October 16, 2006
Opinions, U.K.

Another hidden subsidy for wind power

Mr Dekker and Mr Morton in their letters referred to subsidies for the wind industry. Here is another one that they may not know about.
Most people are not familiar with the practice a developer needs to follow in the lead-up to an application for planning permission for a wind farm. Before making an application to a local council the developer is obliged to make the Ministry of Defence and the Civil Aviation Authority aware of the proposal. This is part of a pre-planning application in which they will provide map references, a plan of the site showing the location of the turbines and the height of the turbines to the tip of the blade. This is done to make sure that the proposal does not impact adversely on radar issues concerning flight safety, military or civil.
In the case of the MoD and, I expect, the CAA they would carry out a radar assessment and go back to the developer with a letter saying whether there are issues that concern them or not. If there are issues, and there frequently are, the developer will reconfigure the site plan, moving turbines and perhaps reducing their height in an attempt to get the turbines out of line of sight of the radar head. They would submit this amended proposal as a second pre-planning application for a further radar assessment and await the Mod’s response. If there are still issues the developer can try to find a way round them and the process is repeated.
This demanding work is carried out by the MoD at no charge to the developer. Since the beginning of this rush for wind the MoD have received about 4500 applications and this year it is running at between 70 and 100 per month. They all have to be assessed, and many of these will be re-assessed so the work is enormous.
This is all at huge cost to the taxpayers, who pick up the bill while the speculative developer pays nothing. It is a scandal.
We have learned this the hard way while campaigning against a development by a German company, EnergieKontor, of a wind farm comprising 13 turbines 85 metres high a mile or so south-east of the conservation village of Ceres here in Fife ““ and, as we discovered, in direct line of sight of RAF Leuchars.

Graham Lang, Westermost, Coaltown of Callange, Ceres


URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2006/10/16/another-hidden-subsidy-for-wind-power/