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Conclusion of the Beaux-Arts Academy  

Author:  | Aesthetics, France, Impacts, Regulations, Siting

One of the primary missions of the Beaux-Arts Academy is to guard our heritage with conservation and harmonious development.

In view of the considerations explored here, the Academy affirms:

1) That wind turbines, machines 150 meters in height, are contradictory to the French tradition that has always consisted of harmonizing architecture, however bizarre, with the countryside in respect of scale. The confrontation of such installations, which the promoters envision installing today in a massive way, with special sites and quality landscapes that have earned France the title of the premier tourist destination in the world, is difficult to accept.

2) That wind turbines do not contribute to the fight against greenhouse gas emissions: in effect, no production is as variable and unpredictable as industrial wind energy, and its development can only induce an augmentation of greenhouse gas emissions, because of the necessity of installing gas-powered backup plants.

3) That wind turbines create other nuisances: noise that is variable and difficult to tolerate in the nearby environment, accident risks, broken blades, ice throw …

4) That wind turbines, since the decree of 8 June 2001, reinforced by the authorization of 10 July 2006, which guarantees, for 15 years, the obligation put on Électricité de France to buy wind energy at a tariff much higher than the actual cost, have become a financial product (before eventually becoming a speculative bubble) whose powerful pressure is put on the commissions called upon to give their opinions as well on local prefects.

The Beaux-Arts Academy concludes that the only way to protect the French countryside will be to revoke the decree of 2001 and the authorization of 2006.

In any case, the Academy calls the attention of public officials to its responsibility regarding the inplantation of wind turbines and proposes that they consider the implantation of wind turbines as an industrial installation and to treat it as such:

In the matter of landscape:

– to vigorously make sure of the strict application of laws and regulations.
– to limit implantation to the most sensible sites, which must be determined and publicized.

In the matter of noise:

– to define a method to work toward creating essentiol protection areas for places of living and working and of true grandeur, as the technology permits.

In the matter of construction permits:

– to maintain the authority of local prefects.

Finally, the Beaux-Arts Academy recommends to public officials to make, before every administrative step concerning the implantation of wind turbines, a democractic consultation with the affected population, where the magnitude must be defined, every time, case by case.

These recommendations were the subject of a letter addressed to President of the Republic Nicloas Sarkozy, 29 October 2007.

[translation by National Wind Watch; the original French, including the complete paper of which this is the conclusion, is also available (click here)]

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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