Minister: let locals block wind farms

April 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

“It’s about a better balance,” he said. “We are not against renewable energy,
but it has to have community consent.

“What we need for onshore wind is to ensure that communities who [have]
onshore wind benefit properly, benefit more fully than they do at the
moment. That there is more certainty but that, equally, areas don’t feel
they are being swamped by multiple applications.”

He added: “We have got a package of proposals to deal with all of that.”

It is understood that the “relief for the shires” package, to be unveiled next
month, will include new planning protections and a community benefit scheme.

Areas agreeing to wind farms will benefit from lower energy bills, new primary
schools or other amenities funded by developers. Mr Fallon recently replaced
John Hayes, an outspoken Tory critic of wind farms who pledged to introduce
a moratorium on new developments.

Mr Hayes was moved to another role in government after clashing with Ed Davey,
the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, who believed he was harming green
industry. Mr Fallon indicated that he is taking a different approach to his
predecessor.

“Energy policy shouldn’t be ideological,” he said. “My job here is to make
sure we have enough energy, we don’t have to worry about security of supply,
we have new generation and that customers get the best possible deal.
Delivery, not ideology.”

The Conservative minister also denied that there was any difference of opinion
with the Liberal Democrats over nuclear energy policy. He said that Mr Davey
was leading negotiations on behalf of the Government over a new generation
of foreign-funded nuclear power stations.

Mr Fallon was recently promoted by the Prime Minister to a key ministerial
position, straddling both the business and energy departments, which are
headed by Liberal Democrats.

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