Search

Compromise needed for alternative power

PUBLISHED: 05:27 18 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:18 24 February 2010

PEOPLE need to accept a compromise between protection of the countryside and the development of renewable energies, a Suffolk expert has said as a national campaign group called for restraint in the granting of permission for on-shore wind farms.

PEOPLE need to accept a compromise between protection of the countryside and the development of renewable energies, a Suffolk expert has said as a national campaign group called for restraint in the granting of permission for on-shore wind farms.

Richard Blanchard, former head of the Anglian Centre for Renewable Energy Studies at Suffolk College, said more on-shore wind farms would be needed in order to meet Government targets on "green" energy.

However, the technology would eventually go off-shore - a move which would allow it to avoid criticism of countryside damage.

Mr Blanchard was commenting on a call from the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) for the countryside to be protected against an expected upsurge in wind farm plans.

CPRE believes next month's Government White Paper on energy will set an increased target for renewable energy and spark a "flood" of wind farm proposals.

"It is vital the countryside is not sacrificed as a result," said Dawn Robinson, spokeswoman for the group.

She said the initial focus should be on reducing energy demand and significantly increasing the efficiency of energy use.

"This is the key to managing our insatiable demand for energy while sparing beautiful landscapes from a rash of damaging development," Ms Robinson said.

Mr Blanchard, who still lives in Suffolk but is now co-ordinator of the renewable energy centre at Loughborough University, said on-shore wind farms were easier to build and less costly.

But there was great potential to go off-shore with larger machines.

"There has to be a balance - it depends what local communities want and each plan should be judged on its own merits," he added.

Dale Vince, managing director of Ecotricity , the company behind several wind power schemes in East Anglia, said CPRE had adopted a narrow view of renewable energy.

"They should look at the broader picture. Global warming is going to lead to the loss of land in East Anglia and elsewhere to the sea. Developing renewable energy is the biggest single thing we can do to reduce the impact.

"All the surveys show that eighty percent of people are in favour of wind power, even when it is proposed for sites near their own homes," he added.

david.green@eadt.co.uk


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times