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Wind farms produced less power than ever last year despite an increase in the number of turbines, new annual energy statistics show. The disappointing figures come after the South West failed to meet its renewable electricity target last year and have sparked renewed criticism of controversial onshore plants.
The group, which has warned of over-reliance on the power source, said onshore wind farms also produced the least electricity during cold weather, when demand was greatest. It said another factor in the cut in average output was wind farms being developed in less windy places because the windiest spots had been taken.
While appropriately sited wind farms have a contribution to make both to our energy security and to our low carbon goals as part of a mix of renewable sources, they should not be imposed on unwilling communities outside of a full and proper democratic process.
Stirling Council has agreed changes to its planning policies for wind farms.
Despite the bullish statements, the wind industry remains vulnerable on Government kindness, in the shape of feed-in tariffs (FITs). If consumers' desire for cheap energy was allowed to be met by the market, it would lift millions of poor people out of fuel poverty.
Plans for a "farm" of wind turbines higher than York Minster in the Terrington Bank area have come to a halt following protest ...The Mercury has been told that the plans will not proceed because landowners have backed out.
PfR submitted a planning application to the council in October last year seeking permission to install the wind turbines at the University of Reading-owned site. However, representatives of Householders Against Rushy Mead (HARM), who are campaigning against the development, believe residents should be fully consulted about the additional information before planning bosses are able to make a formal decision.
Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) said yesterday it had decided to halt work on its proposed development just over a mile off Machrihanish on the peninsula's west coast, citing a wide variety of factors including the impact on leisure and local residents.
On the Needwood proposal, residents had raised concerns that the amount of power that could be generated from the turbine would be ‘disproportionate’ to the size of the property, as well as fears over the ‘loss of visual amenity’, noise, and the impact on a species of bat, a protected animal.
The Scottish Government held a public meeting in Maryport on Friday to seek English opinion. Members of the consultation team, Marine Scotland, admitted that they had consulted 550 people but found nobody on either side of the border who supported more offshore turbines.
But a National Association of Wind Farm Action Groups spokesman said: "It is utterly naive of the energy minister to imagine that local communities, who have shown the strength of their opposition throughout the UK to inappropriately sited wind farms, to imagine that community funds can buy off their opposition."
Passed by millions of drivers a year, it is one of England's best known wind turbines. It is also one of its most useless. According to latest figures, the 280ft generator towering over the M4 near Reading worked at just 15 per cent of its capacity last year. And although it generated electricity worth an estimated £100,000, it had to be subsidised with £130,000 of public money.
A spokesman for the National Association of Wind farm Action Groups, said communities will not be "bribed". "It is utterly naive of the energy minister to imagine that local communities, who have shown the strength of their opposition throughout the UK to inappropriately sited wind farms, to imagine that community funds can buy off their opposition."
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne believes the bank is vital if the energy industry is to renew itself as Britain switches to a low-carbon economy. But the Treasury, which is fighting to reduce the deficit, is concerned that this bank would increase the national debt at precisely the wrong time.
The creation of a controversial wind farm near a Midland tourist attraction was today dealt a blow after plans for a 229ft mast to monitor air flow were thrown out. Wind Prospect Developments Ltd wants to create six 413ft wind turbines at King Street on the Bradford Estate near Weston Park, on the South Staffordshire-Shropshire border.
Planning officers had recommended the plans for refusal because the turbines would cause "unreasonable" noise, pose an "oppressive" view to nearby residents and were simply not in keeping with the rural landscape.
"Wind farms are an extremely sensitive issue - nobody has really proved that they are a good idea and the thought of having something that might actually not be that helpful despoiling the landscape has divided people."
A top American fluid-dynamics boffin says that new, larger wind turbines now going into service are going to have to be placed much further apart - which will have serious implications for the amount of energy produced by wind farms of the future.
The delay would give the subcommittee time to look at the economics of any proposed wind farm and other potential renewable sources of electricity. In addition, he said it would give the subcommittee time to consider the outcome of the UK's consultation on renewable obligation certificates.
More than 700 people have signed a petition handed into Lichfield District Council against plans to build four 420ft wind turbines. Lichfield planning chairman, councillor Richard Cox, has handed in the petition which says the turbines will harm the heritage and environment around Haunton. German firm Prowind is hoping to build the turbines.