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banner Thursday, 5 October, 2000, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
Tories back renewable energy
Wind generators
Wind power to benefit under Tory plans
A Conservative government would use carrots not sticks to encourage people to be greener, the Tory environment spokesman Damien Green has said.

Under new plans homeowners would be encouraged to generate their own power from solar panels and sell it back to the national grid.


The Labour Government have used the environment as a fig-leaf to mask a barrage of new taxes - such as their energy tax and their exorbitant levels of fuel taxation

Damien Green
When a house is empty, electricity generated would flow into the national grid.

And solar panels could be offered as an integral part of new homes, Mr Green said.

Renewable forms of energy would benefit with 100% capital allowances for offshore wind projects, he said.

Climate change scrapped

Mr Green pledged the next Conservative administration to scrapping the government's climate change levy which he said "will do nothing to stop climate change".

He said: "We will release the energy of British business to develop new ways of generating clean power.

"The Labour Government have used the environment as a fig-leaf to mask a barrage of new taxes - such as their energy tax and their exorbitant levels of fuel taxation.

"By contrast the next Conservative Government will show we can protect our planet without it costing the earth."

Mr Green also mocked Labour saying that Prime Minister Tony Blair "cares as much about the future of our planet as he does about Mo Mowlam's future career prospects".

He also urged Tory representatives at the party conference in Bournemouth to vote out Liberal Democrat councils and "get rid of the noxious hot air released in your area".

Greening the Tories

For the first time, the Tories allowed three green pressure groups to speak directly to the Conference explaining their policies via video.

Friends of the Earth's Charles Secrett urged the Tories to adhere to what he said was a promise both by John Major and William Hague to reduce the number of journeys by car.

And Graham Wynn of the RSPB said he wanted "hard-headed action to reform agricultural policies" which had a bad effect on the nations bird life.

Contributors from the conference floor called for action on areas as diverse as litter on the streets to eviction notices for travellers and redevelopment of the inner cities.

Nick Pagett-Brown - who is on the Conservative's approved candidates list - called for the imposition of VAT on greenfield development.

Wood-burning stoves

Among other proposals put out for consultation by the Tories are:

  • The introduction of "net" metering, allowing households to sell energy back into the Grid at the same price as they can buy it
  • 100% first year capital allowances for off-shore wind projects.
  • Altering planning guidance to encourage the construction of small, local wood-burning power generators
  • Give tax incentives for greener vehicles and greener fuels.
  • Introduce a comprehensive system of emission trading permits.
  • Extend the number of gas-fired power stations.
  • Support energy efficiency measures in people's homes, especially amongst the elderly and vulnerable.

    A senior Tory official said industries which use wind power would be given 100% tax breaks for their investment.

    The cost to the Treasury in lost tax revenue is likely to be 22 million in the first year, 17 million in the second and 13 million in the third.

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