The European Wind Energy Association have recently accused Britain's attitude toward wind power as being "negative". The leading green energy body fired out the criticism earlier this week from Brussels, in a comment which is likely to be an unofficial response to the Tory idea of a placing a cap on the number of wind farms. So what do Britain's wind prospects look like in the long term?
Thomas Becker, the head of the European Wind Energy Association, said that the UK was "missing out" on a valuable and clean source of energy, commenting that he thought wind turbines were "beautiful". He also widened the political field by indicating that Britain may not have to be so dependent on Russia and the Middle East for its energy if it devoted more time and resources to building a solid wind infrastructure.
It's not all bad news though. Just this week people have been celebrating in Hull as Siemen's announced 1,000 new jobs in the manufacturing of wind turbines along the Humber. This, of course, is a project which will be focussed solely on offshore wind farming - the future of onshore wind farms are currently hanging in the balance as politicians debate of a proposed 'cap' on the number of onshore windfarms in the UK.
The Proposed Windfarm Cap
This idea from the Tory's has gathered a surprising level of support from backbenchers, and they've indicated that they would like to see the party commit to the idea should they be elected in the next general election. The party chairman, Grant Shapps, told journalists that onshore wind farms "upset everybody" and they are "better located at sea". While this may seem baffling at first, there are a few local councils who support Mr Shapps' view wholeheartedly. The Conservative leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Martin Hill, has been trying to block and limit the number of windfarms being erected in the county for years. He said that he think there should be a restriction and that subsidies needed to be scrutinised, as many of the costs of wind farming are being passed onto the consumer.
And therein, perhaps, lies the issue. This isn't really a nimby debate on the aesthetic of wind turbines or whether or not they belong in the British countryside, the argument spans deeper than that. Britain needs to secure a transparent and effective way of funding a wind infrastructure before it experiences a breakthrough, and thats where the focus ought to be in order to secure our energy future.
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