Well, that was interesting. I’ve just done a piece on the couple in Deeping, Lincs, taking wind developers to the Hight Court over turbine noise. The BBC presenter asked me the same question about 5 times. My first reply was that I don’t know the facts of this case but we all have to consider as communities, cities, and as a state, how we are going to keep the lights on in the future. He was after a stronger answer he said at one stage, quoting ‘soundbite city’. Of course, I have no idea how my answers will be edited.
But there are a few problems here: It’s not up to the Green Party to fight the side of wind developers. Our role is to promote renewables as an energy policy, but not for any particular windfarm or business. Nor is it up to us to say to individuals or communities: you have to pay this price so that we can have energy. UK energy policy is effectively saying exactly that in Colombia where a huge open cast pit supplying Yorkshire with thousands of tons of coal has thrown hundreds of farming families off land they have farmed for generations. So our coal, our energy, is not fairtrade in this instance.
Rather we would want installations to be community decisions and where the community directly benefits from production – they get the energy free.
Is this happening? As it turns out, this couple in their 50s find their sleep regularly disturbed and have had to move out on a number of occasions. The 8 x 100m turbines are less than 1 km from their home. There is no reason to believe they were consulted when this energy plant went up nor that they get free energy from the turbines. Now their lives are disturbed and their future uncertain as they had no prior plans to move.
Greens respect communities and localities more than this. So, in the light of oil decline, peak fuels, wars, exploitation, and the actual and hidden costs of nuclear, what we ask of communities is that they consider how they would like their energy provision for the future and how much renewable energy would they factor in.