• Conflicts between developers and local communities
• The role of planning
• The need for sensitive consultation and siting
New energy technologies are inevitably unfamiliar and their deployment can lead to public concern—particularly if they are perceived to have negative local impacts. This chapter presents a case study on the often heated debate over the location of wind farms in the UK. It provides an example of the need, when seeking to introduce new projects, to be sensitive to local concerns and at the same time to try to balance local environmental costs against global environmental benefits.
The UK wind farm programme, which got underway from 1990 onwards, owes its existence primarily to the non-fossil fuel cross-subsidy scheme introduced following the privatisation of the electricity supply industry.
As was noted in Chapter 7, a Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO) was imposed on the newly privatised regional electricity supply companies (RECs), requiring them to buy in set amounts of electricity from nuclear and, to a much lesser extent, renewable suppliers. In addition, a surcharge was imposed on fossil fuel electricity generation in order to meet the extra cost of using non-fossil sources, with this cost being passed on by the RECs to their customers.
Two NFFO orders were set specifically for renewables in 1990 and 1991, with in all 197 projects being offered a ‘premium’ price over and above the usual ‘pool’ price for their electricity. The structure and constraints of these NFFO orders played a major role in shaping the initial pattern of