Following my recent blog about the wind turbine proposal near Ford, there is an excellent article in the CPRE’s magazine this month that states the case from both sides. It is also to be found at
http://www.cpre.org.uk/magazine/opinion/item/2802-getting-wind-energy-right

I think that the most useful point made is by Rachel Coxcoon, who is broadly in favour of more turbines because of our need to produce our own energy without large carbon emissions. She says that the problem is more one of people feeling disempowered, and having infrastructure thrust upon them who’s benefits are distant and who’s profits go to large and/or foreign companies. Apparantly the severe reaction to turbine proposals are remeniscent of the spread of railways in the nineteenth century (a problem that seems to continue with HS2!).

I agree that governments should encourage local and regional ownership of renewable energy generation, instead of disempowering people by pushing from the centre, and do this with proper financial backing and consistent policies (rather than the recent solar PV mess!). I also agree with Rachel that people need to use less energy overall: something that isn’t actually that difficult to do and saves money, and yet some remain reluctant to consider. In my view, not taking control of, and responsibility for, our impacts upon our environment is selfish, careless, stupid, and will one day be illegal.

Dilemmas such as that around wind turbines is a direct result of our inability to control our energy use, as the more energy we use, the more CO2 goes into the atmosphere, and the more infrastructure we need to satisfy the requirement. Are you aware that the impact of terrestrial turbines is likely to be small compared with that of the proposed new national electricity grid, which will require many additional pylons? Having walked the length and bredth of the country, I find these have a far greater impact in industrialising the countryside than turbines.

Power pylons near Buckingham

So the message is, if you want a nice countryside, you can help by managing your energy use carefully.

Anyway, if you’re interested, do read the article.