Farmers are signing up to “plant” rows of mini-wind turbines in their hedgerows and on wasteland as part of an innovative new project to harness wind power without the usual objections over “unsightliness”. Personally I think that large wind turbines look graceful and beautiful on the horizon and account some of this opinion to the fact that I know that they are making good, renewable energy. But the issue of erecting these large structures has divided communities and remains one of the biggest obstacles to the development of wind power in the UK.
Scottish renewables company Proven Energy are now paying farmers to “plant” rows of 15-metre high wind turbines as part of a scheme that they have christened “windcrofting”, where the power generated is sold to the national grid. In an interview with edie, Gordon Proven of Proven Energy said, “We already have nearly 1000 machines across the country and people in general don’t object to them because they’re so small. By the time you’ve got a hundred yards or so away they disappear. What we are trying to do is produce the same sort of power of a big wind farm but with smaller machines, and plant them most usually in hedges on farms.” It is important to note that farmers are not losing any productive land because these turbines are planted mainly in hedgerows.
The company has already signed up 30 farmers, with much interest coming from the Devon and Cornwall area, and with publicity for the project starting to get around, they hope that this will be the next big thing in renewable energy in the UK. Gorden Proven believes that this project has enormous potential, and if every farm in the UK “planted” just one of these wind turbines, Proven Energy could be providing 50% of Britain’s electricity requirements.