WIND generated power seems to be one logical answer to meeting the Government’s requirement to cut carbon emissions, so why is the concept wrapped in so much controversy?
Just last weekend 101 MPs wrote to Mr Cameron demanding a change in the law to make it easier for residents to object to the erection of turbines, while also claiming it to be wrong for tax payers to pick up the tab for the Government’s ‘green’ subsidies.
With more than 3,000 onshore wind turbines already in Britain, and another 4,500 expected to go up in coming years, is there really a case for concern?
Wind farms, as viewed by the Coalition, are the future and as such are being encouraged in a bid to reach the 2020 target of renewable sources providing 40 per cent of electricity in the UK, 60 per cent in 2030 and 80 per cent in 2050.
Critics say wind power is inefficient because ideal production conditions don’t necessarily occur when demand is at its highest. They claim danger to health, to wildlife, not to mention damage to the landscape. Everyone knows the view held by a certain, ‘local’ tycoon over the proposed offshore wind farm east of Aberdeen.
It’s fair to say that we all need power and we need more as time goes on don’t we? So why all the fuss?
As I see it, public voice is already loud and clear – no need to change the law in that respect. While a local farmer got planning permission to put a single turbine on his farm, another just a couple of miles away applied for permission for one exactly the same - same capacity, same make and model, but it caused uproar in the local community and planning was refused.
To be fair, there is a point to be considered though. The fear that turbines are appearing willy nilly, anywhere and everywhere does call for a cohesive, local planning policy.
On the point of who’s picking up the tab, I’d drive myself quite mad if I worried about exactly what, as a taxpayer, I was or wasn’t subsidising, so I’ll leave that particular worry to others.
Personally I worry about the future of farming and applaud the fact that farmers are diversifying to preserve the future of their farms.
On the aesthetic front, a couple of years ago I had the privilege of photographing an equestrian event on Mackies farm which took me through the field on which three very tall turbines are situated. I was in awe of their magnificence and I enjoyed the gentle whoosh while clocking the general scene - sheep grazing peacefully and horses and riders passing in close proximity without any sign of anxiety.
Last year we saw four 90m turbines go up locally and one just peeks over the horizon as I make my way home at night. For me this is a welcome sight.