Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC), Friends of the Earth & others are lobbying Hampshire County Council (HCC) concerning their Wind Turbine Policy on whether to restrict the use of HCC land for large wind turbine developments.
The economics and argments for wind turbines are being pursued by WinACC and FOE.
What we are concerned with here is HCC’s “Leading by Example” approach to their Energy Strategy (found here).
Providing the location for wind turbines are placed in an appropriate location I am assuming that the economics stand up – this assumption is subject to WinACC’s detailed investigation into the economics and carbon savings wind turbines bring to the energy mix.
However, there could be other factors that reduce or even negate the basic wind turbine economics making the installation of wind turbines, such as negative impact to visiting holiday makers i.e. an impact to the Travel industry due to a perceived ” … adverse visual and amenity impact on Hampshire’s outstanding and high quality landscapes and countryside, …”. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but put aside for one moment the arguments for and against the “visual and amenity impact”.
If HCC reject a proposal to install Wind turbines (or any renewable) on their land, what should happen next?
Quite simply, HCC should work with the proposer or other interested parties to find an alternative solution the achieves the same cost benefits without the perceived economic downside. (We assume this is quantifiable).
A “NOT ON MY BACKYARD” approach is not leadership and sets a poor example. A positive leadership attitude is to proactively find alternative solutions to achieve similar benefits without the downsides.
We call upon HCC to update and declare this “proactive” approach to issues of this kind in their Energy Strategy Document.