Can history teach us something?

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old and new

Wind generation is a hot topic again at the moment, there are moves to try to get the government to make it much more difficult to obtain consent and subsidy’s for on land wind turbines. A total of 106 MPs, including 101 Tories, signed a letter to David Cameron last week saying it was “unwise” to fund “intermittent energy production that typifies on-shore wind turbines”. It called for subsidies to be cut and for new planning rules making it easier for communities to oppose wind farms. Now I accept that the off shore turbines are probably the best option. However the cost is higher and there are still locations and scenarios that work for on shore systems. Time will tell if the ‘nay sayers’ get their way – I think it is unlikely as although it ‘fits in’ to some degree with the current government localism agenda there is still a desire to progress renewables.

Our new energy secretary has also indicated his support for this style of renewable energy so there is hope!

Interestingly if you look back at history we have been here before;

There are still many windmills in the British countryside, and they are seen as attractions, something that harks back to an earlier age. as we also know, modern wind turbines are frequently vehemently opposed. However back in the 18th and 19th century when there were thousands more ‘traditional’ windmills they were also equally controversial, built by entrepreneurs cashing in on the high price of corn and flour. Most towns had three or four in fierce competition and they were seen as ‘the work of the devil’ by many. Sound familiar?

We have to have an open mind to the renewable options available to us, and yes, some of them will require some changes to our life styles. But the other option is a sudden and financially destructive energy shortage which will do a lot more than ‘mess up the countryside’

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