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“Everything to do with wind farms attracts adverse
LET'S HALT MARCH OF
THE WIND FARMS says IAN LIDDELL-GRAINGER
Western Daily Press 23 January 2006
Wind farms are being touted as
the green, renewable power source of the 21st century, which will save our
society when the oil runs out. But there's also a sinister side to their
development, Conservative Bridgwater MP IAN LIDDELL-GRAINGER argues.
A couple of days before Christmas, when everyone else was far too busy
being festive to take notice, a Scottish electricity firm submitted a sneaky
little application to the body that is supposed to regulate the energy industry
Ofgem's slogan is protecting customers is our first priority -
but believe that and you'll believe anything.
The company concerned, CRE
Energy, is a subsidiary of Scottish Power.
You might have heard of
Scottish Power. They own several big power stations and will cheerfully sell you
But, canny Scots that they are, they have also got a finger
in the so-called 'green energy source of the future' - or wind farms. Their
subsidiary is applying for the right to compulsorily purchase land in order to
build more of them.
And not just in Scotland either - we are talking
about absolutely anywhere.
The timing of this application must have been
deliberate. Perhaps the company was hoping that nobody would notice, because
wind farms are controversial in Scotland and Somerset.
Everything to do
with wind farms attracts adverse headlines.
They contribute nothing to
the power needs of the nation and they scare the living daylights out of birds.
They attract huge European subsidies and, as a direct result, they attract huge
numbers of Johnny-come-lately companies who want a slice of the
CRE Energy may have a flawless corporate pedigree, but if their
request for compulsory purchase powers is granted - and it looks as though Ofgem
is already inclined to approve - then an extraordinary and dangerous precedent
will have been set.
The day after tomorrow your friendly neighbourhood
postmen could be delivering a compulsory purchase order to you, and you, and
No argument and no appeal.
Take the money and get out of your
home, in order to make way for the latest generation of half-hearted generators,
pylons, sub-stations and all the ugly infrastructure that goes with
Never mind the fact that all wind farms look absolutely
Never mind the fact that every energy expert on the planet
regards them as more of a plaything than a power source. Once one firm gets
compulsory purchase powers it opens the door to all of the others.
have never encountered the brutal finality of the compulsory purchase order,
then just ask anyone who was uprooted when the M5 motorway was built.
is not nice to be told you've got to leave your home and take the paltry price
they offer for the property you have slaved all your life to be able to
The compulsory purchase order was always intended to be used
sparingly and for projects with an identifiable 'national' interest.
what can possibly be the positive benefit to the nation if some company which
nobody has ever heard of bungs up half a dozen wind mills on the Somerset Levels
capable of lighting just a handful of homes for just a few hours a
Never mind the benefit, feel the political correctness. We are
meant to love wind farms because they are supposed to be environmentally
The Government is locked into an out-of-date commitment to
major increases in alternative renewable energy.
Over-generous grants are
still being made available for green solutions. We are still giving wallets of
cash away to encourage an energy source that makes insignificant energy and no
You need to be cucumber-green to believe it all, or else
Even Prime Minister Tony Blair is now beginning to
admit that nuclear power is a far more realistic solution to a national energy
crisis that is pushing up prices faster than my hard-pressed constituents can
afford. Wind power simply can't come anywhere near plugging the gap when North
Sea oil and gas runs out. The gurus of the turning turbines are just
And that description must also include the
sandalled souls at Somerset County Council who seem to be hell-bent on setting
up community wind farms all over the county.
If that idea wasn't daft
enough on its own, Somerset County Council - or any county council - may soon be
able to compulsorily purchase your back yard to put them in.
been warned - a frightening wind rush is about to