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United Kingdom

JUSTIFIABLE SACRIFICE?

Most of us feel that wind farming in the UK does so little for pollution reduction that the trespass of wind turbines on our non industrialised landscapes is an unacceptably high price to pay.

It is interesting to see how Windpower Monthly increasingly recognises the unpopularity of commercial wind farm projects in Britain. Your July issue talked of "the rising tide of opinion against wind power in the UK" and the technology's "poor public image." October's issue admits that "every planned wind development these days generates its own opposition group." Instead of attributing this to "a stream of misinformation" from Country Guardian it might be worthwhile for you to consider why the tide is turning.

In a nutshell, most of us feel that wind farming does so little for pollution reduction that the trespass of wind turbines on our non industrialised landscapes is an unacceptably high price to pay. One example will serve to show why: Scottish Power is reaping profits from the NFFO levy as a wind farm proprietor, but the company recently announced plans to increase its coal burn at two of its power stations to five million tonnes a year, with associated CO2 emissions doubling to in excess of six million tonnes. Total UK CO2 emission savings from wind were 320,000 tonnes in 1994, so we may be justified in asking if the sacrifice of the landscape has been worthwhile.

Robert Woodward, Vice Chairman, Country Guardian, Twickenham, UK

Taking a leaf from Country Guardian's own approach to public relations, we would like to congratulate the group on its extraordinary ability to take quotes out of context, also from Windpower Monthly, and for pointing out how much wind power is needed to effectively reduce C02 emissions from coal burning. Why Country Guardian states that "most of us" feel wind farming does little for pollution reduction when public opinion polls have consistently refuted this point is hard to understand. Ed.

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