"Despite recent headlines in the media the government hasn't changed the national policy on the need to deploy onshore wind farms to meet our commitment to supply 15% of UK energy demand from renewable sources by 2020.
"The UK has some of the best wind resources in Europe and onshore wind is one of the most cost-effective large-scale renewable energy technologies. We are committed to using onshore wind as part of the UK’s energy mix." www.gov.uk/government/policies/increasing-the-use-of-low-carbon-technologies/supporting-pages/onshore-wind
What the government have clarified is that current national planning guidelines should be more closely followed by both the developers and the local planning authority. The developer must fully consult those affected by their proposals and take action to reduce any adverse impacts. Local planning authorities should identify sites which would be suitable for large scale renewable projects as well as those that are not and include them in their development plans. Local authorities should not sit back, wait for the applications to be submitted and say no to every proposal.
There is no veto against wind farms although there is an acknowledgement from the government that the national demand for renewable energy should not automatically trump quantifiable local impacts.
The government are challenging those who might instantly dismiss wind farms to actually consider the facts and the seriousness of the issues behind their deployment. There are plans for additional training seminars for local authority representatives and "evidence tool kits" which will provide peer reviewed, factual data about onshore wind turbines for communities to consider.
There are proposals for significant financial benefits for local communities affected by wind farms and in a time of financial uncertainty that should be welcomed.
A "knee jerk" no to wind farms is no longer acceptable. It results in unnecessary expense for the tax payer ( East Lindsey District Council recently announced they have spent almost £500,000 on appeals against wind farms). I would urge everyone to look beyond the angry rhetoric of the anti-wind protesters, seek out the facts and make sure their voice is heard in the public consultation."