A renewable energy company from Dorset has spoken out in support of controversial plans to build wind turbines near Silton.
Proposals to erect four wind turbines near Silton have caused controversy
Wendy Pillar and Erik Blakeley from Energize Stur Valley outlined the benefits of wind power and why the turbines should be built in a letter to The Blackmore Vale Magazine.
A public inquiry was launched into plans to build four turbines near Silton after North Dorset District Council refused planning permission for the development. Neil Pope, who headed the inquiry has stated that the findings will be announced no later than November 19.
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In the supportive letter, Blakeley and Pillar said: "There is enough wind power available in the UK to supply all of our electrical power needs many times over, enabling us to maintain our prosperity into the far future.
"Even at this early stage of their development, the UK's windmills prevent the emission of nearly two million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Wind energy is financially competitive with new clean coal-fired power stations and cheaper than new nuclear power, without the drawbacks of either."
Many locals have lodged complaints about the turbines becoming an eyesore in a very rural and quiet area.
"As for how they look, well beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder. It is often said that windmills might deter tourists, but eco-tourism is becoming big business" added Blakeley and Pillar.
"In the Brecon Beacons, which has many windmills, charging points for electric cars and bicycles are being installed to meet the needs of green tourists, and a MORI poll in Scotland showed that 80 per cent of tourists would be interested in visiting a wind farm. Some wind farms have installed viewing platforms to accommodate tourists."
Energize Stur Valley also believe the turbines would use very little land, and that land within a few metres of each tower could still be used for farming and habitats for wildlife.
The company also state there is inconclusive evidence into how turbines effect birds and bats, and even the RSPB are currently seeking planning permission for a large windmill at their headquarters.
"Dorset produces very little of its own electricity (0.0001 per cent). The government has signed up to challenging targets for carbon reduction and renewable electricity generation and it is clear that each region is expected to do its share pretty much regardless of the differing natural resources available.
"A survey by Energize Stur Valley of North Dorset residents in the summer of 2012 found that 90 per cent of those questioned thought that we should generate more of our own electricity."
With Dorset being required to produce its own energy, Energize Stur Valley believe wind power is the logical solution, with biofuel, solar panels and wave power the only reasonable alternatives - other than controversial nuclear power.
A huge offshore wind farm is being proposed by Eneco, which hope to build over 100 turbines. However, South Dorset MP Richard Drax has voiced his opposition to the plans - with Energize Stur Valley agreeing it would not be a good idea.
"Offshore wind is receiving considerable attention but the logic of it is flawed. The sea off Dorset becomes deep rapidly as you move off shore and the construction of large wind farms in deep water is much more complicated than in shallow water.
"The North and Irish Seas have vast areas of seabed better suited to offshore wind farms so why should the government or private enterprise invest in deep water wind farms near Dorset?"
"If Dorset is to generate a significant proportion of its own electricity, meet its share of the carbon reduction targets and have a case to fend off less desirable developments then modern efficient, quiet, large, land-based wind turbines are the logical answer at least for the next 20-25 years.
"A core of wind farms backed up by a mixed bag of other renewable energy sources (many of them micro-generation technologies put in place by private householders and small or medium sized businesses) could easily make Dorset self-sufficient in clean energy."