Monday, February 24, 2014

Where are the Global Warmists for Freedom?

Warmism is an essentially  Authoritarian creed

By Daren Jonescu

Global warming "admitters" -- to distinguish you from those of us you call "deniers" -- I have a question for you: Do any of you have an answer to the cataclysm your settled science has proven beyond any possible doubt is coming which does not require totalitarian measures?

Let me rephrase that, in case the connotations of the phrase "totalitarian measures" have not yet passed peer review, in which case their meaning may not be able to reach minds occupying the rarefied atmosphere of pure science.  My question, then, is: Do you, or any of your gods of peer review, propose solutions to anthropogenic global climate change which do not involve the violation of property rights, the restraint of individual liberty regarding matters of self-preservation (i.e., jobs and wealth-creation), the weakening of every nation's sovereignty in favor of increased "global governance," and the expanded empowerment of thousands of bureaucrats, think-tankers, and advisors accountable to no one?

I ask this only because it has become apparent that you admitters, who are undoubtedly on the right side of history -- at least compared with the anti-science Neanderthals over on this side of the fence -- are absolutely at wit's end (or even a little beyond that) in seeking to understand how anyone could possibly continue in ignorance, when both Leonardo DiCaprio and Scarlett Johansson are on the side of Truth.  Concerned about your shattered (but scientifically settled!) nerves, I propose to help you out with a little inside baseball concerning the intellectual (yeah, I know, silly word choice) reticence of the unbelievers to join in your celebration of the revealed religion.

Having lived for some time as a kind of fellow-traveler in the ranks of the denier class -- I know how your leaders on the political side of things like the word "class" -- I believe I have divined one of the major causes of their decision to remain steeped in blindness.  To wit, one of the deniers' real bugaboos about accepting the world's first ever settled science -- and if we can't accept science that certain, then what must we think of the heliocentric universe? -- is that the pure science of global warming seems to have allowed itself to be absorbed completely into a political movement bent on circumventing the rule of law and individual rights in the name of unlimited power.  Yes, I know it seems crazy, but some us still imagine we are individual living entities, with a natural urge to preserve ourselves and determine our own paths in life with a view to -- I'll wait for you to catch your breath and stop laughing - the pursuit of happiness, through virtuous action freely chosen and intellectual interests freely pursued.

In light of this archaism of individualism that we choose to cling to -- rather bitterly I'm afraid -- we tend to be somewhat touchy about authoritarianism, regardless of the auspices under which it is pursued.  Hence, although we like a bit of national security from our national governments, we tend not to be so keen on government agencies gaining clandestine access to our private communications, fondling our women-folk at airports -- "women-folk" was just to remind you that we're hicks -- or otherwise intruding upon our daily lives in the name of protecting us.  Similarly, although we are more than capable of feeling concern for, and sympathy with, the poor, infirm, and elderly, we see no justification in this for the state to confiscate our income -- which is to say our time and labor, i.e., our lives -- in order to do generically and coercively what we could more easily (and in all likelihood more effectively) do through voluntary action, i.e., as free, moral citizens.  To put this another way, I do not see how my desire to help someone in need affords me the privilege of forcing my neighbor at gunpoint to do the same.

And this last observation brings us back to the matter at hand.  Listen carefully now -- painful as it may be to decipher my non-peer-reviewed accent, I really am trying to do you a favor.  After all, we all believe plenty of dumb things in our lives, and get suckered by dozens of false prophets of one kind or another.  I see no reason why you climate change admitters should be forcibly divested of your faith.  Perhaps, in the long run, it will advance the cause of happiness for you in some unforeseen way, as our most regrettable follies often seem to be able to do.  Who knows what benefit might accrue to a true believer of your sort, assuming he does not find himself on the business end of a glass of progressive Kool-Aid before he finds his way back to non-settled reality?

Here, then, is my point.  Is it conceivable -- just conceivable -- to you that, having achieved the Nirvana of settled science regarding man-made climate change, you might seek to persuade your unfortunate brothers on the outside to see the light, and to join you in voluntarily altering your collective behavior in the direction of a less carbonated world?  And that you might just accept the unfortunate possibility that, should you be unable to persuade us, the imaginary effect you suppose us to be having on the climate may have to continue through to its ultimate imaginary apocalypse, given that the alternative solution -- brute force aimed at curtailing human life -- would be draconian, tyrannical, and inhuman?

