British officials are putting an end to new onshore wind farm construction, halting an energy experiment that produced little usable electricity while draining the finances of British taxpayers and electricity consumers.
Energy Minister John Hayes stunned renewable power lobbyists by announcing the government will approve no more onshore wind farm proposals. Hayes said Britain will be able to meet its renewable energy goals without any new onshore wind farms. Accordingly, said Hayes, there is no need to blot the British landscape with more wind turbines.
British environmentalists, conservationists, health advocates, and consumer advocates have united in opposition to onshore wind farms. According to environmentalists, wind turbines kill an unacceptable number of birds and bats. Conservationists point out it requires hundreds of square miles of wind turbines to produce as much power as a single coal or natural gas power plant. Health advocates say wind turbines placed too close to residential dwellings may cause negative human health impacts. Consumer advocates point out wind power is substantially more expensive than coal and natural gas power.
“We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities,” said Hayes in a press statement. “I have asked the planning minister to look again at the relationship between these turbines and the landscape.”
“It seems extraordinary to have allowed them to be peppered around the country without due regard for the interests of the local community or their wishes,” Hayes added.
James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is managing editor of Environment & Climate News.