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Agreement to smooth the way for more rural wind farms
1 February 2003
An agreement has been signed between France's agriculturists and wind developers to smooth the way for wind farms being built on agricultural land. The document signed by the standing assembly of agricultural associations, APCA, and the National Federation of Agricultural Unions, FNSEA, on one side, and the Renewable Energies Syndicate (SER), representing the wind industry, on the other, sets out the ways in which wind energy and agriculture can be beneficially combined. "Farmers are the oldest users of renewable energy, and of wind energy," says the joint statement put out by the two parties. "Their participation in the development of wind energy is a natural step forward, especially given the limited impact on other land use of wind power and its minimal use of land. Wind energy permits a natural diversification which is compatible with pre-existing agricultural practices." This agreement is an important step forward for wind power developers. The issue of land use has been one of the main obstacles to projects getting off the ground, with protesters claiming that wind farms are ruining the best parts of the French countryside. With farmers on their side, there will be more sites available and critics will have one less argument to muster.
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