For 7 years I have opposed the desecration of mid Wales by wind turbines, and the horrible infrastructure needed to support them. The appalling threat remains, though I do think some in Government are beginning to understand just what madness it is. But opposition, no matter how ferocious is not enough to win on its own. The Coalition Gov't is (rightly in my opinion) committed to reducing carbon emissions, and (wrongly in my opinion) see onshore wind turbines as the way to achieve it.. Opponents of onshore wind have a responsibility to encourage alternatives.
The main argument has been about nuclear energy. This debate is over. There is widespread agreement that a new generation of nuclear power stations is inevitable. Government has given them the green light. It may be that there will be an energy gap as we approach 2020, but I suspect this is much exaggerated, particularly since the economy is unlikely to return to significant growth for a while yet. Whatever, the debate about nuclear is over. Its going to happen.
But what else. Not enough to look at solar, biomass, aerobic digestion or micro generation etc. They must all be supported, but they are not going to make a huge difference. The 'Green Deal' is a great idea, which I greatly support - but there's a bit to go until we can be confident it will be a game changer.
Which brings me to 'tidal' and 'shale gas'. There seems to be renewed interest in a Severn Barrage, which would produce about 5% of the UK's needs. Its early days, but we should be giving every support to Corlan Hafren which is 'rumoured' to be working on a scheme. Such a scheme will not be popular because of the inevitable disruption and dislocation it will cause. Many years ago I was opposed (as I was to nuclear power) but its not possible to support carbon reduction as a principle without accepting there are consequences. There has also been disappointing progress on the development of lagoons. Gov'ts have been content to stick up a few wind mills so that it looks as if they are doing something, while spinning us into an energy disaster.
And so little urgency is being invested in shale gas, which has so transformed the energy market in the US, that there is prospects of it being exported. Of course we have to establish that 'fracking' does not lead to damaging subsidence - but there is just no urgency. If as much effort had gone into developing energy alternatives, as has gone into forcing destruction on rural Britain with wind farms, we would not have a Secretary of State at DECC wanting to destroy the mid Wales that we know and love.