The fear we deniers have, and one reason we are unable to submit to all your peer-reviewed scholarship, is that your bottom-line answer to these questions is, has been, and apparently always will be "No."  Here's the little secret you seem to have overlooked: As long as your AGW advocacy -- has there ever been a more "advocated" scientific hypothesis? -- remains consubstantially linked to progressive collectivist political advocacy, no one out here in the non-settled world is ever going to take you seriously.

Oh, I know -- this is not about totalitarianism; it's just that the severity of the impending cataclysm should we "do nothing" makes strong, coordinated, immediate government action necessary in this case.  That "this case is different" mantra has been essential to the cause from day one.  And that is exactly what bothers some of us.  Where are the global warmists for freedom?  Where is just one such person?  Instead you have Michael Mann, who has officially parlayed his peer-reviewed status into a Nobel Prize he never actually received, a refusal to release the data he used to settle the science, and a season as the poster boy for the left's new strategy of silencing "deniers" through legal intimidation, via his lawsuit against Mark Steyn and the National Review.

Why is every "concerned" response to the settled science some variation on tyranny, Goebbels-style propaganda ("97 percent of scientists agree"), or violent accusations of "idiocy" (polite version) against everyone who does not swallow the propaganda whole, and follow you into your tyranny?  This is your problem: credibility.  This may seem strange, given that you have all the peer-reviewed settled science on your side.  Unfortunately, you also have Al Gore, Barack Obama, Herman van Rompuy, the United Nations, Prince Charles, and sundry other progressive elite men and organizations on your side.  And they are using your settled science as an excuse to impose tyranny.  And you are saying nothing against this -- quite the contrary, in fact.

In brief, "I need to take over your life, but it's for your own good," is not a line of argument men who still imagine themselves to be human are likely to accept, regardless of how many computer models you can provide to show them why you are demanding it.  You see?  It's a credibility issue after all.  For, in our (admittedly unsettled) minds, you are not enlightening us with science; you are enslaving us with lawless government.

In case you still cannot understand what I am talking about, allow me to conclude by seeing your settled cataclysm, and raising you a moral calamity.

I believe our society has become morally unhinged.  Our popular entertainment is rife with sounds, words, and images that would have been considered hardcore pornography in the not too distant past, but that are now available to -- indeed, aimed at -- every twelve year old, everywhere, all the time.  The effect of this degradation of the sentiments on education, the development of moral character, marriage and family, and adult socio-political life, is as settled, in the sense of unmistakably obvious, as any of your computer climate models -- and even has the added significance of being observable in the real world, rather than merely in the computer model.

I sincerely believe that if this trend continues, there will be no saving civilization and rational thought on this planet, barring a complete breakdown and renewal which could take centuries before anything resembling a decent social order was regained.  It is possible -- and I do not exaggerate -- that the only way to turn this around before it is too late would involve, at a minimum, eliminating all modern popular music, and its accompanying imagery, from public availability immediately.

Furthermore, I believe it might be necessary to institute a program of forced "access" to corrective musical forms for every human being -- let's say two hours per day consisting exclusively of Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi and Telemann, with one hour per week allowed for free choice from among any approved selections from any historical period prior to 1820.  Anyone caught listening to music composed after that year would face fines or imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense.  One who abstained from his weekly free choice hour for a given number of weeks might be permitted to trade those hours for an hour of some more recent compositions, though the options would of course be limited to avoid overtly negative influences, e.g. Wagner.

Crazy, right?  And yet I am one hundred percent sure that if everyone followed a music-listening program similar to the one I have just advised, rather than the one most people have reduced themselves and their children to today, the world would be a better place on all levels, and just might avoid any further moral collapse of the sort that allows people to run submissively into the arms of totalitarian government just because Al Gore or Michael Mann told them to.

I have described, somewhat fancifully, what might save us.  And yet I would never actually propose it in practice, or advocate for it during political campaigns, or call people who disagree with me about the effects of Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga "morons."  (Okay, I might do that last one.)

Why not?  Because, through it all, and in spite of my belief that all my arguments are likely to be in vain, I cannot accept the proposition that my diagnosis of the ills of modern life, or my prognosis for the future if the current trajectory continues, give me -- or anyone else, elected or otherwise -- the moral authority to impose a new way of life on other human beings against their will.  So I am forced by the moral self-restraint of a rational individualist to try to persuade people, to show them what I mean, and to convince them to pursue a better life according to my best lights.  I cannot force them at gunpoint, just as they cannot force me.

