Onshore wind farms have come on in force across the UK’s countryside
Last weekend I volunteered to drive from the south-east of England up to Scotland, with a stop in the Lake District thrown in for good measure. And despite a 550 mile journey and some pretty awful food at the obligatory service stops along the way, I really enjoyed the drive. There’s something about energy coming up, I promise you.
It’s been a long time since I journeyed to Scotland by road – and the one thing that stood out for me was the incredible advancement the country has seen in the population of wind turbines, dotted around the landscape. Of course the construction of wind farms has been incentivised by the UK’s 30% target, in tandem with offshore wind and other low carbon & renewable technologies. But the gleaming white windmills peeking over almost every horizon speaks for the huge momentum in building a greener power network.
Standing on top of Black Combe in Cumbria a few days ago, it is easy to see why the population is divided in its adoration of wind power. Cumbria’s most beautiful scenery is fairly well littered with turbines – at both mountain and sea level. Add into the mix the vast Barrow offshore wind farm clearly visible across the Irish Sea, and the eye could be drawn away from the breathtaking views along the Duddon valley. A quick stroll through any of the nearby townships presents another issue – electricity generation means additional infrastructure, and the anti-pylon campaigns are out in force.
Like them or not, wind farms are here to stay. The debate rages between green energy supporters, ecologists, residents and lovers of the great outdoors; but clean energy is playing an important part in our future. It is difficult to support construction of windfarms across the beautiful scenery of the UK; but the alternatives are perhaps less desirable still.