We need a bigger say on turbines

John Tait asks why other countries ‘will not follow suit’ in developing wind power (letters, July 26).

Britain has 6,500 megawatts of installed wind power capacity while Germany has 29,000 megawatts, the US has 48,000 megawatts and China has 62,000 megawatts.

Why are these dynamic economic superpowers, all with very different political outlooks, taking up wind power on a massive scale if it really is as inefficient as its critics claim?

There is considerable support for wind power in Germany because local communities are deeply involved in the siting, management and financial benefits of the turbines. It is Britain’s so-called ‘free-market’ approach, with all of the benefits going to corporations, bankers and a few landowners while local people are largely ignored, which is the real problem.

The crass planning and location of windfarms in Britain has been both undemocratic and tragically divisive, but at least retired turbines will be easily removed and are a less awful legacy than the pit heaps which our noble coal-baron families left for the taxpayer to clean up, or the 10,000 years of lethal toxicity sitting upwind of us at Sellafield.

My real fear is that in expressing very justifiable local concerns about the siting of turbines in sensitive and beautiful places people end up burying their heads in the sand over the huge challenges of climate change and energy security which threaten us all.

Aidan Harrison