So why, then, do you climate change admitters unanimously reject this option, and head straight for the Obamas, Kerrys, and Clintons of the world as your saviors?  Go ahead, try to persuade me.  Bury me in peer-reviewed articles, arguments from authority, decline-hiding fudgable facts and figures, anything you like.  I will listen, if your case is at least entertaining.  But I will shut you out the moment you begin telling me what I must do, or what governments are going to impose upon me in violation of my natural rights, "for my own good."

As soon as you go that way, we deniers start to suspect that tyranny, not science, was your real motive all along.  Get it?  Then try to prove us wrong.


High court climate case looks at EPA's power

 Industry groups and Republican-led states are heading an attack at the Supreme Court against the Obama administration's sole means of trying to limit power-plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.

As President Barack Obama pledges to act on environmental and other matters when Congress doesn't, or won't, opponents of regulating carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases cast the rule as a power grab of historic proportions.

The court is hearing arguments Monday about a small but important piece of the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to cut the emissions — a requirement that companies expanding industrial facilities or building new ones that would increase overall pollution must also evaluate ways to reduce the carbon they release.

Environmental groups and even some of their opponents say that whatever the court decides, EPA still will be able to move forward with broader plans to set emission standards for greenhouse gases for new and existing power plants.

But a court ruling against the EPA almost undoubtedly would be used to challenge every step of the agency's effort to deal with climate change, said Jacob Hollinger, a partner with the McDermott Will and Emery law firm in New York and a former EPA lawyer.

Republicans have objected strenuously to the administration's decision to push ahead with the regulations after Congress failed to pass climate legislation.

In 2012, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that the EPA was "unambiguously correct" in using existing federal law to address global warming.

Monday's case, for which the court has expanded argument time to 90 minutes from the usual 60, stems from the high court's 2007 ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA, which said the agency has the authority under the Clean Air Act to limit emissions of greenhouse gases from vehicles.

Two years later, with Obama in office, the EPA concluded that the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases endangered human health and welfare. The administration used that finding to extend its regulatory reach beyond automobiles and develop national standards for large stationary sources.


Vilsack Won't Blame Climate Change for Snowy Winter, But ‘Climate Is Changing’

 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack did not link this winter’s frigid and snowy weather in much of the country to global warming, but said the “climate is changing” and the federal government wants to help the country’s food producers.

At a press conference on Thursday at the United States Agriculture Department’s (USDA) annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, asked Vilsack if global warming or climate change were to blame for the recent cold and snowy weather.

“You know, I don’t think scientists would suggest that any one weather incident can be attributed to one specific issue, but I think it’s fair to say that the climate is changing over a longer period of time,” Vilsack said.

Vilsack said climate change was the incentive for his Feb. 5 announcement of the creation of “Regional Hubs for Risk Adaption and Mitigation to Climate Change” at seven locations around the country.

The press release announcing the hubs stated that the hubs are part of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan to “responsibly cut carbon pollution, slow the effects of climate change and put America on track to a cleaner environment.”

“And that’s one of the reasons why we felt it necessary to establish these climate change hubs to be able to do a very longitudinal, thoughtful, data-driven study of the risks and the vulnerabilities of each region of the country relative to agriculture and forestry to come up with strategies to allow producers to adapt and mitigate to the changes they’re seeing,” Vilsack said. “And to then use our extension service to make sure that they get the information that allows them to adapt and mitigate.

“We’re seeing a lot of circumstances that require adjustments on the part of producers and we want to be able to provide as much help and assistance as we can,” Vilsack said.

Later in the press conference Vilsack said his agency is “clearly focused on climate change.”

Aside from climate change, the conference offered participants a wide range of workshops with topics ranging from attracting a new generation of farmers, food prices, and how to deal with “invasive pests.”



The Green Gulag

8,000 people die in the UK every year due to what is being called "Fuel Poverty". Fuel Poverty is a trendy term for those who can't afford to heat their home because all the solar panels and windmills, the coal bans and the wars on fracking have made it too expensive for people not to freeze to death..

The left, which never misses a chance to blame profiteering for the failure of its policies, is staging "Die-Ins" outside energy companies to protect the real "Die-Ins" that they caused. But the real "Die-Ins" don't involve bored university students lying down on the concrete and posting the results to Tumblr. They end with the generation that saved Europe from Hitler dying in their own homes.

