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Wind Power: a Position Statement

Wind power: A position Statement

The Northumberland and Newcastle Society recognize the debate about climate change and the role of carbon emissions in this phenomenon. It also understands the necessity for electricity generation and believes that this should be achieved in ways which deliver good value for consumers while minimising social and environmental impacts.

While the Society is not averse to the principle of subsidies to encourage and develop emerging technology, it is critical of current UK renewable energy policies. These are based on arbitrarily set emission reduction targets, and reward investment in technologies which deliver the best financial return rather than the best value result in energy generation, emissions reductions, and environmental acceptability terms.

Additionally we are unhappy with the simple displacement of carbon emission and environmental harm to other countries such as China, by displacing carbon intensive and other industry. Evaluation of international carbon emission and other pollution is needed when considering generation.

The Society accepts that wind power should form part of the UK’s energy generation mix, but recognizes that currently Northumberland has experienced disproportionate development despite poor wind resource. Such development reflects the way in which subsidies have encouraged developers to take advantage of sparsely populated areas where objection to development is minimal. The Society has highlighted the extent of landscape damage that has occurred consequent to wind power development, which was not adequately appreciated in the initial planning applications.

The Society has over a number of years and with considerable cost engaged in consultation with NCC to develop planning policies that balance the contribution that wind energy might bring with the inevitable effects on the landscape and adjacent habitation. The Society believes that the role of wind in our energy mix requires a more vigorous evaluation of its cost effectiveness as well as the ability to integrate fluctuating wind power with other sources of electricity generation.