March 6, 2011
England, U.K.

End for windfarms in places with no wind

By Kirsty Buchanan, Daily and Sunday Express, 6 March 2011

Windfarms will be permitted only in places with adequate wind under a ­planning laws overhaul being drawn up that will block a bizarre loophole.

At the moment, developers have no incentive to set up in windy places and nothing stops them from bidding for taxpayer-­subsidised turbines in sheltered areas.

Ministers are now reviewing ways to encourage the establishment of farms where high wind speeds ensure as much ­electricity is generated as possible.

Britain has 3,000 operational turbines with another 6,500 in the pipeline and is signed up to provide 15 per cent of ­electricity through renewable sources such as wind farms by 2020. The taxpayer subsidised wind energy to the tune of £2.2billion between 2002 and 2010, Tory MP Philip Davies told Parliament.

He said: “Wind speeds are not taken into account whatsoever when determining planning applications for wind farms. You could not make it up.”

The subject was raised by South Northamptonshire Tory MP Andrea ­Leadsom whose constituency is one of the UK’s most sheltered, meaning wind turbines would work for just 19 per cent of the time yet four farms are proposed for her area.

The convenience of motorways and links to the national grid were attractions.

Energy Minister Charles Hendry said the review could establish price ­incentives. He added: “Often cost means there is an incentive to put wind farms where the electricity is needed rather than where the wind resource is strongest.”

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