Rising fuel prices can in no small part be attributed to environmental mania. Energy companies are not run by saints, but neither do they have an interest in pricing their product out of the reach of ordinary people. It's hard to sell home heat to the dead or the destitute. On the other hand environmentalists do indeed want to make it hard for ordinary to be able to afford to heat their homes. That's not a conspiracy theory. It's their policy.

Talk of using carbon credits for "super-energy efficiency" is an admission that a movement using dead seniors as a prop is actually pushing to make energy use as expensive as possible and to reduce its use as much as possible. The "Die In" crowd isn't for lowering energy prices, it's for adding more taxes that will benefit their own parasitic clean energy experts.

Say what you will about energy companies, but their business plan involves selling a product. The anti-energy environmentalists want to make it as expensive as possible. The costs of their policies are not just a talking point, but a grim reality.

The family that has to choose between feeding their children or being able to drive to work and heat their home is not a talking point; they are the new Kulaks, the victims of an ideological activist policy that is killing innocent people for the Green greater good of the environment.

Stalin killed millions to industrialize the Soviet Union, the Green Left is preparing to kill millions to deindustrialize North America, Europe and Australia. It's already doing it. While its activists are trying to peg the blame for fuel poverty fatalities on a government which is badly out of cash, it need look no further than its own activists and celebrities who preach the green life from their mansions.

Clear energy has become the new Communism, an ideological program that can never be achieved, but for which we must all strive no matter how many die all along the way. In Scotland, the perennially deranged Scottish National Party called for generating 100 percent of the country's electricity from wind, wave and tidal power by 2020.

This plan would add 900 pounds to the average fuel bill. And that is how fuel poverty gets started.

Wales, which has the highest fuel poverty rate in the UK, is working on one of Europe's largest wind farms and has a plan for total clean energy by 2025, if anyone is still alive and hasn't frozen to death. Wind farms don't tend to do too well in the cold and human beings don't do too well without heat.

The current "green" policies will see higher prices for two out of three homes in the UK by the end of the decade. It's not energy companies, but government policies that are responsible, especially when companies and homeowners get saddled with the cost of wind farms and various voodoo measures to fight global warming that mainly end up putting money in the pockets of well-connected Greenies.

Americans complaining about high gas and oil prices can buckle up because that is only a taste of what is coming this way. Two years ago UK petrol prices hit 6 pounds per gallon. That's nearly 10 dollars, though for the imperial gallon which is higher than the US gallon. If you think it costs a lot to fill up a tank now, consider that the UK has a better ratio of production to population than we do. The high prices aren't an accident, they're part of the green program.

The Obama agenda isn't to make energy prices affordable, it's to make them so horribly impossible to afford that we'll use less energy.

Fuel poverty is the agenda here and we know that's so because he told us so.

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times  and then just expect that other countries are going to say ok," he said. And, "If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches."

That doesn't mean Obama can't heat the White House at 72 degrees or Hawaii level temperatures. It means that you can't do it. That's what fuel poverty really means. It means you have to freeze and if you die, then the community organizers of tomorrow will use your corpse as a prop in their ghoulish protests outside energy companies which have to not only cover all the clean energy boondoggles, but also take the blame for passing on the costs.

Every clean energy program comes with a rider for ending fuel poverty by 2015 or 2025 or 2255, which would be at least slightly more realistic, but it's the clean energy that's causing the fuel poverty. A program to create fuel poverty cannot be expected to prevent fuel poverty. A plan that makes energy use more expensive will not end fuel poverty, even with any amount of government subsidies.

The only thing that can end fuel poverty is cheap energy and that is what the left is dead set against.

Yet oddly enough there was a time when people were able to heat their homes and drive their cars, when they were even able to carry shopping bags, minus Wales' tax on shopping bags, and afford to eat. That brief golden period was stomped out by the friends of the working class, who knew how urgent it was to make life harsh and miserable and who are busy finding ways to make it even worse.

All this is for the greater good. Someone's greater good anyway.

Clean energy is supposed to make for energy independence, but since going green the UK has become a net energy importer. Scotland risks going the same way. Enough ideological investment in not-ready for prime time technologies leads to people freezing to death and purchases of energy from outside to cover the shortfall.

When all else fails, fake the figures. Promise impossible energy savings from energy efficiency. Obama's original stimulus plan focused heavily on energy efficiency in order to save money and create jobs. It accomplished neither goal, but the right people in the right companies got paid, which is how it always works.

