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Source: http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21578431-sharing-profits-wind-turbines-might-help-persuade-sceptics-tilting-opinions

Paying off NIMBYs

Tilting opinions

Sharing in the profits from wind turbines might help persuade sceptics

May 25th 2013 |From the print edition

ONSHORE wind, the cheapest form of renewable energy, attracts many enthusiasts. Those who live close to planned wind farms are rarely among them. In April fully 82% of the public told pollsters for the Department of Energy and Climate Change that they supported renewable energy. Support dropped to about half when they were asked if they wanted onshore wind turbines near their homes. And in practice many schemes encounter fierce opposition.

This is awkward for the government, which has promised to provide 15% of the nation’s energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. In 2011 only 3.8% came from wind, sun and the like. Nearly nine months after soliciting opinions on how to persuade local people to love wind farms, Michael Fallon, the energy minister, is expected to publish his plans shortly.

At present there is no standard way of compensating people when a wind turbine goes up nearby. Energy companies might pay for the maintenance of roads or to spruce up schools and village halls, either through an annual payment per megawatt of energy generated or in a lump sum. Local politicians usually decide where the money goes. In Scotland, where a register of community benefits invites comparisons between projects, annual payments of around £20,000 ($30,000) or for each megawatt installed are now widespread. Some companies try to source work locally to create new jobs, and a few—such as Good Energy and RES—attempt to cut the bills of those who live near turbines.

20130525_BRP004_0.jpg

It was just an opening bid

Experience elsewhere in Europe suggests the best way of persuading local people to accept wind farms is to ensure they have some share of the potential benefits. In Denmark four-fifths of onshore wind turbines are owned by local communities; in Germany the figure is over half. In Britain just a tenth are locally owned. A rare example, the Westmill wind farm in Swindon, is owned by a local co-operative of 2,374 residents, who put in at least £250 each. Adam Twine, the landowner behind the project, sold it to the co-operative after a few years.

A study of attitudes to wind farms in two German towns showed that support for expansion was much higher (45% compared with 16%) where the wind farm was locally owned. Because residents in Swindon knew that profits were going back to those who lived nearby, rather than to a company, public resistance to the scheme was softer, Mr Twine says.

Denmark and Germany have been pushing alternative energy for longer, and their residents are perhaps greener. But government policies help, too. Under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, both countries give renewables priority access to the electricity grid. Quicker planning, tax incentives and generous feed-in tariffs (subsidies for the amount of energy generated) encourage residents to become shareholders or market providers.

Britain could yet match the record of its greener European counterparts. A local government finance bill means that, from April, business rates from renewable projects have been kept by local authorities, rather than going to central government. And this month a Rural Community Renewable Energy Fund worth £15m is due to be launched, which will offer loans of up to £150,000 to local organisations for “community-scale renewable energy projects”. Scotland’s register of community benefits could be copied elsewhere in Britain. Inhabitants of a country buffeted by winds, Britons may yet be persuaded to see the value as well as the beauty to be found in their backyards.

From the print edition: Britain

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Works with solar panels. I find solar panels far more ugly and invasive than windfarms. People dont complain because the govt pays them to have them.

Of course, why people think they have rights over other peoples property and why they have any right to oppose wind farms not on their land is the real issue.

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Of course, why people think they have rights over other peoples property and why they have any right to oppose wind farms not on their land is the real issue.

They might be getting the idea from councils and government with their planning laws, listed building regulations, conservation area rules and so forth?

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wind power is currently an "ugly" joke

If government was "serious" about renewable energy then "all the investment" would have been put in water based generators...

river and waves do not stop when the sun goes down!!!!

But your solar panels mysteriously stop working when you need them most :angry:

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Works with solar panels. I find solar panels far more ugly and invasive than windfarms. People dont complain because the govt pays them to have them.

Of course, why people think they have rights over other peoples property and why they have any right to oppose wind farms not on their land is the real issue.

I agree, with all your points.

And regarding the very direct parallel with housing NIMBYs, they also don't own the land around them, but they have votes and control the local politicians, whilst future potential home buyers (we) don't have any voice. As in the case of wind turbines, the question is if we accept the extortion, or emigrate. I am considering it.

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wind power is currently an "ugly" joke

If government was "serious" about renewable energy then "all the investment" would have been put in water based generators...

river and waves do not stop when the sun goes down!!!!

But your solar panels mysteriously stop working when you need them most :angry:

Govts don't do sensible decisions especially when it involves spending other peoples money...

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They might be getting the idea from councils and government with their planning laws, listed building regulations, conservation area rules and so forth?

That and because their taxes are being used to pay for the things, which will just be left there to rust and collapse when the subsidies are eliminated?

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?!

But they do stop when the rain / wind does...

