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Sunday, December 14, 2003

Renewable energy + planning rules in the UK
The Yes 2 Wind weblog deserves a visit.

It documents the planning saga experienced by a farmer trying to put 5, Vestas 850, wind turbines on his farmland in Oxfordshire - against opposition from some locals + the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Due to the difficulties this farmer + others in the renewable energy sector are encountering during the local planning process the UK's deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, is now consulting on a document called planning policy statement 22 (PPS22) which firmly tells regional planning bodies + local councils in England that they are expected to encourage rather than restrict the development of renewable energy projects.

In particular, it instructs them to adopt "positive" policies on renewables, which must not be "undermined" by other policy issues (i.e. on the grounds of subjective visual impact policies), and warns that if they do not toe the line, the Government will intervene in order to permit the UK to meet national + international targets for the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases, including the goal to cut the UK's carbon dioxide emissions by some 60% by 2050, with real progress by 2020.

If you live in the UK, and would like to encourage the development of wind power, you can sign up with Juice, a collaboration between Greenpeace and electricity supplier nPower, and help to use electricity generated by a new wind farm located off the North Wales coast.