Turbines are a ‘public menace’ and wind is the ‘least efficient’ renewable power, National Trust says
Wind turbines are a ‘public menace’, the chairman of the National Trust chairman has said.
Sir Simon Jenkins dismissed wind as the ‘least efficient’ renewable power.
The honest admission is surprising coming from the the head of the charity, as it champions green energy as part of its conservation work.
‘We are doing masses of renewables but wind is probably the least efficient and wrecks the countryside,’ he said.
‘Broadly speaking, the National Trust is deeply sceptical of this form of renewable energy.’
While the National Trust officially continues to support ‘a major increase in the UK’s renewable energy generation’, it is fighting several plans for wind farms, including one to erect a massive 417 wind turbines in the Bristol Channel.
The trust is concerned about the impact of the 220m (721ft) turbines on the environment and on views of the coastline.
It is also disputing the Duke of Gloucester’s plans to build four 415ft turbines on his Barnwell Manor Estate in Northamptonshire.
The trust remains committed to its target to cut energy use by 50 per cent by 2020, but Sir Simon told the Daily Telegraph this would largely be achieved through water power and biomass boilers, making the most of the acres of rivers and woodlands under its ownership.
The revelation could be a major a blow to the Coalition government, which has recently come to blows with the Trust over plans to reform planning law.
Last week Ed Davey, who replaced Chris Huhne as Energy and Climate Change secretary, boasted that Britain had ‘a lot to be proud of’ after the world’s biggest offshore farm – consisting of 102 turbines – opened off the Cumbrian coast.
Up to 32,000 wind turbines could be built in England and Wales over the next 40 years to meet government targets.
But last month it emerged that wind farms in Scotland were paid nearly £300,000 in the first five days of this year to close down because it was too windy.
Four turbine operators shared the controversial ‘constraint payments’ because they produced more energy than the National Grid could handle.
Last year 17 wind farm operators were paid £7m to shut down on 40 occasions between January and September.
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