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  Diss high school students quiz MP on renewable energy

Diss High School students David Blake (left) and Thomas Walne (centre) 
quiz South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon
Diss High School students David Blake (left) and Thomas Walne (centre)
quiz South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon

Two year 11 students at Diss High School, Thomas Walne and David Blake, have quizzed South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon about wind farms as part of a citizenship project.

The students interviewed Mr Bacon during his recent visit to the school.  Mr Bacon told the students that on-shore wind farms often face fierce opposition from local residents because of noise pollution and potential health problems, as well as the visual impact of industrial-scale turbines on the gentle rural landscape.  Mr Bacon added that military advice is often against the installation of wind turbines in case they interfere with radar, and that turbines can also affect radio and television signals.

 Mr Bacon said:  “Wind power on a human scale is something we have had for centuries.  But industrial-scale metal turbines are quite different.  They present all kinds of problems and I don’t think they belong in a gentle rural landscape”. 

“Developers are seeking permission now because of tax incentives which will become less favourable in future, but that’s not a reason to spoil our landscape”. 

“You cannot rely on the wind blowing when you need it. This means you still need to invest in other electricity generation capacity, which makes wind power more expensive.  I favour the development of large-scale offshore wind farms where the wind speed is far higher.

“We should also exploit tidal power much more.  This is an enormous power source and it is very predictable – we know exactly when the tide will come in and go out”.

At the end of the interview Mr Bacon gave the students a briefing paper by Alan Macdonald, a leading architect and expert in the use of computer visual representation who believes the wind farm industry has been using misleading methods of visual representation whilst seeking to obtain planning permission.

3 December 2007

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