So I’ve been watching the BBC series Wind Farm Wars which was recommended to me by good friend James Hughes who is rather knowledgeable about meteorological phenomenon himself. My lasting impression will be the contrasting views of wind power and its place in today’s society. I won’t spoil the programme for you because you can watch the latest episode yourself here.
There are entrenched views on the subject with high profile detractors, none more famous than Prince Charles himself who views wind farms as a “horrendous blot on the landscape”, it is worth noting he supports them at sea however. There are alternative methods of producing renewable energy but the government is keen to increase the contribution of wind as it seeks to achieve it’s carbon emission targets.
There are actually more wind farms already operational in the UK than you might think. There are 299 sites comprising of 3,246 turbines producing enough energy to fuel 2,987,586 homes and reduce carbon consumption by 6,037,911 tonnes. You can check out where wind farms exist/being built via RenewableUK and read a lot of other useful information. You can also see where the proposed sites are:
My opinion that wind energy is a good option for the UK we are well placed to capitalise on our climatic conditions. As for whether they should be onshore or offshore, I don’t really mind. I find the white turbines strangely beautiful and don’t ruin the natural landscape anywhere near as much as agriculture. People seem to forget that the majority of our country is intensively managed so I don’t see why we shouldn’t add another resource to it. We don’t have the climate to make solar power a viable alternative… yet. So until nuclear fusion is a reality we should do the best we can to prepare for life without fossil fuels.
So wind farms are a valuable and probably necessary in the efforts to achieve carbon reduction target… but the debate about where to place them rages on.
I leave you with a quote from Shaun Spiers, chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England….
” …it would be easier to come to the right decisions about onshore wind if people on both sides of the argument were less obsessive. There is a serious debate to be had about how to reconcile conflicting environmental “goods” – protecting the landscape, for instance, versus mitigating climate change.”
- Main Disadvantages With Generation of Electricity from Wind Energy (brighthub.com)
- Florida wind farm kicking up dust (politico.com)
- New wind farm to study energy storage (cbc.ca)
- Uni plans wind farm to cut costs (bbc.co.uk)
- Response: Wind farms are not taking over Britain’s countryside (guardian.co.uk)