RenewableUK welcomes recognition by CPRE of importance of onshore wind in UK’s plans to tackle climate change
CPRE concerns about overdevelopment misplaced actual number of turbines planned for England less than a sixth of their recently claimed figure of 12,000
Support for wind in countryside strong two-thirds of rural residents back wind power
RenewableUK, the trade and professional association for the wind, wave & tidal industries, has welcomed the recognition by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England of the importance of onshore wind to the UK’s efforts to tackle climate change in their report ‘Generating light on landscape impacts’.
The report raises concerns about the impact on England’s landscapes of excessive onshore wind development. The press release originally accompanying the report claimed that ‘more than 12,000′ turbines were planned, under construction or already operational. It misquoted RenewableUK statistics, which actually show only 1,826 turbines are planned for England and 8,581 for the entire UK.
Dr Gordon Edge, RenewableUK’s Director of Policy, said:
“Striking a balance between our need for renewable energy to help combat climate change, while also protecting the landscape we all cherish, is the role of our planning system. However, given the CPRE have now realised that there’s less than a sixth of turbines planned than they thought only 1826 compared to the 12,000 they originally stated, surely they should be more reassured. Perhaps their confusion over the figures is why they’re so out of step with what people in rural areas actually think, in terms of both landscape impacts and overall popularity”
“The CPRE claims that more layers of bureaucracy are needed in the planning process, but the current planning system already rightly provides environmental safeguards which are among the most stringent in the world. As a result residents of the countryside welcome green energy a recent poll found that people in rural areas were more likely to be supportive of the use of wind power than those in towns and cities.”
A recent Ipsos MORI poll found that 68% of rural residents were in favour of the use of wind power, compared to 66% of urban residents. Strikingly, 62% of people living in the countryside find the visual impact of wind turbines acceptable, compared to 57% of people in urban areas.
“The biggest threat to our valued landscapes is climate change. Onshore wind is the cheapest source of low-carbon power, and restricting its development would jeopardise our firm commitment to offer value for money to the consumer, as well as green energy. It’s clear that only some locations are suitable for wind but the way to identify those is by assessing each wind farm on its own merits, not the top-down approach the CPRE is proposing.” Dr Edge concluded.
RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with more than 650 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK. Wind has been the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source for the last seven years, and this trend is expected to continue with falling costs of wind energy and the urgent international need to tackle CO2 emissions to prevent climate change.
12,000 turbines claim made in CPRE Press Release entitled variously ‘Countryside caught in hurricane of new wind turbines’ or ‘Generating light on the landscape aspects of wind energy’.
The research was conducted on i:omnibus, Ipsos MORI’s online panel omnibus, between Friday 13th April and Tuesday 17th April 2012. Questions were asked online of 1,009 adults aged between 16 and 64 across Great Britain. The survey data were weighted by age, gender, region and social grade, working status and main household shopper to be nationally representative of GB adults aged 16 – 64. Full data tables are available upon request.
RenewableUK is hosting the world’s first ever global offshore wind industry conference at London’s Excel Arena on 13th and 14th June 2012. The UK’s leading position in this field makes this event a focus for discussions not just for offshore wind technology, but also the wider decarbonisation agenda and the economic, as well as environmental, benefits associated with green growth. Full details can be found here: http://www.renewable-uk.com/events/global-offshore-wind-2012/index.html. Speakers include the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Ed Davey MP, with more to be confirmed
For more information on: RenewableUK
For more information on: RenewableUK