Green is too big to fail, even when people are turning blue. The left from Prince Charlie to the Caliph of Chicago keep telling us that we have to make do with less and part of making do with less is shivering in homes without heat or the planet will be destroyed.

You can't make an energy efficient omelet without killing 8,000 or so people a year.

Progress doesn't just mean unsightly factories and people putting on suits and going to work in corporations and all the other things that the left despises. It means the technological progress to keep large numbers of people from dying.

If the US or the UK are to embrace the living standards of Africa as Prince Charles would like us to, they will also embrace its mortality rates. A reduction in the standard of living at this scale and on such a comprehensive level amounts to mass murder.

The Soviet Union killed millions for its ideology. The Western left has only begun and the day will come when a few thousand pensioners dead in their homes will be weighed as the smallest part of their toll.


The flooding of the Somerset Levels was deliberately engineered

The shocking truth is that these floods were not a natural disaster, but the result of deliberate policy

I fear the front-page story in The Telegraph – revealing that the worst of the flood damage could have been prevented – didn’t tell the half of it. Nor did another newspaper’s “exclusive” on the story, reported here last week, that the Met Office had forecast in November that the three months between December and February would be drier than usual.

Devastating evidence has now come to light not just that the floods covering 65 square miles of the Somerset Levels could have been prevented, but that they were deliberately engineered by Labour ministers in 2009, regardless of the property and human rights of the thousands of people whose homes and livelihoods would be affected. Furthermore, that wildly misleading Met Office forecast in November led the Environment Agency to take a step that has made the flooding infinitely more disastrous than it need have been.

The “smoking guns” begin with a policy decision announced in 2005 by Labour’s “floods minister” Elliot Morley, later to be jailed for fraudulently claiming more than £30,000 on his MP’s expenses. Under the heading “Saving wetland habitats: more money for key sites”, Morley directed that, to comply with the EU’s habitats directive and a part-EU-funded study involving the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the WWF and the Environment Agency, flooding in Somerset should be artificially promoted, because “wildlife will benefit from increased water levels”. The 13 local drainage boards, responsible for keeping the Levels properly managed, were all to be co-opted into implementing this policy.

The Environment Agency had already stopped proper dredging of the River Parrett, which provides the main channel draining floodwater on the Levels to the sea, because of the exorbitant cost of disposing of silt under EU waste regulations. And Morley had vetoed a proposal to build a new pumping station at Dunball, at the end of the massive Kings Sedgemoor Drain, which would have allowed much more effective, 24-hour pumping of flood water into the mouth of the Parrett estuary,

In 2008, an Environment Agency policy document on the “Parrett Catchment Area” admitted that it was “still not completely clear” how much the deliberate increase in flooding would breach “the property rights and Human Rights” of those whose homes and businesses would be damaged. Yet in 2009, the government gave £8 million to “restore” – ie, increase flooding on – 10 Somerset “floodplains”, including the purchase of a large area of farmland at Southlake Moor next to Burrowbridge on the Parrett, which had been drained since the 13th century. It was to be handed over to Natural England to “store” water as habitat for birds when, as the Met Office was already predicting, climate change would bring drier winters.

This was where November’s forecast came in, because it led the Environment Agency deliberately to flood Southlake Moor in the expectation of a dry winter. When those December and January rains poured down, this large expanse of water-sodden ground blocked the draining to the already horribly silted-up Parrett of a very much larger area of farmland to the east. This was made even worse by the lack of that Dunball pumping station, vetoed by Morley, at the sea end of the Kings Sedgemoor Drain.

Thus came about the disaster that has filled our television screens for weeks. The hydrology of this vast area had been sabotaged by the Labour government’s deliberate, EU-compliant policy, directed by the Environment Agency. Only thanks to the intervention of the current Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, are huge Dutch pumps at Dunball now belatedly pouring seven million tons of water a day into the sea – with dredging of the Parrett due to begin as soon as is practicable.

Much of this story has been painstakingly uncovered by my co-author Richard North, who has published links to all the relevant official documents on his EU Referendum blog. As he says, “not only can we now see just how this flooding was deliberately engineered. It was done in blatant disregard for the rights of all those who live and work there. The evidence is now so strong that they should seriously consider suing the Government for compensation for the damage they have suffered, which could well amount to hundreds of millions of pounds.”


