George Osborne is demanding huge cuts in government aid for wind farms – a step which could kill plans for the construction of hundreds of turbines across the country.
The Chancellor has told the Treasury to draw up plans for a reduction of 25 per cent in subsidies for onshore wind farms.
The intervention will provoke widespread anger among his Lib Dem coalition partners, who strongly support plans to put up hundreds of turbines in the countryside.
Environmental groups say the cut in subsidy would put an end to the development of further wind power sites – an outcome that would be welcomed by thousands of campaigners who are opposing plans for turbines near their homes.
Only last week the campaigners scored a major victory when a High Court judge ruled that the right of villagers in Norfolk to preserve their landscape was more important than the Government’s energy targets.
Last night Tory backbenchers supported Mr Osborne’s determination to slash the amount spent on renewable energy by the Government at a time of austerity.
Douglas Carswell said: ‘Why has it taken so long? A centre-right government should be bringing an end to this. One of the reasons that the economy is not growing is because energy costs are so ridiculously high because of this wind farm scam which is adding hidden surcharges to our bills.’