This map, from Renewable UK, shows an unwelcome concentration of wind farms in the East Midlands. Odd, really, given that we have some of the lowest average wind speeds in the country. But then as I always say, they’re not farming wind — they’re farming subsidies.
One possible reason is our road infrastructure. The parts of a large modern wind turbine really need large roads for access, and we have the M1 and the A14.
One has to hope that now we have Owen Paterson at Environment and John Hayes at Energy, we might start to see a glimmer of common sense. But don’t hold your breath. And for so many of our communities, the damage is already done. As Shaun Spiers of CPRE said, we will come to see wind turbines as “the redundant relics of our compulsion to do something”.
Just for the record, let’s remember that the government’s plans for wind farms involve a capital spend of around £120 billion, when we could build equivalent gas-fired capacity for £13 billion (and very likely use indigenous shale gas to power it). And the emissions savings achieved by wind turbines, when you add in the intermittently-run conventional back-up, are somewhere between trivial and zero. We’re looking at vast, unnecessary expenditure to achieve no benefit at all.