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The Wild and Windy Moors

Out on the wild and windy moors, a battle for the wuthering heights of Middle England is coming to its apogee.

For what seems like aeons, certain branches of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), and their “enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my” friends in the misnamed Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), have been jousting with stirred-up local passions, fighting the feared onslaught of Wind Power.

Questions have been asked : do the REF have another agenda ? Are they just battling Wind Power because really, secretly, their backers want to acquire juicy state subsidies for new Nuclear facilities ? The links are there. It could be.

Do the CPRE fight Wind Farms because many of their members are virulently and violently Climate Change Deniers ? (“Sceptics”, I’m reminded, “sceptics”). There is documented evidence from deepest Dorset, amongst other places, that the CPRE branch members are completely crazed.

But now, the famed and feared mighty stallion of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has put on its riding tackle and is trotting forth in the campaign for Renewable Energy.

You can sign up to the Joint Statement, make comments, be generally supportive or involved :-

https://www.rspb.org.uk/news/details.asp?id=tcm:9-222563

https://www.rspb.org.uk/climate/help/renewablesrevolution/index.asp

I would, however, caution you about being too generally enthusiastic. Tucked away in the Joint Statement is something that I would want to probe before giving my consent and support :-

https://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/Jointstatement_tcm9-222565.pdf

“…we support proposals for strategic, spatially explicit appraisals of renewable energy potential, to be undertaken at the regional and local level. These appraisals should be informed by national guidance, to ensure transparency and consistency; and should enable communities to come forward with ambitious, robust and sustainable plans and targets for renewable energy deployment. We welcome the opportunity for plans to reflect local choices about technology mix and location of infrastructure. However, taken as a whole, they must also deliver the renewable energy capacity needed, at the right timescale, to achieve the UK’s overall goals. We anticipate that such plans will help to guide investment choices by developers, and provide an evidence base for decision making within the land-use planning system.”

What is this “national guidance” ? Well, it’s a major works planning document that will determine the “technology mix” :-

https://www.freshfields.com/publications/pdfs/2008/jan9/21266.pdf

https://www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/planning/planningpolicyimplementation/reformplanningsystem/planningbill/

https://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2008/ukpga_20080029_en_1

https://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2008/ukpga_20080029_en_3#pt3-pb1-l1g14

https://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/planningsustainablefuture.pdf

“Crucially, planning can help speed up the shift to renewable and low carbon forms of energy…”

Let me translate that for you : “low carbon forms of energy” means “nuclear”, partly.

If you’re in any doubt about that, look here :-

https://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file49869.pdf

“The Planning Act 2008, the Nuclear NPS and the Strategic Siting Assessment : 1.12 The Government has taken steps to improve the planning system for major infrastructure projects through its recent planning reforms. These were brought into effect by the Planning Act 2008 which establishes a new single consent regime for nationally significant infrastructure…”

“1.13 The Nuclear NPS will set out the Government’s policy on the national strategic issues which need to be taken into account when granting consent for the construction of new nuclear power stations. We expect that the Nuclear NPS will set out the Government’s policy on nuclear power. A significant component of the NPS will be a list of sites which have been assessed at strategic level and which the Government considers to be strategically suitable for the deployment of new nuclear power stations by the end of 2025. The SSA is limited to considering sites which are deployable by 2025. This is because it is important to focus on sites which can begin generating in good time to contribute to the Government’s goals on climate change and energy security…”

So, when you’re responding to the RSPB’s excellent call for support for their Joint Statement on Renewables, be sure to say :-

“Real Renewables don’t include new Nuclear.”


Some comments from activist Tim Holmes, who has worked with https://pirc.info :-

“Have just received this on the grapevine. You may notice that the RSPB/CPRE/National Trust statement is pretty hedged & caveated if you look at it. Nevertheless, this is undoubtedly a brave move from organisations with a hefty contingent of anti-wind, anti-renewables fundamentalists among their memberships, and which are operating in a pretty hostile media climate. A message of support for the steps they have taken, bit which also urges them to go further, would probably not go amiss.”

“If you don’t know, RSPB, CPRE and the National Trust have stuck their heads above the parapet and are campaigning for a renewables revolution. This is arguably as brave, if not braver, than any direct action we’ve ever done. These organisations rely on supporters that, frankly, HATE wind turbines. And they are suffering financially for their bravery. So please read the below and take one minute to lend your support.”

“Some reasons we’ve received to hate wind turbines (spot which one’s not true): They frighten horses, they make you impotent, they force people to build more coal stations and drive up emissions, they are a subtle form of noise torture devised by Al Qaeda to drive otherwise law-abiding citizens to mass murder, and they smell.”

“The more frequently you can direct people to the NT website, and their signing of a joint statement with RSPB and CPRE supporting a renewables revolution (with wind!), the sooner we can all return to a world of relative sanity. Here is the link to their press statement. Please make sure it gets out and about.”

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-global/w-news/w-latest_news/w-news-renewable_energy_response.htm

“The statement itself is on the CPRE website, and on the RSPBs.”

https://www.cpre.org.uk/news/view/620

“Just clicking the website helps, but if you want to really rock their world, send supportive emails via”

https://www.rspb.org.uk/contactus/form.asp?subject=12&f=1

“or to : enquiries@thenationaltrust.org.uk”

“And just tell people, that these most middle-england of organisations are behind the renewables revolution, and they are right!”

One reply on “The Wild and Windy Moors”

Jo,

I read your article with interest, especially that the major conservation bodies you mention now offer qualified support to renewable energy, including onshore windfarms.

You mention the Nuclear Power National Policy Statement (NPS) and suggest that its existence implies that the government is counting nuclear power as renewable energy. I don’t think that’s the case. When the Nuclear Power NPS is published this autumn it will be accompanied by a separate Renewable Energy NPS, which will deal with your ‘real renewables’. There should be plenty of opportunity to comment on both of these when they come out.

Regards

Angus Walker

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