I am also determined that we seize the economic opportunities in renewable energy supply chains as the global race for capital in low-carbon sectors intensifies.'

The PM also repeated the government's existing policy of cutting subsidies to on-shore wind by 10 per cent in the near future in recognition that the building cost had fallen.

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