The crazy world of energy prices and energy demand is really creating a lot of confusion in the offices of those in charge of our energy strategy. As a nation we’re required to produce higher percentages of renewable energy and depending upon your circumstances this can be achieved by throwing up serried ranks of wind turbines or, in our region, farmers are very keen to grow biofuel crops to generate electricity. Whatever the source, there is no doubt that producing cheap power is far more important than conserving or reducing our wastage of electricity. In general, we show scant regard for the cost and this can be demonstrated by the number of people who can’t be bothered to switch suppliers to save literally hundreds of pounds44 every year. We simply don’t care how much we use or what it might be doing to the planet and whether you are interested in saving the earth or saving money it seems ludicrous that we just remain in some sort of stupor when it comes to sorting out a better or greener deal.
In the meantime, if you can drag yourself away from your TV screens you may have noticed that the skyline and the fieldscapes outside have altered dramatically as our countryside has turned into an industrial power station generating electricity provided by thousands of hectares of maize and rows of hideous metal windmills dotted from coast to coast obliterating landscapes and ruining views that have remained unchanged for millennia. This, apparently, is “green” energy and provided you turn a blind eye to the massive carbon footprint created when building turbines and overlook the need for tractors to burn vast amounts of fossil fuel to farm the maize or the tonnes of chemicals needed to keep it healthy, you could possibly see how it might be classed as renewable….just.
Although cheap electricity is no vote winner, the minute we lose power we panic and a panicking electorate lashes out at whoever’s in charge. So politicos like to keep the electrons flowing.
If electricity was four times the current price and a light bulb was costing a £1 an hour to run, do you think you’d cut the number burning in empty rooms? Canary Wharf certainly wouldn’t be lit up like a Christmas tree 24/7 and the street lamps would probably get turned off at midnight!
Until we have more respect for what happens when the light switches get casually flipped to the ‘on’ position we will continue to see the proliferation of these hideous wind turbine “ghettos” plastered across our countryside and out into the Wash. The objectors in Swaffham and Terrington St Clement and Clenchwarton deserve your sympathy and need your support in their fight to stop these metal eyesores, but until somebody accepts that our chronic wasting of electricity has to be controlled, I fear that eventually you won’t be able to see anything but relentlessly whirling shrines to our greed and our politicians’ half-hearted nod to the global warming menace.