One of the oldest and most efficient wind farms in Britain is to be dismantled and replaced by a nuclear power station under plans drawn up by the German-owned power group RWE.
The site at Kirksanton in Cumbria – home to the Haverigg turbines – has just been approved by the government for potential atomic newbuild in a move that has infuriated the wind power industry.
Colin Palmer, founder of the Windcluster company, which owns part of the Haverigg wind farm, said he was horrified that such a plan could be considered at a time when Britain risks missing its green energy targets and after reassurance from ministers that nuclear and renewables were not incompatible.
In a masterful understatement which belies the local anger and bewilderment at the lack of early consultation, Matthew Clayton of Triodos Renewables, the company which owns three turbines on the site said:
“It’s staggering that they [ministers] don’t exclude areas that are already productive sites for renewable technologies as part of the initial screening process. It just isn’t very joined up. They’re stamping out prime wind sites with arguably a much less sustainable technology.”
Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said recently:
“A new generation of nuclear power stations will be a colossal mistake, regardless of where they are built. They are hugely expensive, dangerous and will take too long to build.
“There is a real danger that the government is becoming too close to the big energy companies. The best answer to Britain’s needs is a massive expansion of renewable energy. If billions of pounds are wasted on new nuclear sites, the money simply won’t be available to do this.”
Sign the petition against nuclear power at http://ourcampaign.org.uk/no2nuclear and encourage people you know to do the same.