Countryside Matters
Burning Issues



The Renewable Energy Debate

The launch of the Renewable Energy Foundation opens up the opportunity to more fully discuss the need for alternative sources of energy. Many would agree that we need to find new and less polluting ways of producing the energy we need, and in the quantities needed to avoid electricity blackouts in the near future. What is less clear is the form that this should take.

For a number of people the way forward is to build ever bigger and more powerful wind turbines. However these are often only feasible across some of our most unspoiled and beautiful landscape. In environmental and tourism terms it could be a disaster. The size of the transporters needed to deliver these monsters could wreck the very landscape , albeit in a different way, which we are trying to preserve.

There are also the health and wildlife concerns to be considered. People living near to turbines are complaining of a variety of ailments which they blame on the low frequency noise emissions. Bird lovers are warning of carnage caused by the giant blades. Indeed the shadow and flicker may also have an effect on people suffering from epilepsy.

The turbines themselves are not sufficient to provide the energy we need being reliant on the wind actually blowing consistently. The whole issue is further clouded by the fact that subsidies are paid to the developer for the turbines themselves, not for the actual power that they produce.

Communities across the country are divided on the whole issue. Concerns on health, tourism, wildlife, efficiency and environmental damage caused during construction all need to be addressed. The Renewable Energy Foundation might be able to research all these more fully.

At the same time it hopes to look at other forms of renewable energy, which at present are being overshadowed by the wind farm lobby. These include solar, geothermal, tidal power and bio-fuel. More information can be obtained from the Renewable Energy Foundation web site at

Burning Issues 2002
Burning Issues 2004

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See also
Food for Thought 2002