Wind Power Policy Statement
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Wind Power Policy Statement
This is a statement of the stance that the Company takes on this issue at the time of writing. It is intended to guide Board members, staff and volunteers in their decision making and public comments, including use of email and social networking. Attention of staff members is drawn to the Company’s Communications policy.
The Company has taken climate change to be one of its main concerns since it was formed. It has carried out many awareness raising, educational and practical activities aimed at mitigating this severe threat to the Dyfi Valley, to the rest of the world and to future generations. In addition, it has begun to engage with the issue of how the area can adapt to environmental changes.
The Company is aware that the energy economy is one of the most significant factors driving climate change, and that decisions made by individuals, communities, businesses and the public sector concerning the generation and use of energy are of crucial importance.
It is noted that all forms of energy generation and use have disadvantages as well as benefits. Weighing up the social, economic and environmental aspects of different technologies and schemes is complex, and judgements inevitably are influenced by values put on factors that are culturally derived and that are different in nature. For example, landscape perception and radioactive pollution are qualitatively different to each other.
Natural resources require careful stewardship, and local communities should be active in this, with a strong influence over the judgements made.
Embedded generation is to be favoured over centralised systems (while both are necessary), since it tends to increase the resilience of communities and may be more amenable to local ownership and control.
Communities should benefit from the use of natural resources in their area, not simply in proportion to the relative financial investment they make in relevant developments, but in recognition of their stewardship of the resource and of the dis-benefits that result.
For most people, the generation of energy (especially electricity) has become divorced from its consumption. The Company believes a reconnection is desirable, to encourage consumers to appreciate the impact of their consumption. For example, in Mid Wales we use electricity from coal, oil and nuclear stations, whose operation and fuel sourcing have severe consequences for other communities.
This ought to encourage reductions in consumption of energy, which should have priority over considerations of which generation technologies to use.
The Company believes a mix of generation technologies are required.
Priority should be given to renewable energy developments over other energy technologies, for reasons related to climate change, peak oil, energy security, local responsibility and control, as outlined above, as well as their tendency to create more jobs per pound invested.
In principle, the Company supports the deployment of on-shore wind as an important component of a rational energy policy, recognising that it is one of the most mature, cost effective and available renewable energy technologies and that it reduces carbon emissions.
In practice, this positive stance has to be the starting point for an examination of the specific pros and cons of any proposal. In weighing these up, the Company will look for genuine consultation of those potentially affected, meaningful and effective responses to concerns raised, and local benefit and involvement that goes beyond establishing a small grant-giving body dominated by the developer.