There is nothing that divides a community like wind turbines, so be prepared and ready for some (hopefully not too many!) arguments. One person’s vision of progress, responsible energy generation and setting the right example for the next generation is another person’s blight on the landscape from a subsidy-grabbing monstrosity that doesn’t even work. Good community consulation ensures that the community has the facts about the project and the developer can engage with the community to demonstrate the benefits of the project and to mitigate genuine conerns.
The best defence is being well prepared by selecting sensible sites for wind development, and have your answers ready for the ‘anti wind’ brigade. Even so, the anti’s do seem to be made up of a special demographic segment of society that sometimes adopt entrenched views, so don’t feel bad if you can’t persuade them.
For selecting suitable sites use our free ‘Wind site self-assessment tool’ as a starter, and if you have some funds available you could invest in our Constraint Map Stage 1 (CM1) and Constraints Map Stage 2 (CM2) services.
None of the ‘anti’ arguments stand up to scrutiny, except for the undeniable issue of a great big wind turbine appearing in the local landscape. How much of an issue this is really depends on your viewpoint, and the majority of people in the UK find wind turbines an attractive feature in the landscape and symbolic of a community taking responsibility for its energy use.
There is a secondary argument which comes up with some wind turbine developments that the local community don’t get any financial benefit from hosting the turbine, but this certainly isn’t true for community wind projects where you see it and get the financial benefit – which can be substantial.
To counter the anti’s ‘technical’ arguments make sure you are familiar with these useful documents which address the common concerns:
Also there is a whole world of interesting information on the RenewableUK website. RenewableUK is the wind industry trade association so are not independent, though do have a good track record of only using verifiable facts in the information they provide.
Want to install a wind turbine?
If you are in the UK then take our Wind Site Self-Assessment - Step 1 of our modular Windpower Feasibility Study. It takes about 20 minutes to work through the basic checks to see if your site might be suitable, including:
- Estimating wind speed
- Checking proximity of nearby properties
- Checking site access and approach roads
- Investigating connection with the grid