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Ministers are fighting over wind farms, says the Telegraph



Environment secretary Owen Paterson is said to have commissioned a report into the negative effects of wind farms on the rural economy, which has been met with opposition from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The Daily Telegraph has said that energy secretary Ed Davey wanted to block the publication of the report from Paterson, who is a well-known critic of wind power.

Sources have said that the report – which is still in its early stages – would show how wind turbines and other renewable energy sources might have a negative impact on the economy in rural areas.

The Telegraph reported that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has accused DECC of being more concerned about ‘ideology’ rather than scientific evidence.

They don’t want information out there that would allow people to challenge the energy solution that they are going after”, the source told the Telegraph, which has often displayed negative views towards wind farms projects.

There has been a back-and-forth with DECC but we are doing this report. We want some hard and fast evidence about the effect of renewables on rural communities. That is well within our portfolio.”

A spokesperson for Defra said, “We need to understand the effects that different technologies have on the environment and on communities across the country. The energy report is not yet complete.”

In June, the government published new guidelines aimed to promote ‘sustainable’ wind projects, by giving more voice to communities affected by the plans. However, some feared that this would make easier for a minority of people to reject wind turbines.

Further reading:

Government plans could allow communities to reject wind farms

Government gives communities a voice in developing ‘truly sustainable’ onshore wind

Increase in support for renewable energy in government poll

Wind farm debate: have we forgotten why we’re doing this?

The Guide to Limitless Clean Energy 2013