Energy Minister Mike O'Brien yesterday singled out the
South West peninsula for having huge potential for wave energy
Mr O'Brien voiced his enthusiasm
for the Wave Hub project off the north coast of Cornwall which would
harness the power of the sea to produce electricity. The hub would act as
a socket into which wave power turbines will connect, allowing the
electricity they generate to be transferred back to shore through cabling
along the seabed.
He said it could have a significant role in the
development of marine technologies in the region and throughout the UK.
Speaking at the Renewables Futures Conference in Plymouth, Mr O'Brien
said: "The South West is blessed with having one of the best marine
resources in the world. Since last year, the region has had its own unique
marine initiative - the Wave Hub project. If the business case is made, we
will support the project.
"Earlier this year, the Government
announced a new Marine Renewables Deployment Fund, worth up to £50
million, to help the wave and tidal industry in the UK. We have already
spent £15 million on research and development over the past five years and
with the additional £50 million we have a real opportunity to kick-start
this new industry."
Matthew Spencer, chief executive of the South
West Renewable Energy Agency (Regen), said: "If we pull the funding of
this project we believe we can help the UK win the international race to
commercialise wave energy."
|VILLAGERS DENIED TURBINES
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11:00 - 17 November
Angry villagers have been told they will not be
allowed to have a technical expert representing them at an upcoming
meeting about controversial plans to build three 100-metre high wind
turbines. Residents from Goveton, in the South Hams, say the
situation is "unsatisfactory".
hoped an expert from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)
could attend the meeting on November 25 to give a short
Representatives from Npower will be discussing
their plans for the giant turbines - earmarked for land near Goveton
- at the meeting but residents say they will now not have an expert
to quiz officials from the power group.
They fear they will
not have an opportunity to quiz officials about the proposals, which
they claim will be a blight on the landscape.
Ranwell said: "We seem to have reached a totally unsatisfactory
"I'm very concerned that people will Npower and
South Hams District Council.
"It seems to me that local
democracy is under threat.
"But we will still have a
technical expert at the meeting."
Dave Mitchell, from South
Hams Opposed to Unsightly Turbines (SHOUT) said that residents were
"very unhappy" that they would not be represented by an expert at
Ernest Fleck, chairman of Buckland-tout-Saints
Parish council, confirmed the meeting would solely be for
He said it was just for residents of
Buckland-tout-Saints, East Allington and Woodleigh, and added that
no outside experts would be allowed to speak.
He said that
because of the strength of feeling among residents, it may be
necessary to have another more widescale meeting.
"We're concerned about numbers attending the meeting.
want to really make it a parishioners meeting so we can get a
feeling from them.
"If we have formal presentations from one
side arguing the principles and justifications then we would need
the counter argument and it could become a very technical
"If it becomes necessary, we may have to consider a
bigger more widespread meeting.
"But we always set out for
this meeting to be so we could get the local views and impact on
Tomorrow, Western Morning News readers in the
South Hams area will be given the opportunity to sign a special
petition in the newspaper against wind turbines near
Our petition, which will be launched together with a
full colour protest poster, gives residents the chance to make their
objections known about the proposals.
The initial results of
the petition will be presented at the meeting at East Allington at
7pm on November 25.
|YOU'LL HAVE WIND
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11:00 - 17
|The Energy Minister Mike O'Brien yesterday
signalled the Government's determination to push ahead with
on-shore wind power in the Westcountry despite growing
protests in rural communities.|
told a conference in Plymouth that "in the case of the South
West, wind will make a significant contribution" to hitting
Government targets of producing renewable energy.
comments came a year after his predecessor as minister,
Stephen Timms, provoked a backlash in the countryside by
telling windfarm companies to "go out and build".
then there has been a spate of applications for massive wind
turbines in Devon and Cornwall. The policy has come under
attack from campaigners who claim large areas of the rural
Westcountry could be despoiled for no worthwhile reductions in
the carbon emissions that produce global warming. And it has
come under fire from the Tory leader, Michael Howard, who told
the WMN he believed new planning rules "reduced the say of
local people in deciding whether these giant windfarms should
But Mr O'Brien insisted: "To say we should
not be developing wind is to say we are effectively conceding
that we will not hit our 2010 targets (on producing ten per
cent of electricity from