Wind farms are a ‘complete scam’, claims the Environment Secretary who says …

June 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

  • Owen Paterson says communities will get new powers to block turbines which are ‘regarded as a complete scam’
  • Warns of ‘huge unhappiness’ across the country caused by wind farms
  • People who live near developments to get 20% discount on energy bills

By
Matt Chorley, Mailonline Political Editor

08:29 EST, 7 June 2013


|

10:01 EST, 7 June 2013


Unpopular: Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said many wind farms were causing huge unhappiness across the country

Unpopular: Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said many wind farms were causing huge unhappiness across the country

Wind farms have been branded a ‘complete scam’ by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, reigniting coalition battle over green power.

As the government unveiled new powers for local residents to block turbines blighting their villages, Mr Paterson condemned many planned schemes as ‘deeply unpopular’ and causing ‘huge unhappiness’ across the country.

The outspoken remarks from a senior Tory minister in charge of environmental policy risks a furious reaction from Liberal Democrats pushing for more renewable power projects.

The Conservatives have taken a tougher line on wind farms in recent months, and this week unveiled plans to give communities a powerful ‘veto’ over controversial new onshore developments.

Schemes will have to gain local residents’ consent before a planning application can even be made, effectively handing them the power to prevent turbines being erected.

Planning rules are also to be changed so that the drive for renewable energy can no longer be used as a reason for overriding environmental and other concerns.

Mr Paterson signalled that plans for wind farms will have to take into account the impact on the countryside and views as well as the desire to save the planet.

In an extraordinary intervention at the Royal Cornwall Show yesterday, the Tory Cabinet minister said: ‘Turbines are regarded as a complete scam, but as of today we have given power to local communities to decide.

‘The criteria is now that environment and landscape will have to be taken into consideration as well as the national energy requirement.’

Bribes: Communities are to be offered up to 20 per cent off their bills if they allow a wind farm near their homes, but they will also have power to block new developments

Bribes: Communities are to be offered up to 20 per cent off their bills if they allow a wind farm near their homes, but they will also have power to block new developments

Under the new rules councils must look at the cumulative impact of wind turbines and reflect the effect on landscape and local facilities.

There is also a major increase promised in the amount developers pay local communities to win them over,  including long-term electricity bill discounts of up to 20 per cent.

However, Mr Paterson suggested anger with many schemes would not be overcome by additional bribes.

He added: ‘I know there is huge unhappiness with some of these projects, both from what I hear nationally and from my own constituency in Shropshire.

‘There are places where these projects are well prepared, the community wants it and it will be worthwhile. But in inland areas they are very often deeply unpopular,’ the Western Morning News reported.

Leila Deen, Greenpeace energy campaigner, said: ‘Wind farms may seem like a scam to a Government minister who questions the science of climate change and who’s pushing for his Shropshire constituency to be fracked for shale gas.

‘The public disagrees – two thirds of people would rather have a wind turbine near their home than a fracking site.

‘Onshore wind powered almost 2.5 million homes in 2011, is falling in cost and will play a key role in our future energy mix.’

Mr Paterson’s appointment to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last September was controversial, with allies forced to deny he was a climate change denier.

In 2007, he  described wind farms as ridiculous, claiming they ‘demand vast amounts of public subsidy and do not work’.

The comments below have not been moderated.

Can I suggest that when you politicians have any more bright ideas you ask Joe Public first because we have been saying this all along, we seem to have more sense than any politicians and we do not cost as much.

wind in the willows
,

Southampton, United Kingdom,
08/6/2013 00:36

It’s seems clear to me very large candles that’s the way forward heat and light at the same time. What more do you want?

John Chelmsford
,

Chelmsford Essex,
08/6/2013 00:25

A typical British pollution blog! Poor British they can’t do anything anymore in the real World applications!

Just stay on your Island and pollute.

Kit Holz
,

Holualoa, United States,
08/6/2013 00:01

stop windfarms, they are not efficient. In Germany they reveal to be a fiasco. Wind turbines make us sick with their infrasound waves we can not hear but that stress our ear day by day. So, stop making people sick more than what you do already by poisoning our food.

Shamael
,

Luxembourg,
07/6/2013 23:40

THANK GOD AT LAST AN MP’S SPEAKING OUT………WE KNOW THEY ARE USELESS WE HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR AGES THEY ARE UGLY AND NOT WHAT WE WANT. I AM SICK OF LIB/DUMS HOLDING THE BALANCE OF POWERS. THEY CAME THIRD IN THE ELECTION, THEY WERE THE LEAST LIKED AND CAMERON THE DIP STICK JOINED THEM UP TO A COALITION AND NOW THEY ARE RULING THIS COUNTRY UNDER STRICT INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE EU.WE NEED TO GET RID OF THE LOT OF THEM VOTE UKIP

Micky Mouse
,

Unfair Britain, United Kingdom,
07/6/2013 22:57

If wind power is no good, there is not enough sun for solar power, nuclear is dangerous, and nuclear fusion might never be possible, what will we do when the fossil fuel has all been burned?

Alan C
,

Liverpool,
07/6/2013 22:54

Any sensible person knew this when they first got to know how much subsidies were been paid. Now they have put a carbon tax on the few coal fired power stations to make one of our cheapest forms of energy expensive. Whilst we are doing this GERMANY are building coal fired power stations to burn the dirtiest coal in them. What this government is doing amounts to treason for the attempting to destroy all of our industries for political and financial gains they will get from the EU.

Chalky
,

Skegness,
07/6/2013 22:52

Of the 27 wind turbines just been built at Redcar, Cleveland, only one third seemed to be working today when we went on a visit to the Town, and what an absolute eyesore. Such a crying shame.
- katie, Middlesbrough, 7/6/2013 21:58…….Lies ,,,they all work all of the time and they are so pretty…If you ignore the dead bats.

c.traven
,

edinburgh, United Kingdom,
07/6/2013 22:48

The only people who are unhappy about the are those lucky enough and wealthy enough to live out in the countryside and don’t want their view “spoiling”.

RosyKnight , Sheffield, 07/6/2013 21:58

Yet another person who does not understand the British countryside. Its no wonder the landscape has become blighted by wind turbines. Perhaps now government ministers have realised “global warming” never happened we can return to some common sense and get the UK energy needs under proper control.

gardeb
,

United Kingdom, United Kingdom,
07/6/2013 22:46

Whilst he is at it, could he also stop this government,as well as Nick Noles from giving the free for all to make the UK a concrete jungle by building wherever they can on green field land.
Common sense just does not seem to sit well with this government.
Secondly,England is a small country, and not a piece of elastis, so it cannot be stretched to accommodate the influx of people who are arriving at an alarming rate in this country . Hence all our resources and infrastructure being stretched to the limit,as well as pensioners having to live on a pittance,some scrimping on food to enable them to keep warm in the winter,as well as our NHS in a desparate state again because of and overload on it resources.
The government is meant to be a servant to the people ,take a good look,are they serving us well.Thereby lies the question.

Rakel
,

Notts, United Kingdom,
07/6/2013 22:46

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