Impact on Economy and UK
Offshore windfarms in Morecambe Bay may be producing green energy - but they are killing off traditional trawling fleets, experts say.
And the problem could become more drastic for all inshore fishing unless the Government takes action, according to the North Western and North Wales Sea Fisheries Committee.
The latest report of the committee highlights the plight of trawler fishing in the bay, and says that the local industry has been decimated by the proliferation of wind farms and gas storage facilities.
When local vessels, mainly fishing out of Fleetwood, are sold on they are now very rarely replaced in the bay.
Offshore wind farms cost significantly more to build and maintain than their onshore equivalent. And because they involve new and untested technology they also suffer from "first of a kind" costs. But the industry is confident that those costs will fall over time.
It is difficult to compare the cost of electricity obtained from a wind farm rather than a conventional energy source like gas. This is because it involves assumptions about future construction costs, the cost of carbon emissions, and the cost of gas.
However, right now offshore wind farms are significantly more expensive than thermal generation and require a government subsidy to make them economic.
Paterson said although alternative energies would undoubtedly become very important in years to come, there was "little clarity" in the sector at the moment. Many fundamental questions remain about how to best capture and transmit energy from natural sources, making it difficult to assess the potential effectiveness of new innovations.
However, Paterson said the biggest barrier was the fact that the sector is heavily regulated and influenced by government.
Much of the current interest in alternative energies is being driven by strong support from Europe, the UK and the Scottish Government.
"But from an investor's point of view, we have got to think about the long term," Paterson said. "What happens if the government changes, or priorities shift?"
One of Northumberland's longest-serving councillors has given his evidence to the Middlemoor inquiry, after years of being 'gagged' by local government rules.
Political heavyweight John Taylor, who is county member for Longhoughton division and district representative for Hedgeley Ward of Alnwick District Council, was finally able to break his silence on Friday afternoon on the plans for 18 turbines near South Charlton.
He said: ..."This is the first time that I have been able to comment from a personal point of view on the matter.
"As I have said previously, I have lived and worked in Northumberland for most of my life and I feel very strongly that these proposals will have the most detrimental effect on the landscape.
ONE of the North-East's biggest visitor attractions is to lead the fight against plans for a wind farm in Northumberland.
And the Duchess of Northumberland's Alnwick Garden will be backed by other tourism favourites, including the Chillingham Wild Cattle park and possibly Alnwick Castle - the home she shares with the Duke of Northumberland. ...
"The garden is concerned that the sheer scale of the development may discourage visitors to the Alnwick area - these visitors freely express the pleasure they feel when enjoying the fantastic natural and historic landscapes of Northumberland together with the coastal area of natural beauty and the Northumberland National Park."
Producers of the Oscar-tipped film Atonement may not have chosen Teesside as a location if a planned wind farm had already been built, it is claimed.
Windfarm objectors yesterday told a planning inquiry into two proposed developments in a picturesque area of central Sutherland that the schemes would have a severe adverse impact on tourism.
They claim the 46 turbines would destroy the unspoilt landscape, which they claim is the main tourist attraction in the economically fragile area.
CAMPAIGNERS against plans for a new wind farm between Bagthorpe, Barmer and Syderstone have been told of the horrific impact turbines can have on village life.
A packed public meeting in Bircham Newton heard from a number of guest speakers who gave grave warnings about the health impact, noise disturbances and threat to wildlife which could stem from the five turbines earmarked for the villages.
Included among the speakers was Jane Davis, of Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire, who described the persistent noise problems she has faced from a wind farm near her home.
She also spoke of how the value of her property has plummeted since the development was completed.
Syderstone resident Reg Thompson, a member of the action group formed to oppose the plans, said: "People are very concerned about this.
"There are moves being made in Europe to ban wind farms that are within two kilometres of housing and we hope that becomes legislation because every house in Syderstone falls within that radius.
"People are very upset. We have seen housing deals fall through as people no longer want to move here.
British Gas is not planning further cuts to fuel bills, despite making profits of £533 million from the first six months of the year.
Parent company Centrica described the £3 million-a-day haul as a one-off and said profitability would now fall as wholesale gas became more expensive..............The company is carrying out a £2 billion investment programme in large-scale infrastructure projects over the next three years, including new power stations and wind farms, in order to increase its production capacity and reduce dependence on a volatile gas market.
Lord James Joicey runs the 16,000-acre Ford and Etal Estate where more than 30 small businesses operate, most of them heavily reliant on tourism for survival.
He went some way down the line of agreeing to have turbines on his land, but withdrew when the full implications of their size and impact on local society became apparent. He was also concerned for the owners of local small businesses. He admits, however, that the income from hosting turbines - around £10,000 a year per unit - would have been welcome.
One couple's plans on hold because of wind farms. How many more local businesses are affected? Businesses heavily reliant on tourism are dismayed at proposals to erect giant wind turbines in north Northumberland.
When Nick and Gail Maycock rolled up at the front door of a former pub in Northumberland, they realised straight away it was for them.