Errrrr - are you saying rivers stop flowing after dark?

or that waves also stop after dark?

I met a chap in Belfast who had proved his wave powered generator worked 24-7 every day of the year.....

he couldn't get funding because his invention was under the surface and therefore invisible

........whereas windturbines are definitely "visible" (even though they are VERY inefficiant

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Of course, why people think they have rights over other peoples property and why they have any right to oppose wind farms not on their land is the real issue.

I think the noise argument is a reasonable one for people really close, otherwise I agree.

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I agree, with all your points.

And regarding the very direct parallel with housing NIMBYs, they also don't own the land around them, but they have votes and control the local politicians, whilst future potential home buyers (we) don't have any voice. As in the case of wind turbines, the question is if we accept the extortion, or emigrate. I am considering it.

.....there are people with high vested interests to want to abolish planning permissions, those that snapped up green land at low prices those who would only be too happy to sell it at mega high prices with planning permissions......they I am sure would be the first ones to sail off into the sunset with their takings leaving the mess behind them. ;)

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wind power is currently an "ugly" joke

If government was "serious" about renewable energy then "all the investment" would have been put in water based generators...

river and waves do not stop when the sun goes down!!!!

But your solar panels mysteriously stop working when you need them most :angry:

I do wonder why we don't have more watermills. I live in West Yorkshire in the Holme Valley, which is also pretty close to the Colne Valley, and the fast flowing but shallow Yorkshire rivers were powering mills long before the advent of the steam age.

Edited by Secure Tenant

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I do wonder why we don't have more watermills. I live in West Yorkshire in the Holme Valley, which is also pretty close to the Colne Valley, and the fast flowing but shallow Yorkshire rivers were powering mills long before the advent of the steam age.

+ 1 to that

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I do wonder why we don't have more watermills. I live in West Yorkshire in the Holme Valley, which is also pretty close to the Colne Valley, and the fast flowing but shallow Yorkshire rivers were powering mills long before the advent of the steam age.

Yes...water power is strong power...wave power could be gathered and reused.....wind and water together even stronger. ;)

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and the fast flowing but shallow Yorkshire rivers were powering mills long before the advent of the steam age.

The clue is in the last sentence. Better things came along. The actual power in a fast shallow river is very small. What matters is the volume of water and the vertical drop. It's Fine for a bit of local generation but not going to move the needle nationally.

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The clue is in the last sentence. Better things came along. The actual power in a fast shallow river is very small. What matters is the volume of water and the vertical drop. It's Fine for a bit of local generation but not going to move the needle nationally.

And no power at all in summer.

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And no power at all in summer.

Oh come on.............

wind power is totally dependant on .......................the wind

waves are a constant unstoppable phenomena..............

rivers I accept are dependant on rain ...........but managed to power industry quite happily in the past due to........

"mill races" and "stock ponds"

........with modern technology they are far more "constant" and "reliable"

.................most wind turbines spend over 60% of their time wastefully Idle

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The trouble with tidal power is that the tide is quite powerful and has a habit of destroying things.

Watermills are too small and tend to make a quaint river / stream ugly. It is hard enough to get planning permission for a wind turbine.

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The trouble with tidal power is that the tide is quite powerful and has a habit of destroying things.

Watermills are too small and tend to make a quaint river / stream ugly. It is hard enough to get planning permission for a wind turbine.

The technology exits for waves..........

the efficient models (well the one I saw) are set about 3meters below the surface and work on outgoing and incoming tides.........

..........apparently if set the right distance "offshore" they work 24/7 at full capacity

Rivers would need dredging - something that has not happened for a long time

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Inconsistent power production is only a problem if it is on the same grid as a power station that can't change its output relatively quickly. So wind doesn't work well with nuclear, but solar and gas are fine together.

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(...) mega high prices with planning permissions (...)

The more restricted the planning system the highest the planning gain, and vice versa.

Think about it.

Just think for a while - out of the current British situation.

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I do wonder why we don't have more watermills. I live in West Yorkshire in the Holme Valley, which is also pretty close to the Colne Valley, and the fast flowing but shallow Yorkshire rivers were powering mills long before the advent of the steam age.

It just pales in consequence compared to 5 GW of Drax power.

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The technology exits for waves..........

the efficient models (well the one I saw) are set about 3meters below the surface and work on outgoing and incoming tides.........

..........apparently if set the right distance "offshore" they work 24/7 at full capacity

Rivers would need dredging - something that has not happened for a long time

Great new technology is all well and good, but it often falls over when no one is willing to invest in it. That doesn't mean it doesn't work, but simply that the rewards don't match the perceived risks. It also worth noting that you don't just need the waves, but also the capability to transmit it to shore safely without great losses.

All of that said, I hope it can be made to work, and I'm shortly going to be talking to someone about doing just that.

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  • 238 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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