More wind turbines could be erected across Northamptonshire’s countryside, if a new renewable energy strategy goes ahead.
New Government proposals state that a third of all UK energy will have to come from renewable supplies by 2020.
To create this energy, 7,000 wind turbines will be constructed, both in the countryside and around the coast. The plans also include provision for nuclear power and will cut through the red tape which stops wind turbine energy getting on to the national grid.
But the cost of the changes could see household gas bills rise by up to 37 per cent and electricity costs by 13 per cent.
Tony Skirrow, the chairman of Great Houghton Parish Council and a vocal opponent of Asda’s plan for a wind turbine in its Brackmills depot car park – a plan being considered by the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation – said national policies supporting wind turbines were being used to override local planning rules.
He said: “Developers and planners are able to pick and choose from the policies in order to support their proposals. This is Government’s way of ensuring that the targets it sets itself are met.
“It would be interesting to know how many of the people in favour of wind turbines would still be supportive once they realise that they will subsidise the developers through increased electricity bills.”
But Alan Heath, of Northamptonshire Friends of the Earth, said, in the long run, he thought relieving dependence on imported gas and oil would help keep energy prices down and avoid security of supply dangers.
He said: “Wind turbines, when positioned well, are warmly welcomed, enhancing landscapes like Burton Wold with clean, silent symbols of the future, an amazing sight and very popular with the forward-thinking locals.
“The land can be farmed as before, so greenfield land is not lost, and farmers can supplement their income, keeping food prices down.
“People are resistant to changing their lifestyle in response to climate change, but wind turbines are one of the great solutions.”
30 June 2008