Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said he does not support a “vast increase” in the amount of onshore wind farms in the UK, just days before Boris Johnson is set to announce the government’s new energy strategy.
Shapps today said onshore wind farms are “eyesores” in a statement that will fuel speculation of a growing cabinet rift over the issue.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng reportedly wants to double onshore wind power by 2030 and treble it by 2035 as a part of the UK’s new energy plan.
Many Tory MPs in the past have campaigned against onshore wind farms, particularly those who represent rural constituencies.
The Prime Minister earlier this week hinted that he did not support onshore wind farms during an appearance at Westminster’s Liaison Committee.
Shapps told Sky News that onshore wind farms “sit on the hills and can create something of an eyesore for communities”.
He also said they create “problems of noise as well”.
Johnson said earlier this week that “renewables are fantastic and offshore wind – and I stress offshore wind – I think has massive potential”.
“But so does nuclear,” he added.
The Sunday Times reports that Johnson wants a “colossal wind farm” in the Irish Sea as a part of his energy strategy.
The Sunday Telegraph also reported that the UK could get a further seven nuclear power stations by 2050.
The government’s energy strategy comes after the UK, EU and US outlined sanctions on Russian energy supplies in retaliation for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The disruption to oil and gas supplies means energy prices will continue to soar this year.