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German energy firm RWE wants to build 240 huge turbines, each 733ft tall - more than four times the height of Nelson's Column - in the Bristol Channel. Developers say the project some 10 miles off the North Devon coast would generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity, helping Britain meet its renewable energy targets and create thousands of jobs.
Plans for a tidal barrage generating power on the Severn estuary were dealt a further blow on Wednesday when the government ruled out proceeding on current plans. However, ministers said if major changes were made to the scheme, with new environmental studies and reassurances over financing and technology, it could be revived and given serious consideration.
Of course, it is not the technology of wind turbines I object to. Nor even really the look of them. It's the subsidy I can't stomach. Wind turbines are a costly means of producing electricity, but a wonderful way of generating a cash income from subsidy. Even if we accept the most optimistic projections, few if any of the wind farms would have been built by private investors – without a massive subsidy.
After hearing 13 speakers put forward cases for and against the Atlantic Array, planning committee members vetoed a recommendation by their own planning officers to raise no objections to the giant 240-turbine scheme less than 10 miles off the North Devon coast.
About 25 protesters against the Atlantic Array plan attended the North Devon Planning Committee meeting. After two hours of speeches and debate, councillors voted 10 to three to reject the scheme on six grounds.
"In talks with our investors it became clear that a change in management was a prerequisite for the successful continuation of talks," Windreich's new chief Werner Heer said. Windreich plans, builds and sells wind parks and is a key player in Germany's offshore wind park expansion.
Speaking in opposition to the turbine, local resident Mrs Harvey told councillors that feeling in the village was “higher than it had ever been” against the application. She added: “They know a wind farm won’t be approved, so they do it one by one.” “This would be the third turbine to be built within 300m, how is this not a wind farm?”
Former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis is backing villagers in their fight against yet another wind turbine on their doorsteps. The Haltemprice and Howden MP said villagers objecting to an application by ACS Scutt and Son for a site between Hive and Eastrington had a strong case as they already have to live with the 10-turbine Sixpennywood Farm nearby.
The opposition camp spearheaded by campaign group Communities Against Rural Exploitation (CARE) is hoping the plan will not get that far. Its list of concerns are numerous, and include house prices, noise and visual impact. Chris Heard, from the group, said the community benefits would not outstrip the detrimental impact on the village.
Bridekirk, Dearham and Broughton Moor parish councils are all recommending that the plans be refused and the council has received 45 letters of objection with reasons to throw the application out ranging from views over the Solway being spoilt, property prices being affected and a negative impact on tourism.
Developers have dramatically withdrawn a planning application for Hill of Braco windfarm, north of Hatton, just days before it was due to go before councillors on the Cuchan Area Committee. PNE Wind UK say the decision is to give them further time to consider comments by key stakeholders and local residents.
Christopher Fiddes hoped his lovingly restored Georgian home would be a nest egg for his daughter. ...After fully renovating the property, he asked estate agents for a valuation. He was horrified when they told him that since the wind farm was approved eight months ago, his home has plummeted in value from £400,000 to £300,000.
Plans to build a controversial wind turbine near Cardigan have been dropped after a landowner pulled out of the project. Huw Jones from Ferwig has told Awel Deg that he is no longer willing to have the turbine built in one of his fields following opposition from the local community.
A spokesman said this can happen through a combination of blustery conditions and temperatures that are too warm for households to be using heating and too mild for air conditioning. The situation is made worse because the transmission network lacks the capacity to transport much of the electricity generated by wind farms in rural Scotland to urban centres in England where it is most needed.
In a policy paper, the Lib Dems attack Conservative councils that register opposition to wind farms and claim that only 10 per cent of the population are "consistently opposed" to turbines. Glyn Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire, described the Lib Dem position as "outrageous" and an "insult to local democracy".
The group was responding to a landmark case concerning a small proposed development in Berwickshire by Wind Direct, where a local householder has been allowed to take Scottish Borders Council to the Court of Session over the erection of two 110m-high turbines less than one kilometre from her house in the conservation village of Cockburnspath.
A U.K. junior government minister has lost his remit for wind-farm planning because his brother holds a senior position at Siemens AG (SIE). His brother Jonathan is the financial head for Munich-based Siemens's wind power operations in Europe.
RSPB Scotland said the wind farm already approved has the potential to kill eight golden eagles and three sea eagles while displacing or destroying to golden eagle territories. The RPSB said the new wind farm could kill a further dozen eagles.
Germany's government set out to abandon nuclear power and switch to renewable energy. In order to triple generating capacity of green energy, hundreds of additional wind turbines are being installed in Southern Germany, but environmentalists are still unhappy. Al Jazeera's Nick Spicer reports from Soonwald, Germany. Duration: 2 minutes 2 seconds
This important editorial published by the editor board at the largest daily newspaper in Denmark responds to the recent 'Act on Facts' campaign launched by turbine maker, Vestas. An English translation of the piece is provided below.