Wind: Conservative MP calls for more community benefits to secure onshore windfarm sites
By Oliver Brooks on 6 June 2012
Tim Yeo, the chairman of the All-Party Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, has called on the Government to "bribe" communities in order to encourage them to host windfarm projects.
The MP, who has become an influential voice on energy policy, announced that the Government must "work harder to find places where wind turbines are acceptable and be more creative about sharing the benefits with locals." He added, "Frankly, we need to bribe them."
This assessment of the Government's approach to community benefits for windfarms follows the publication of a report on the need for community benefits to support major projects and wind farm developments by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which we reported on last month.
In the UK, less than 10 per cent of renewable energy is owned by individuals or communities, compared with over 65 per cent in Germany, where four times as much clean power is produced. Rainer Hinrichs-Rahwles, head of Germany's renewable energy federation, said: "The UK system excluded those people who would have to see the turbines from their financial benefits."