Good old Co-op. Power to the people! Well, maybe not. The Co-op has just circulated a new pamphlet "Say YES to clean energy. Join our new campaign to support a clean energy revolution". As you may have guessed already, the revolutions happen at the top of a windmill - when the wind is blowing, that is.
The Co-op has joined up with Greenpeace to call on the UK Government to meet its renewable energy goals (e.g. build more wind farms); it has even given customers a handy leaflet to be returned Freepost to the Manchester office so that their names can be added to a petition headed by the Co-op Campaigns team. Wow, they are keen to be green.
Interestingly, the Co-op farms over 50,000 acres of land in the UK, claiming to be the UK's biggest farmer. Farmland is as good as anywhere to put up a wind turbine taller than Nelson's Column, and to collect the funds generated by each turbine. You can see half a dozen of them on their farm near Wisbech:
One of their farms is on the Normanby estate near Scunthorpe, where the windmills are going up already. Normanby is Samantha Cameron's ancestral home before her marriage.
As a rough guide each windmill produces £150,000 worth of electricity a year, and receives a subsidy paid for by adding a bit to everybody's electricity bill totalling £250,000 a year. That is index-linked for the next 25 years. Am I surprised that the Co-op is agitating in favour of renewables?
My constituency is graced by two other Co-op farms, one at Swinefleet near Goole, and the other at Wykeham, near Scarborough, both pretty flat areas not unlike Normanby. No doubt the word is 'watch this space', because if there's space to put one, these farmers may soon be growing windmills. Screw the people.