‘Bribes’ for areas that accept wind development

by Louise Gray, The Telegraph 

Communities will be offered council tax discounts or cheaper electricity as part of plans to increase the number of wind farms in Britain, Charles Hendry, the Energy Minister will announce today.

Thousands of turbines will have to be built across the countryside over the next ten years in order to meet strict climate change targets.

But many of the best sites for onshore wind are also in beautiful landscapes and have been fiercely opposed by local communities.

Mr Hendry said the Labour Government’s approach of “hectoring” people into accepting wind farms has not worked. For example by comparing ‘Nimbies’ who opposed the new technology to those against seat belts.

Instead, he said communities can be encouraged to accept wind farms by ensuring turbines are built in the right place and bring financial benefits to the local area.

But critics said it was naive to expect communities to give up their opposition to the “inefficient technology” for a “bribe”.

In the past the Tories have sided with those who oppose wind farms because of the visual impact of the 300ft turbines on the surrounding countryside.

But Mr Hendry insisted that the new approach will ensure communities back the wind farms.

“There needs to be a new relationship between wind farms and the communities which host them. At present, too often a community can see what it will lose by having a wind farm in its midst, but it cannot see what it gains,” he said.

A new code of practice for developers will ensure that communities are offered a share of income from the wind farm. Business rates paid by the owners of wind farms will be fed straight back into the local economy, rather than going to the Treasury as at present. And planning reform under the Localism Bill will give councils more powers to reject developers and build their own wind farms for profit.

The money could be used to improve services like schools or leisure centres or to cut council tax.

Communities that own their own turbines could also benefit from cheaper electricity tariffs under the plans.

The Government also plan to reform subsidies so wind farms are encouraged to build in isolated, windy places, rather than close to the grid where there are more likely to be houses.

And a review of the noise and flicker caused by wind farms will be fed into planning rules.

But 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.”

The Coalition Government is committed to generating 15 per cent of energy from renewables by 2020.

As part of plans to meet the EU target the country will have to boost the number of wind turbines onshore from the current 3,000 to up to 9,000.

Dr John Constable, Chairman of the Renewable Energy Foundation, pointed out that turbines only generate a third of maximum capacity every year. For example during the recent cold snap most wind turbines were still because the high pressure also meant it was still.

Therefore the technology has to be backed up by other power stations like coal or nuclear. Also the grid has to be adapted to cope with the sudden surges in electricity caused by wind.

“We already have more wind than we know how to manage. Why is the Government trying to develop more? I think this is extremely foolish,” he said.

Mr Hendry accepted wind needs to be backed up, as does nuclear and coal in case the power stations shut down. He pointed out that the free resource will reduce dependency on foreign fossil fuels and technology and upgrades will enable the grid to cope.

“No one suggests that wind is the whole solution, but alongside nuclear, clean coal and gas it should continue to be part of the solution to the massive energy security and low carbon challenges we face as a nation,” he said.

“However, to do so, it needs more democratic legitimacy than it has today and it is our intention to ensure that happens.”

8 thoughts on “‘Bribes’ for areas that accept wind development

  1. This isn’t “new” is it?…………don’t these Wind Vultures BRIBE every single landowner when a lease is signed to desecrate their land with these monsters?

    One can put as much lipstick on a pig as they want but it’s still a pig!

  2. “Thousands of turbines will have to be built across the countryside over the next ten years in order to meet strict climate change targets.”

    Tell that to DENMARK! I wish them luck! One has NOTHING to do with the other!

    “The Government also plan to reform subsidies so wind farms are encouraged to build in isolated, windy places, rather than close to the grid where there are more likely to be houses.”

    The subsidy “reform” (tax/ rate increases) needed to pay for building out all this new transmission capacity will quickly negate any financial benefit to “local communities” from hosting these mendacious monstrosities in the first place! This idiocy is right up there with Ontario municipalities renting municipal roof space to generate revenue from the solar FIT program. Who do they think is paying for that revenue –Martians?

    “No one suggests that wind is the whole solution, but alongside nuclear, clean coal and gas it should continue to be part of the solution to the massive energy security and low carbon challenges we face as a nation,” he said.”

    Just what the world needs; another “greenwashed “ politician with his head shoved up his ass! Well at least he is in good company!

    We’re screwed!

    B.B.W.

  3. These offers are just teasers, like what the cable companies offer to get your tv money. Eventually the money will stop flowing and you’ll be stuck with a spinning monument to the green elitist left. How many times do we need to be suckered before we wise up?

    I live in downtown TO and I want McGuinty out.

  4. If the majority of the public supports wind energy, why is the wind industry having to resort to bribery? I very much fear that Britain will soon implode in a paroxysm of collective stupidity.

  5. They see nothing but problems with the turbines, but their solution is to add more. What are they thinking? Taking a bribe doesn’t help your neighbors. Try selling your property after they build the turbines on it. Once the turbines are up are they up forever? I guess you can give it to the developer after he pays you the bribe. This is a plan heading for disaster. Somebody STOP them! Like I said the more turbines erected the more problems you’ll see. The next thing we have to worry about is the black outs/no power because they do not work. Let’s call it turbine clutter on the grid. For every problem, there will have to be a new study. Ching, Ching, $$$$$. Now hunters and bird avocates are requesting scientic studies and monitoring done. Must warranted, but will cost the tax payers and utility users again! These turbines will prove to be green sucking monstosities.

  6. Go to google and google the Cloak of Green, very informative, this all carbon credits is no more than a scam, a way if syphoning money from rich countries to poor. Wake up people.

  7. Hmmm…all-in-all, almost sounds, really, like a massive land grab / corporate takeover of rural Ontario. What if the PTB actually want us landowners out of our homes? Someone earlier mentioned something about developers buying up cheap properties where they can in Ontario with no real immediate plan, but just for future opportunities.

    Sounds to me like we also have a flock of vultures hovering overhead waiting to snatch up the rotting remains of this “boondoggle”.

    New Orleans anyone? I feel like like pizza tonight.

  8. They are trying to bribe the people of the U.K. into accepting permanent energy poverty!!!

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