Wind farms paid £30m to shut down during high winds

Energy minister Michael Fallon orders wind farms to cut compensation charges as figures show they are paid millions for turbines to stand still in stormy weather

Onshore wind farms are being paid £30 million a year to sit idle during the windiest weather.

The payments are made because the cables which transmit power from the turbines to the National Grid cannot cope with the amount of electricity they produce during stormy conditions.

Ministers are launching a fresh crackdown on the compensation charges – which ultimately end up on customers’ bills - and are threatening to force power companies to reduce the cost of the payments.

Michael Fallon, the Energy Minister, has written to renewable power companies warning that he is ready to change the law to force wind farms to lower their prices if they fail to cut the costs voluntarily.

The scale of the compensation payments, which can be disclosed for the first time, will fuel opposition to wind generators from campaigners who argue that they are inefficient and blight the landscape.

The payments are made to wind farm owners on top of “green subsidies” that they already receive to encourage renewable power plants to be built.

These subsidies are set by the government but paid ultimately from customers’ household bills.

On a daily basis, the National Grid forecasts what the likely demand for electricity will be and assesses it against the generating capacity of wind farms, as well as coal, gas and nuclear power stations.

When there is expected to be too much electricity generated by power plants for the network of transmission cables to handle, the National Grid invites companies to bid for compensation to shut down some or all of their equipment.

Wind farms are often thought to be among the first generators chosen to be switched off because they are relatively easy to stop, by applying brakes to the turbines to halt their movement.

Individual wind farms companies set the levels of their compensation demands and the National Grid then chooses which bids offer the best value.

The total amount paid out through these compensation arrangements – known as “constraint payments” - has risen dramatically in the last four years as the number of onshore wind turbines has grown. Between 2010 and October 2012, £17.8 million was paid in total.

But new figures based on Ofgem data disclose that these payments are expected to cost consumers £30 million this year.

On one day in August last year, 27 wind farms across the country had to shut down some or all of their turbines, costing more than £2 million in constraint payments, according to figures from the Renewable Energy Foundation.

In the first six weeks of 2014 alone, more than £4.2 million has been paid to wind farms to switch off their equipment, the Foundation said.

However, under pressure from the government, the average compensation payment has fallen significantly, even though the total has risen.

A new licence rule which applies to larger wind farms bans them from charging high prices, at the expense of consumers, when they are asked to switch off their turbines.

But smaller wind farms are exempt from the licence requirement and Mr Fallon is concerned that some are now charging the National Grid unduly high prices to shut down.

Smaller wind generators are charging the Grid 30 per cent more on average to switch off turbines than larger power plants, the figures showed.

In a letter to Renewable UK, the trade body for wind power, Mr Fallon said this practice must end.

Mr Fallon urged wind power companies to show “restraint” in the prices they charge for compensation.

“Bids being accepted by National Grid to reduce generation from a few licence exempt wind farms are substantially higher than those relating to licensed wind farms,” Mr Fallon said.

The energy regulator, Ofgem, has contacted some of the offending wind farm owners and these companies should “cooperate”, explain why their charges are so high, and, “where appropriate”, reduce their bills, he said.

Mr Fallon said “the government stands ready, if necessary”, to force individual wind farms to comply with tougher rules if they fail to cut their charges.

Ministers are also prepared to “extend the discipline” of the licence rules, which prevent larger wind farms exploiting the compensation scheme, to all onshore wind farms regardless of their size, he said. This will be done “through changes to legislation, should that prove necessary”, Mr Fallon warned.

The estimates seen by the Telegraph suggest that on average, wind farms that are exempt from the licence rules were paid £104 per megawatt hour to turn off their turbines last year, compared with £80 per megawatt hour for larger licensed generators.

It is understood that eight wind farms in particular have been charging excessive rates in exchange for shutting down turbines during windy weather, although they have not been publicly named.

Mr Fallon has also written to Energy UK, representing the major power companies, Scottish Renewables and the Renewable Energy Association.

Maria McCaffery, Renewable UK’s chief executive, said the wind farm industry had already taken steps to bring down costs of compensation and would continue work to “provide the best value for money for consumers”, she said.

“As the cost of using fossil fuels is so high - and importing gas is particularly expensive - we need to lessen our dependence on them by harnessing our own abundant, clean and totally sustainable resources,” she said.

“Wind is playing an increasingly vital role in our electricity mix as a flexible energy source that can be managed to fit our electricity demands by shutting down and powering up more easily and more quickly than other forms of energy.”



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