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Turbines in low wind area idiotic, says Owen Paterson

Plans to locate wind turbines in areas with little wind, such as north Shropshire, have been branded ‘idiotic’ by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.

Instead the north Shropshire MP insisted the Government should take a ‘horses for courses’ approach to efforts to reduce carbon emissions, using different technologies in different parts of the country, depending on geographical factors.

He said it was ‘idiotic’ to erect wind turbines in areas of low wind, such as north Shropshire, where they could inflict environmental as well as economic damage.

Mr Paterson, who is viewed by some environmentalists as a global warming sceptic, said he accepted that climate change was happening and that there was ‘a human element’ to the process.

He said: “It is quite obvious that the climate is changing and has been changing for some years, up and down. It is obvious that there is a human element. There are all sorts of other things that affect climate change, like the sun.

“Some of the measures we might be taking to mitigate climate change might be causing more environmental damage.

“As a local MP where the trees grow vertically because we don’t have much wind, I think that is an idiotic place to build wind farms and is doing not just environmental but also economic damage. In my part of the world, where there is not a lot of wind, we don’t save on carbon emissions at all.

“In my part of the world, it is other technologies, such as anaerobic digesters brewing up waste food – and we have an appalling level of food waste in this country – that are probably a more appropriate renewable technology. It is very much horses for courses. We want the appropriate renewable technology for energy generation suitable for the location.”