Join the debate: wind of change for electricity supplies?

Henry Weldon, campaigner against Sheephouse Heights wind farm, near Stocksbridge
Henry Weldon, campaigner against Sheephouse Heights wind farm, near Stocksbridge
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LOVE or loathe them, the spectre of giant wind turbines is becoming more common across the UK.

Hilly parts of South Yorkshire are among areas being chosen for the wind farms, which are among reneweable sources of electricity being developed as an alternative to ‘dirty’ fuels such as coal.

Standing out: Ulley wind farm

Standing out: Ulley wind farm

The apparently never-ending winter has thrown energy issues back into the spotlight - as large coal fired power stations are closed down due to higher taxes on the most polluting fuels.

Describing wind farms’ importance, Neil Harris, construction and operations director of REG Windpower, which has developed Loscar wind farm, near Harthill, said: “Gas prices have rocketed to record levels and because Britain imports supplies from abroad, this leaves us consumers very vulnerable to higher bills.

“At the same time, blustery conditions this miserable March have meant wind energy was powering approximately 40 per cent of the UK’s homes for a while last week and has consistently been providing a tenth of electricity this month.

“Meanwhile, latest figures from OFGEM, the official energy regulator, showed this week that wind power adds less than 3p per day to household bills.”

Neil Harris, of windfarms developer REG Power

Neil Harris, of windfarms developer REG Power

But development of new wind farms has proved unpopular with neighbouring residents in South Yorkshire due to noise and impact on the landscape.

Heavy opposition stopped plans for turbines at Sheephouse Heights, near Stocksbridge, but a new farm is currently being built at Ulley which was approved despite residents’ opposition.