Members of the British royal family have been accused of hypocrisy for utilising the Crown Estate lands for the installation of 45 windmills despite such wind farms being criticised earlier by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Crown Estate has already given the green light to German company RWE for the installation of four turbines at Neuadd Goch in Powys and to energy firm RES for building 15 turbines at Bryn Llywelyn in Carmarthenshire.
The Telegraph reported that E On has also been offered a lease for 17 turbines at Billingborough in Lincolnshire, plans for which are under public consultation.
As per media reports, the proposed wind turbines will provide around 1 million pounds per year to the royal family.
This move has sparked a controversy among those residing close to the proposed wind farms who have accused the royal family of hypocrisy. A number of campaign groups have also openly voiced their opposition to the wind farm proposals.
“This is very hypocritical,” the Daily Mail quoted Michael King, chairman of Billingborough parish council as saying. “There’s real resentment here and people have written letters to Prince Charles. He doesn’t have it on his doorstep. What’s worse is that we feel the Royal estate have really been the agents provocateurs in this, asking the energy companies to come on board, not the other way around.”
Earlier, in Nov 2011, Prince Philip had strongly opposed the construction of such wind farms branding them as “absolutely useless”.
The Duke of Edinburgh had also criticised the industry’s reliance on subsidies from electricity customers, claimed wind farms would “never work” and accused people who support them of believing in a “fairy tale”.
Prince Charles, on the other hand, has reportedly described wind farms as a “horrendous blot on the landscape”.
A major argument regarding the wind farms is that as the turbines do not generate electricity in the absence of winds, there is a need for other ways to generate power.
The proponents however argue that it is possible to build “pump storage” schemes, which would use excess energy from wind power to pump water into reservoirs to generate further electricity in times of high demand and low supply.