Wind Farm protesters get a new champion

My former MEP colleague Chris Heaton-Harris, now MP for Daventry (pictured above at his election-night Count), is doing a wonderful job on the vexed question of wind-farms.  He made it the subject of his Maiden Speech, and has raised it several times since.  Northamptonshire has seen wind farm applications breaking out like a rash, and Daventry residents are up in arms.

Of course we are all very much aware that the Conservative Manifesto talked of devolving power and decision-making to local communities, so we are all keen to know how this will work for wind-farm protest groups.  Surely more attention will now be given to local protesters and the views of local communities?  Not only the Conservatives have stressed localism – it is an approach very much favoured as well by the Lib-Dems (Despite the fanatical commitment to renewable energy of Lib-Dem Chris Huhne, who seems to be the Coalition’s Energy Minister).

Chris has raised this very point. On July 15th, he asked “One of the things that have brought together communities in Daventry is their campaigns against wind farm developments. Does the Minister accept that disempowering local communities is profoundly counter-productive and actually deepens planning disputes, rather than helps to resolve them?”

And in reply, Greg Clark, the Minister of State for decentralisation (!), replied:  “My Hon. Friend is exactly right. If we want to increase the contribution from renewable energy in this country — as we do — we should look at what happens on the continent, where they do not have the poison in the planning system I mentioned. Those countries have community-owned renewable energy developments and they allow people to share in the proceeds. That is exactly what we will do”.

However this reply, helpful though it sounds, begs an obvious follow-up question: suppose local communities don’t care to “share the proceeds of wind farms”?  What happens if (as I suspect is the case) they just don’t want them at any price?  We’ll see how this debate plays out, but Chris has made a great start.  Well done Heaton-Harris!

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3 Responses to Wind Farm protesters get a new champion

  1. Dave Atherton says:

    Wind farms are not only an eye sore but uneconomic. Did you know that to produce one kilowatt of energy, the relative cost of fossil fuels is for example one the cost of wind power is 17 and solar energy 45.

  2. Mrs Fay Kelly-Tuncay says:

    Households are paying £84 a year in “hidden taxes” on their energy bills to help meet the cost of so called combating “global warming” and the Climate Change Act. These taxes will only increase to pay for subsidies to wind farm projects. As if things were not bad enough already with the average household energy bill at around £1,194 a year, with £84 or 7 per cent of this going towards environmental levies. These include the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (£24), Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (£45), Community Energy Saving Programme (£3) and the Renewables Obligation (£12). But even worse than this, policies launched under the previous government are expected to add a further 6 per cent in levies over the next decade. This will cost consumers an extra £72 a year on their energy bills, resulting in the average household paying a whopping £156 a year in environmental “taxes”.

    When will the alarm bell start to ring? The British public needs affordable energy now more than ever to aid the economic recovery. Last week the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group raised the spectre of the fuel poor and what the drive to “go green” has meant for the swelling ranks of families forced to cut back on their heating. It reports that “fuel poverty levels have almost quadrupled in six years, with nearly five million households now affected.” To put that in context, one in five households today is blighted by fuel poverty. Worryingly, the group says that the fuel poor are being hit hard by the cost of Climate Change Act and it describes this policy as “regressive” and having a “disproportionate impact on those on low incomes”.

    We need more MPs and MEPs like Roger Helmer and Chris Heaton-Harris to challenge these unnecessary and oppressive green energy policies, which only wealthy middle class families can afford, and work to either have a referendum these expensive green policies or repeal the Climate Change Act altogether. Let’s put families and the economic recovery first before these very expensive forms of energy

  3. Richard J says:

    O/T with apologies.

    I’ve just heard your admirably reasonable and lucid interview on the Vine Show. What concerns me more than ever is how the BBC researchers manage to trawl through the listeners responses and manage to present such a triumphant celebration of our bottom-feeding benthos as representative of our society.

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