Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Off-shore wind - what's not to like?

Kudos to Britain for giving the go-ahead to two huge new off-shore windfarms off its windy east coast, enough to power over a million households within a couple of years. Little visual impact; no irate farmers or tourists; clean, serviceable power; short construction timescale - what's not to like?
There will of course always be detractors, whatever plans are hatched to alleviate our power problems, but this has to be one of the least reprehensible solutions. As for the usual argument trotted out by opponents of wind power, that it can't possibly supply all our needs, I don't think that anyone has ever claimed this. But it certainly can and should be a part of a sensible power generation policy. It may not be the cheapest method available either, but that is something we will have to get used to - as we have already seen to our cost, cheap is not always good.
At least the Brtitish government, whatever my overall opinions on Mr Blair and Co, have recognized the need to make some serious moves now, as opposed to in ten years time or after "more studies".
Take note, Canada: the studies have been done, the results are in, and someone out there is actually willing to put their money where their mouth is. Instead of being in the environmental vanguard (with all the potential economic advantages of being an innovator in what will undoubtedly become one of the most important sectors of the world economy), we are in danger of being relegated permanently to pariah status. Time to make a stand.

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