A fight against windmills; Local politics could short-circuit a national plan to concentrate wind turbines in the country's windiest areas
Local councils in the country’s 28 windiest towns are digging in their heels against a national plan that would cluster the next generation of high-efficiency wind turbines within their borders, Politiken newspaper reports.
In order to meet its goal of doubling wind power capacity by 2025 as inexpensively as possible, the government will need to place 90 percent of an estimated 1000 land-based windmills, each standing up to 150m, in the windiest areas.
Facing the prospect of asking their residents to accept an average of 35 giant wind turbines, local councillors are already warning national politicians that they are preparing to put up a fight.
‘I think that the 60,000 people that live here in our town would head straight to Copenhagen to protest,’ said John Christensen, chairman of the planning board of the Frederikshavn council in windy northern Jutland.
A number of other councils have already rejected plans to begin building new land-based turbines, many out of concern about problems related to noise and shadows created by the giant turbines.
‘There aren’t a lot of politicians out there saying, “We just have to have this, and we’re willing to risk our seats for it,” ‘ said Søren Hermansen, head of the Energy Academy on the island of Samsø, which this year marks 10 years of energy independence. ‘They don’t dare. If they force windmill projects on their constituents, they won’t be re-elected.’
Two other models for building new windmills, such as offshore windparks and an even distribution throughout the entire country have been looked at by the national Planning Committee for Land-based Wind Turbines.
Both, however, were found to be less cost-effective than concentrating new windmills in the windiest regions.
18 February 2008
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