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Published in: 1997
Length: 34 pages
Data source: Published sources

Abstract

In the early 1990''s wind power became the centrepiece of the UK government''s attempts to promote the use of renewable energy sources. This case study shows how the development of windpower in the UK became a political issue. Within a policy framework set by central government, wind power development in the UK became a battleground between conflicting interests and objectives. Environmentalists, landowners and developers were ranged against other environmentalists, landusers and local objectors. The national environmental objective - to produce more electricity from renewable sources - came to be challenged by local environmental considerations, mainly the concerns about the appearance on the landscape. Local planning authorities were caught in the crossfire between national objectives and local objections. This case study is therefore as much about the fundamental political issue of how a clash of competing preferences and interests can be resolved as it is about wind power. The case study provides enough material for a two-hour seminar session. The last section about the wind farm proposed at Flaight Hill in Yorkshire could be used to set up a simulation of a planning inquiry. The cae study will be useful not only in courses on environmental Politics and Environmental Management but also in British Politics courses which examine policy-making on energy and the environment, the role of pressure groups and the nature of contemporary environmentalism.

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Abstract

In the early 1990''s wind power became the centrepiece of the UK government''s attempts to promote the use of renewable energy sources. This case study shows how the development of windpower in the UK became a political issue. Within a policy framework set by central government, wind power development in the UK became a battleground between conflicting interests and objectives. Environmentalists, landowners and developers were ranged against other environmentalists, landusers and local objectors. The national environmental objective - to produce more electricity from renewable sources - came to be challenged by local environmental considerations, mainly the concerns about the appearance on the landscape. Local planning authorities were caught in the crossfire between national objectives and local objections. This case study is therefore as much about the fundamental political issue of how a clash of competing preferences and interests can be resolved as it is about wind power. The case study provides enough material for a two-hour seminar session. The last section about the wind farm proposed at Flaight Hill in Yorkshire could be used to set up a simulation of a planning inquiry. The cae study will be useful not only in courses on environmental Politics and Environmental Management but also in British Politics courses which examine policy-making on energy and the environment, the role of pressure groups and the nature of contemporary environmentalism.

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