Public spending on onshore windfarms has almost doubled in the past five years, according to newly-published figures.
Last year £803million of taxpayers’ cash was ploughed into the building of wind turbines compared with £483million in 2011, a rise of more than 40 per cent.
It comes as a public inquiry has opened into plans to create England’s largest onshore wind farm. Peel Energy and United Utilities want to add a further 16 wind turbines at Scout Moor in Greater Manchester.
There was strong opposition to the site being built in 2008, led by environmental campaigner David Bellamy, who has claimed it will damage the countryside and create a blot on the landscape.
Rochdale and Rossendale councils have granted planning permission for the proposed extension but Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will make the final decision next year.
Local resident John Batchelor said opponents were worried it would “create an industrial landscape…. an unaesthetic view which isn’t acceptable”.
Doubt has long been cast over the efficiency of onshore wind farms, with campaigners arguing that their visual impact is too great to justify the small amounts of energy they produce compared with more traditional methods.
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