They were looking for somewhere to run as a B&B and, with their worldly goods and three dogs packed into their Morris Minor, the sight of The Friendly Hound couldn't have been more appropriate.
Now, nine years on and £100,000-worth of rebuilding and development later, the couple look out on to the stunning landscape across to Ford Moss Nature Reserve with the threat of staring at 10, 360-foot wind turbines at every turn.
"We don't want to see our hard work going down the drain," says Nick. "None of us is opposed to alternative energy sources and we realise we can't keep on going the way we are, but these developers have no interest in local businesses.
The Lake District attracts more than 17 million visitors, one million overnight stays and tourist spending in excess of £34m a year.
Its lure to tourists is well known - hills, dales, lakes and attractions that range from Beatrix Potter to owl sanctuaries, and traditional Lakeland shows to restored miniature steam railways.
But now, if the West Cumbria branch of Friends of the Earth have their way, visitors will be heading to this particular green and pleasant corner of England to gawp at . . . wind farms.
Fife's prime attraction for visitors must be taken into account when a proposed wind farm near the picturesque village of Ceres is deliberated, a tourism leader has warned.
The region's main appeal for tourists, its scenery and environment, must be given due consideration VisitScotland Fife area director Alan Graham said.
But campaigners from local pressure group Vortex massed outside the venue and canvassed the opinions of visitors leaving the exhibition.
Vortex member Roger Wytcherley, aged 55, of Napley Heath, said the majority of people were opposed to the plans.
"Everybody has been very willing to tell us their feelings, and not many are for the wind farm," he said. "A lot of people say their questions are evaded and washed over. People are most concerned about noise and loss of equity in their houses. People are not buying houses around here because of the threat of the wind farm.
There's been mixed news for tourism in Berwickshire this week - while one plan looks set to boost the economy another development is threatening to do the exact opposite............Things aren't looking as promising for the residents of Coldingham Moor. As reported in last week's Berwickshire News, they are becoming increasingly worried about what repercussions the proposed windfarm for Drone Hill could have for them.
The development is the brainchild of PM Renewables and if their application is given the green light by Scottish Borders Council's Planning Department later this summer, 22 76 metre high turbines could soon be standing on either side of the A1107 across the cliff tops.
Both Coldingham Community Council and Coldingham STAG have voiced their concerns over negative side effects for the local tourism industry and a recent survey by Visit Scotland has confirmed their suspicions. Results pointed to the fact that 26 per cent of people questioned wouldn't visit a place with a windfarm in its vicinity.
People in Mid Wales have been urged to fight the "deluge of proposals" for windfarms. Welshpool-based campaigner Dan Munford has collected almost 2,000 signatures.
Worried residents across Wales have been signing up to fight the expected increase in the turbines.
Many have voiced fears that any such increase could have disastrous effects on tourism.
Trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling yesterday launched a landmark development which could make Lowestoft the "wind energy capital" of the country.
Mr Darling visited the town officially to launch the building work for the £9m Orbis Energy project at Ness Point.
The new business centre will be ideally placed to lead the way in delivering the clean energy commitments made in the minister's white paper last month, as it will overlook a section of the North Sea which has become a global focal point for wind and wave energy.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds promised to communities as a recompense for living in the shadow of Sutherland's only operational wind farm have yet to be paid, it emerged this week.
The £25 million Beinn Tharsuinn wind farm, straddling the Sutherland/Easter Ross border, came on stream two years ago, but local people have yet to see a penny of the community benefit pledged.
LONDON (Reuters) - "Eco-friendly" is the buzz-word of the 21st century, and the environmental conscience is increasingly determining decisions on the home front.
A growing trend for ecological homes epitomises the modern zeitgeist -- and "green" homes are set to account for a growing proportion of the housing stock.
The government has promised to make all new homes zero-carbon by 2016, and those worth up to 500,000 pounds will be exempt from stamp duty until 2012.
Consumers' concern over the future of the environment is yet to reach an apogee, but Britons are already revamping their homes with environmentally friendly features.
More than 100,000 households have installed renewable energy appliances -- wind turbines and solar panels -- among them celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, who notoriously fell foul of planning rules after his wind turbine was erected in the wrong place.
That figure is expected to balloon to 1.3 million by 2020.
Such measures are environmentally sound, but are they economically so?
A Shetland businessman says his livelihood is threatened by a windfarm plan. Paul Featherstone rears around 180,000 sea trout smolts annually at his hatchery in Weisdale, which - after having been grown into sizable fish in sea cages - are being sold as organic sea trout to customers throughout the UK.
His business, Shetland Sea Trout Ltd, heavily depends on continually pristine water qualities in the Burn of Weisdale, which feeds the tanks baby fish are being kept in.
Yesterday, he said that plans to build around 30 of the 168 turbines planned upstream of his hatchery would "seriously" affect his business.
Mr Featherstone's fear is that due to major construction and engineering work the peat bog in the upper half of the Kergord Valley will be destabilised and thus massive peat run offs will flush through the Burn of Weisdale.