Shropshire Star

I will publish windfarms report, pledges Owen Paterson

A government report into the impact of windfarms and renewable energy on the countryside will be published, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson pledged today.


Mr Paterson said work is ongoing on the study. But he said he did not wish to comment on reports today that claimed Energy Secretary Ed Davey is attempting to block its publication over fears it could include negative conclusions about renewable energy.

It is claimed the report could provide official confirmation that controversial turbines could harm rural areas.

Mr Paterson's Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs and Mr Davey's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are working together on the report.

The North Shropshire MP said today he believes in a "horses for courses" approach to renewable energy, in which the most suitable technologies are chosen for different areas.

He said in Shropshire, anaerobic digestion was working well, but the area did not appear to be as suitable for wind turbines.

"We are preparing a report on renewable technologies and the rural environment," he said.

"It is horses for courses and Shropshire is a very good example of that."

No deadline or publication date has been announced for the report.

Anger has been caused in Shropshire by plans to build wind farms in Mid Wales and route pylons through the county.

National Grid is proposing to build a 400,000 volt line to bring electricity generated at windfarms in Mid Wales into the national power network in Shropshire.

Its proposed route is from an electricity substation at Cefn Coch, west of Welshpool, via Llansanttfraid, south of Llanymynech and Oswestry to Lower Frankton, where it will join the main network.

Earlier this year, Shropshire Council approved a motion expressing "deep concerns" as to the potential "detrimental impact" on Shropshire of the plans.

A Government spokesman said: "DECC and Defra are working together on this report, which is not yet complete, to ensure that it meets the usual standards and quality assurances that you would expect from any Government publication."

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