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NDJ COMMENT: Torn on turbines debate

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: July 19, 2012

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WITH wind turbine fever ever increasing in North Devon we decided to map where all the turbines are across our patch.

It turns out there are currently 97, with a further 38 (excluding 278 in the Atlantic Array and 11 at appeal) in the pipeline. On face value this doesn’t seem like a lot. And when you couple this with the fact that those turbines alone create enough energy to power every household in North Devon, this seems logical.

You could also argue that surely now North Devon has enough turbines to power every home we have enough. But still the applications keep coming in, and still the Government subsidises them.

We appreciate there is an energy gap to fill and these turbines, on paper, have the capability to help bridge this gap. But as previously reported, Fullabrook has spent the best part of the past two months hardly turning. Plus add to this the argument that wind energy is intermittent and the figures end up being thrown out the window.

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So where does this leave us? Do we keep filling the countryside with turbines in the hope that collectively they will create enough energy to keep us going? Or is there a point at which there are too many?

Councillor Rodney Cann says there is hardly a place in North Devon where you can’t see a turbine. But is this a positive or a negative? Are they really that ugly? We at the Journal are torn on the issue. But one thing they are not is subtle.

The argument as to whether they will actually impact on tourism in the long run is also somewhat subjective, and with the present number of turbines we are inclined to think the tourists will forgive us a few for our unspoilt sandy beaches.

Whether this argument sticks as more and more appear, only time will tell. Plus when you factor in the prospect of the Atlantic Array across the horizon, the argument that we may have tipped the balance certainly begins to gather weight.


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