UK NAYSAYERS FIGHT WIND
Green energy hit by 'faceless Nimbys'
20 August 2009 (BBC News)
"Last month, the [UK] government announced plans to boost the green energy sector, yet within weeks Vestas UK, the UK's only manufacturer of wind turbine blades, closed its plant on the Isle of Wight…Some [Vestas] workers said the government should have rescued the plant like it saved failing banks.
"But Vestas' vice president Peter Kruse [blamed UK citizens who block wind developments with environmental and aesthetic concerns]…The Vestas decision created a dilemma for people on the Isle of Wight as there were those who opposed the siting of wind turbines on the island - projects which might have saved the jobs of the Vestas' workers."
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"The local council refused to give planning permission for a wind farm; and John Gallimore, chair of local campaign group Thwart, believed that there were other environmental arguments which deserved an airing…
"Richard Mardon, managing director of Your Energy, one of the UK's largest independent wind farm developers, believes local protest groups around the country are hampering the development of wind power…[and blamed] the English planning system, where the success rate for getting wind turbine applications approved by English councils was 20 to 50%… Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, said he was confident that "Nimbyism" could be overcome…"
The British public at large favors wind. Some simply object to having it where they can see it. It's a universal dilemma: The world's environment versus the local environment. (click to enlarge)
"Other countries in the EU have softened the impact on local communities with cash incentives…In Portugal, where 15% of power is produced by renewable energy (and they are on target for more than 30% by 2020), local municipal authorities were given a 15% stake in wind power companies and some had sold these shares at large profits, benefiting their communities.
"It is this kind of "bribe" that the UK needs to use, according to Chris Goodall, author of Ten Technologies To Save The Planet…But according to Mr Goodall there is another factor that is restraining the UK…[It does not] think big enough…[T]he UK could build 5,000 wind turbines in the next year which would have a significant effect on its energy supply but the political will [is] lacking…Mr Goodall said the country had lost the vision of the kind of grand engineering projects the Victorians managed…"