Managing Director, Richard Simmons put forward his arguments highlighting the benefits of wind power live on The Politics Show on Sunday, in response to a proximity bill being introduced by MP Peter Luff to the House of Commons today.
The Politics Show regional section for the West Midlands was covering the debate about a proposed wind farm site in Lenchwick, Worcestershire. The local MP Peter Luff is today proposing a proximity bill to the House of Commons which would provide legislation to ensure a fixed distance between turbines and the nearest residences.
The Renewable Energy Centre is in fierce opposition to the proposal as if enforced, the bill would dramatically reduce the installation of wind turbines throughout the heart of England. Many people in the local community of Lenchwick are opposed to the 5 proposed wind turbines due to their visual impact on the landscape and the proximity bill would ensure the wind farm would not be able to go ahead.
Richard Simmons highlighted on the programme that with the advances of technology, wind turbines do not add any significant noise to an area and have a 31 year safety record. Peter Luff expressed his support for renewable energy stating that there were plenty of other alternatives which could provide for energy the UK needs such as wave, tidal and particularly nuclear. However Mr Luff was not able to answer the question as to where he would see another wind farm site or any of these alternatives in his particular constituency.
Wind Power is critical to the UK's renewable energy targets and will need to supply up to 35% of the UK's electricity by 2015. Many of the wind farm sites which do not impact local communities now have wind turbines installed which has led to smaller sites being identified across the UK and particularly in Central England where housing is much more densely populated.
Richard Simmons said "It is essential that local communities embrace these changes to the landscape, not only for reasons of climate change but for energy security. Would the people of Lenchwick prefer to experience continual electrical blackouts or even the construction of a nuclear power station on their doorstep as an alternative to 5 wind turbines?"
He continued "It is well documented that once turbines are installed, people in the surrounding area are much more positive about them and in fact support them. The world and the way in which we live are changing, just because we can't see the effects, doesn't mean it isn't happening. It is shocking to me that people can only see what is in front of them, rather than looking at the bigger picture. This is why the government needs to make a stand and legislate outside of Local Authorities to speed up the planning approvals for wind turbine installations across the UK."
Figures show that if all the current planning applications for wind turbines were approved, the UK's 2020 targets of 14GW for onshore installations could be met. If the proximity bill is successful the majority of suitable onshore wind turbine sites in Central England would have to be rejected. As a result the onshore wind energy targets would be severely hampered. If the UK does not meet its renewable energy targets hefty fines will be imposed and in all likelyhood paid for at the expense of the taxpayer.
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Notes for Editors
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