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Wind farms are in the wrong place, says Energy Minister  

Credit:  By Theo Merz | Telegraph | 20 Oct 2013 | www.telegraph.co.uk ~~

Energy Minister Greg Barker has said on-shore wind farms have turned public opinion against renewable energy.

The rush to develop on-shore wind farms is “over” and has damaged the renewable energy agenda, the Energy and Climate Change Minister said.

Mr Barker promised that future wind farms would be developed off-shore, the Mail on Sunday reported.

“We put certain projects in the wrong place,” he said.

“Some planners have been too insensitive to the impact on the landscape and it has turned public opinion against the wider renewable agenda.

“We are very clear about the need to limit the impact on the countryside and landscape. It is quite clear the expansion of the on-shore wind rush is over.”

The number of applications being made to build wind farms more than doubled between 2011 and 2012, from 365 to 820, leading some to claim that Government subsidies for the projects are too high.

A record number of on-shore wind farms were green lit this year, with 188 being granted planning permission between January and August – an increase of 49 per cent on the same period last year.

Mr Barker said councils should ban firms from building turbines in areas of outstanding natural beauty, as Britain was already set to meet targets for 20 per cent of its electricity to come from sustainable sources by 2020.

“There’s enough wind projects in the system now so we don’t need to see any more on-shore expansion,” he said.

“The big area for expansion is off-shore, where there is scope for larger projects.

“With those projects in the system or under consideration in the planning process at the moment, it means we have enough to get to our 2020 targets.

“But it cannot be at any place and at any price.”

The Minister has not always taken such a dim view of on-shore wind farms.

In an interview with the Financial Times last year, he said he had no aesthetic objection to wind turbines and claimed farms near is own Sussex constituency had almost become a “tourist attraction”.

[rest of article available at source]
Source:  By Theo Merz | Telegraph | 20 Oct 2013 | www.telegraph.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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