British Wind Farm Proposal Brings Controversy

The British Environment Agency is considering building an 80 turbine wind farm development that would be partially built on several major water bodies including the River Thames, the River Medway in the North Downs and parts of the Fens. The wind farm should produce approximately 200 megawatts of energy, enough energy to power 90,000 households. Some of them will be built in lands surrounding the agency’s offices and pumping stations. The remaining will be put riverside of the rivers mentioned above. The plan is to produce enough energy to run all of the agency’s offices along with making an additional $5 million in revenue each year by putting extra electricity back into the grid.

By developing these renewable energy projects we are helping to limit and adapt to the effects of climate change, reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and help develop a low-carbon economy. We are identifying the main contributors to our own carbon footprint – such as major pumping stations – and looking at how we can generate renewable energy to power them.

Wind Farm Turbine
Photo by phault.

This does seems like a perfect plan on the surface, but it is not pleasing everybody. Many people living in these areas as well as critics of the plan have said that the construction of this wind farm could do more harm that good. The biggest concern they have is the well being of the landscapes in these area’s, being unattractive sites along with harming the local wildlife. There is also a concern that the amount of renewable energy generated by these turbines will not even come close to removing the country’s dependency on fossil fuels.

Wind turbines can have a serious impact on the appearance of a landscape and certainly should not be located in areas of natural beauty or national parks.

The agency ensured that it will consult with the public and take these factors into consideration before finalizing plans. This is really a tough situation. On the one hand, this agency is trying to make a difference by running all their offices on renewable energy as well as provide more for the entire country. On the other hand, the natural landscape could be affected by them being present. In my opinion, I actually like the look of the wind turbines and don’t feel at all that they detract from the natural landscape. I agree with the agency that this is the correct move and to continue our dependency on fossil fuels based on the principal that it controls too much of the market is not the right way to go.

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