Survey shows most Britons want more wind power

The majority of Britons believe that wind farms will play a vital part in meeting energy targets, a survey by the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) has revealed this week.

Most people who oppose wind farms have never actually seen one, says the BWEA, and the majority of Britons are now in favour of expanding wind-generated power. Copyright BWEA / Vismedia

Most people who oppose wind farms have never actually seen one, says the BWEA, and the majority of Britons are now in favour of expanding wind-generated power. Copyright BWEA / Vismedia

Despite constant opposition to their development, the BWEA's figures show that three quarters of people in the UK think wind turbines are necessary in order to meet Government renewable energy targets - with 62% agreeing that more wind farms are needed, immaterial of their appearance.

Speaking from experience as a resident of Ardrossan, Scotland, where a wind farm was recently built, Councillor Margaret Munn said that the turbines had been overwhelmingly accepted by the local people.

"Instead of spoiling the landscape we believe it has been enhanced," she said. "The turbines are impressive looking, bring a calming effect to the town and contrary to the belief that they would be noisy, we have found them to be silent workhorses."

Findings also showed that those who had never seen a wind farm were more likely to oppose one than the people that had. Furthermore, 70% of Britons were recorded as saying that they would support wind turbine development in their area.

Following these results, a campaign entitled Embrace the Revolution is now being run by the BWEA to deliver the opinion of the "silent masses" to the Government. Marcus Rand, chief executive of the association, said that embracing wind power would increase Britain's national energy security, but we must act now.

"Time is running out on climate change and wind power is essential to averting its potential impacts. Britain has the best wind resource in Europe. It's everlasting, on our doorstep and ready to use now," Mr Rand said. "This campaign will challenge myths about wind energy head on and give a voice to the vast majority of us that want to see wind turbines as a common feature in Britain."

The Embrace campaign is already receiving widespread support, including many celebrities such as Guy Berryman of Coldplay, Chris Tarrant and the creators of the London Eye, David Marks and Julia Barfield.

Speaking out against claims that wind farms are ugly and ineffective, Chris Tarrant said: "Wind turbines are modern-day guardian angels, a stunning addition to our rural landscape and a must if we are to move toward a future powered by green energy."

By Jane Kettle


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