United Kingdom

United Kingdom

ANTI LOBBY STARTS TO SPLIT

The Council for the Protection of Rural Wales is coming in for criticism from its own members over its anti wind farm stance. The council is criticised as being naive for the methods it uses to measure wind's cost effectiveness and for ignoring environmental or social accounting procedures. Other members are calling for the policy to be strengthened further. The CPRW says its policy of opposing wind development until energy conservation has achieved substantial results and wind proved to be cost-effective is being revised but will not change substantially.

Welsh environment group is coming in for criticism from its own members over its anti wind farm stance. In its magazine, the Council for the Protection of Rural Wales is attacked by long time CPRW member Brian John over its policy of opposing all further wind developments in Wales, which he brands ill-founded and unwise politically.

In his article John, who is chairman of Energy Parks (UK), accuses the CPRW of being afflicted by the NIMBY syndrome. He calls the Council naive for the methods it uses to measure wind's cost effectiveness and for ignoring environmental or social accounting procedures. John claims there is a dramatic split within the organisation with some members pressing for a relaxation in the policy and even resignations in protest at its anti wind farm position, but at the same time many more members are calling for the policy to be strengthened further.

The CPRW's Jenny Smith agrees there has been some internal debate about its attitude to wind energy and maintains the organisation's policies reflect the views of the overwhelming majority of its members. Nevertheless she says that CPRW policy on wind farms is at the moment being revised. Its current policy is to oppose wind power development until substantial results are achieved through conservation measures and wind energy proves to be cost-effective.

Smith explains that in the light of a shift in the government's attitude towards greater energy efficiency it is time to re-examine the council's position. "Our policy has changed as the whole situation regarding renewables has changed. It was felt time to restate our case." Yet she denies the CPRW is going to suddenly warm to wind energy. "Our policy is not going to change substantially."

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