A move to cut subsidy for onshore wind farms has been welcomed by Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell.

The UK Government is to reduce funding levels for new turbines on land, while giving more backing to offshore projects. Ministers say they will cut support for onshore wind and solar energy, but give more backing to offshore wind power.

The price producers are promised for onshore wind power and solar energy will be cut from 2015, while the amount paid for offshore wind power will be increased.

And these proposals have been welcomed by Mr Mundell, who has long objected to the large numbers of wind farms in his rural constituency.

The local MP said: “Hefty subsidies for onshore wind farms do not reflect their economic viability and a phasing out of subsidies altogether in coming years can only be a good thing.

“Scottish Conservatives suggested this very thing in their energy policy review earlier this year, and I’m glad it’s now happening. Onshore wind farms are an unreliable and intermittent source of energy, and deeply unpopular in my constituency where there are simply too many.

“The fact public money is used to back these developments irks people, and it’s right that – at the very least – the level of subsidy is reduced. Current subsidy levels are not just driving up household power bills and causing fuel poverty, but are also fuelling a gold rush in rural Scotland from those looking to cash in.

“Wind farms can play a part in a mixed-energy approach, but they are simply undeserving of the millions they currently receive in subsidy. This action by the UK Government is a very welcome step in the right direction.” Mr Mundell said there had been so much investment in onshore wind and solar energy that they no longer needed so much state support.

In contrast, he added, offshore wind sources still needed more subsidies to encourage long-term investment.

The government wanted to encourage a world-leading offshore wind industry; gain as much energy as possible for the cheapest price; and meet UK and EU targets on clean power, he went on.

“The thousands of wind turbines being erected is a major concern for many communities. The number in operation, in construction or which have planning consent means that Scotland is already two thirds of the way towards meeting its electricity needs from renewable sources,” said Mr Mundell.

He said: “If all those in the planning stages yet to be given consent are approved, the total output could reach a staggering 134 per cent – which is 34 per cent more than the Scottish Government's stated target.

“The march of the wind farms under Alex Salmond and the SNP has to be brought to a halt. The figures are quite stark - the thousands of turbines in operation, being built or in the planning stage, mean that Scotland will easily overshoot its electricity target. This exposes the folly of covering large swathes of our cherished countryside with turbines, in many cases against the will of local communities and councils,” added Mr Mundell, whose rural constituency includes some of the UK’s largest wind farms.