Rampion Wind Farm (Environmental Journalism Awards Winner 2012)
Climate change is now an undeniable fact of life, from the drought plaguing the South East and large parts of the country to the record-breaking April rains and the floods that followed.
At the same time, the finite fossil fuels that contribute to climate change are coming under greater demand to serve the energy needs of an increasing population.
In the face of these realities, there is a growing imperative – in terms of both supply and demand – to find clean, sustainable energy supplies into the future.
As Britain is widely considered to be Europe’s windiest country, channelling that unlimited resource is becoming the aim of both environmentalists and energy companies.
Signs of that mutual objective may soon line the Brighton horizon, as E.on Climate and Renewables plans to build up to 195 wind turbines eight miles off the Sussex coast...
The methods of generating that energy from wind, however, have been controversial, largely because of the perceived impact of a rampant proliferation of turbines on surrounding countryside.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England estimates that there are currently at least 4,000 turbines either built or planned, both onshore and offshore.
Writing in its magazine earlier this month, Tom Leveridge said that while the CPRE supported onshore wind farms in principle, protecting the environment should not at the same time compromise the environment.
He said that while many areas can accommodate some impact, “some areas are, and should, remain sacrosanct, including… National Parks. These should continue to enjoy the highest levels of protection.”