Nothing gets people going in the UK like the threat of something appearing in their back yard. I blogged about this some time ago when discussing the proposals for new off shore farms around the UK. It seems to me that we tend to lobby against anything in the UK which might be in the common good.
Contrast this with France, as a family we are currently holidaying in the Pas de Calais. This is a fairly rural part of France with large arable fields and lovely rolling countryside. Most Brits blast through the area on their way to the South, so it is actually rather unspoilt and quiet.
The area has a number of large wind farms, the majority being groups of 5 or 6 turbines within much larger areas totalling probably 30 or 40 turbines over an area of perhaps 15 or 20 square kilometres.
Their generating potential must be quite large, all at no cost.
My personal view is that the turbines are actually quite elegant, and not a blot on the landscape! It is however interesting to discover the locals view of them. When asked they accept them as a solution to a problem. They provide free, clean energy. Why they ask would anyone complain about them?
Another example of the French being way ahead of us in matters relating to future energy provision and things ecological?
UPDATE 6th April:
I have been able to do a bit more research since returning to the UK about France and its aims regarding renewables.
It appears that they are in the middle of a major construction programme that started post 2000. They have a policy of subsidising ‘local generation’ via wind or PV generation. As such the wind farms I saw form part of the largest development so far in France with a capacity of 140 Wega Watts from 70 turbines. This is capable of supplying approximately 150,000 homes with ‘clean energy’.