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Wind people in Wales believe wind farms are necessary
Posted by on 2005-06-16 13:35:09
contributed by gfoat

Three-quarters of people in Wales believe wind farms are necessary, says new poll. Celebrities and local people call upon Welsh public to support the launch of the Embrace the Revolution wind campaign. A new survey conducted by NOP World revealed today that three-quarters of people in Wales (75%) agree that wind farms are necessary to help meet the country’s current and future energy needs. The survey highlights the growing support for wind energy as Cefn Croes near Aberystwyth, the most powerful wind farm in the UK, is officially commissioned bringing the total wind power operating in the UK to over 1000 megawatts (MW).




The popular support for wind energy was unveiled at the Welsh launch of Embrace the Revolution by the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), which gives a voice to the silent majority of people who back wind power, but whose voices are rarely heard.

Welsh ITV weather presenter Sian Lloyd who has supported Embrace the Revolution campaign for a number of months, added her voice to the Welsh launch for wind power, saying: “These positive results show that the people of Wales are thinking clearly about the future of the planet and I am proud to be one of them. With the most powerful wind farm in the UK opening today, Wales is already making a significant contribution to providing the UK with a safe, efficient source of renewable energy.”


The poll results challenge anti-wind myths put out by a vocal minority movement against wind power.

Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport and Energy Minister said: “This is an important day for the renewable energy sector in Wales. Not only have we witnessed the opening of the most powerful wind farm in the UK, capable of providing clean electricity for over 40,000 homes every year, but we have again seen that the overwhelming majority of people in Wales recognise the importance of wind energy as part of our future energy mix.”

Former BBC broadcaster and Chairman of Wales Quality Centre, Vincent Kane OBE, said: “I believe wind is a viable source of renewable energy and if we are serious about climate change we need more not less renewables. Wales has the potential to make a significant contribution. If it is properly sited, carefully managed, and local communities are involved wind is good, green and guilt free. I think we should go for it.”

Other findings of the poll, which interviewed 500 people in regions across Wales, revealed that:


· Over half of Welsh people (54%) agree that wind farms are necessary to produce renewable energy and that what they look like is unimportant

· Significantly more Welsh people (50%) supported the idea of having a wind farm in their local area than were against (35%);

· Over three-quarters (77%) of people in Wales support the idea of individual households in Wales generating some or all of their own power using wind energy


Falck Renewables, the developer of Cefn Croes wind farm, UK Managing Director Willie Heller said, "The launch of the Embrace the Revolution campaign coincides with today's official opening of our Cefn Croes wind farm, which will make a large contribution to reaching the renewable energy targets of the Welsh Assembly Government. It is reassuring to know that the majority of people in Wales support wind farms as a way of meeting our current and future energy needs, and as a means of tackling climate change.


Sian Lloyd and Vincent Kane joined other champions for the Embrace the Revolution campaign including architect Lord Foster and TV presenters Chris Tarrant and Kevin McCloud.

Local Welsh people such as Anne Waller, whose business in Prestatyn is situated next to the North Hoyle offshore wind farm, have also supported Embrace the Revolution. Anne said: “The North Hoyle offshore wind farm has really added something special to Prestatyn as a tourist destination. Visitors love to look out to sea and watch the wind farm, and locals are fascinated by them. We have a unique new landmark! Local fishermen are particularly excited by the crustaceans on the base of the wind turbines which have attracted new fish life. I’m most impressed by how safe the wind farm is. It produces no harmful emissions and doesn’t need energy to deliver energy – just the power of the wind. We need to protect our planet and our local wind farm is doing just that.”

Lavinia Isaac, who lives 2 miles from the Llangwyryfon wind farm in Ceredigion said: “ I have lived near the Llangwyryfon wind farm for 5 years and can see the turbines from my front room. I find them beautiful to look at. To get our energy from this wonderful wind source is nature’s way of answering our energy needs.”

Swansea resident Roger Knight said: “As a resident in Swansea I regularly pass the Taff Ely wind farm which is visible from the M4 near Bridgend. I was fascinated by its moving vanes which could be seen from my son’s house when he lived in Llanharan. I am a supporter of wind energy as the most developed of our renewable energy sources, and want to see it supplemented by other renewable energy sources, such as tidal power, as and when they become commercially viable. I am also a keen advocate of energy efficiency as this is often a highly cost effective way of improving sustainability. My interest is in the welfare of future generations in this country and making our planet a cleaner and safer place for my, and other peoples, grandchildren.”

Marcus Rand, Chief Executive of the British Wind Energy Association, said: “Wind power is essential for us to meet our renewable and climate targets and develop new industrial opportunities for Wales. Wind power is the most economically viable renewable energy technology available today and this opinion poll, like so many others, shows that it is being developed with the support of the vast majority of people in Wales and the rest of the UK.”

The Embrace the Revolution campaign is supported by a series of striking wind farm photography images, taken by the leading agency MagnumPhotos.

Welsh people can pledge support for wind at www.embracewind.com/wales The website is also a factual source of information on wind power.



Notes


· The poll was conducted on behalf of the British Wind Energy Association by NOP World. Sample size: 500. Fieldwork dates: 16-22 May 2005. Methodology: telephone interviews.

· Interviews are available with:

o Alison Hill, Head of Communications, British Wind Energy Association (contact directly on 020 7689 1966 / 07956 859749 / alison@bwea.com)

o Sian Lloyd, ITV weather presenter

o Vincent Kane OBE, former broadcaster and Chairman of Wales Quality Centre

o Anne Waller, local champion and business owner in Prestatyn, by the North Hoyle offshore wind farm

· Additional documents include:

o An information sheet on the 19 wind farms in Wales that together generate the equivalent annual electricity needs for over 200,000 households. This is equal to the amount of electricity needed for every homes in Cardiff, Anglesey and Conwy combined.

o A regional breakdown of the poll results

o Myths and facts related to wind energy

· The Cefn Croes wind farm, near Devil’s Bridge in Ceredigion, is the most powerful wind farm to be commissioned to date in the UK. The 39 turbine 58.5 megawatt project cost £50 million to develop and is owned by Falck Renewables Limited, a leading European developer of wind projects and a subsidiary of the Falck Group based in Milan. It is operated by Cambrian Wind Energy, a subsidiary of Falck Renewables, and was developed by the Renewable Development Company (RDC). Cefn Croes will supply power for 42,000 homes in Wales each year - more than all the households in nearby Aberystwyth. For further information contact Wynford Emanuel or Rachael Mullins at Warwick Emanuel on 02920 555 505.

· For further information on the progress of the UK wind industry, including more details on the 1,000 megawatts of wind power now installed see www.bwea.com/media/news/1000.html





 
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