Wind power bias denied

The Government this week denied accusations that it was biased towards wind power when it awarded contracts for renewable energy. The statement followed a call to trade and industry secretary Margaret Beckett to curb wind power developments to protect the environment. Britain’s leading countryside groups said the award of Government subsidies for wind generation projects […]

The Government this week denied accusations that it was biased towards wind power when it awarded contracts for renewable energy.

The statement followed a call to trade and industry secretary Margaret Beckett to curb wind power developments to protect the environment.

Britain’s leading countryside groups said the award of Government subsidies for wind generation projects producing the cheapest electricity encouraged developers to target the windiest locations – often the most beautiful landscapes.

Planning controls have proved `ineffective at protecting valued landscapes from wind development,’ they said.

Campaigners want the Government to `green’ the subsidies for wind power by taking account of environmental impact. They want the menu of renewable technologies widened to use more solar power and other renewables instead of wind.

There are more than 30 wind power sites, with 643 turbines, in Britain. Mid-Wales alone has 233 turbines.

The Government awards contracts for the development of renewable energy under its Non Fossil Fuel Obligation. In the latest order, 40% of new renewable energy capacity contracted was for wind power.

The DTI said the orders `specify an aggregate capacity for each renewable which each electricity company has to contract’.