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Wind power gets the thumbs up

NEARLY three-quarters of the population agree wind farms are necessary to help meet the UK's current and future energy needs, despite a vocal protest against their expansion.

Now a campaign from the British Wind Energy Association will unite those in favour of wind farms.

Communities across North and mid Wales have been split on the issue of on-shore wind farms.

Some see them as a new form of income for areas hit by falling farm prices, while others say they are unpopular, noisy and a blot on the Welsh landscape.

New offshore wind farms, such as those off Prestatyn, have also attracted controversy.

The new Embrace The Revolution campaign already has the backing of high-profile supporters from the worlds of design, architecture, music and the media.

Guy Berryman, from the band Coldplay, fashion designer Wayne Hemingway, Bishop of Liverpool the Rt Rev James Jones, London Eye architects Marks Barfield, and TV and radio presenter Chris Tarrant are among the list of wind energy champions.

Mr Tarrant said: "Wind turbines are modern-day guardian angels - a stunning addition to our rural landscape and a must if we are to move toward a future powered by green energy."

The Bishop said: "I support the development of wind energy as a vital contributor to the range of renewable sources of energy that are urgently needed to secure the well-being of the earth."

New research demonstrates strong public endorsement for wind. The findings highlight differences in opinion between those who have and have not seen a wind farm and those who have been more supportive.

* 74% agree that wind farms are necessary so that we can produce renewable energy to help us meet current and future energy needs in the UK. Only 12% disagree.

* 62% agree that wind farms are necessary to produce renewable energy - what they look like is unimportant.

* People are significantly more likely to disagree that wind farms are a blot on the landscape if they have seen them (59%) compared with those who have not (43%).

* 70% would support the development of a wind farm in their area.

Marcus Rand, chief executive of BWEA, said: "Time is running out on climate change and wind power is essential to averting its potential impacts.

"Britain has the best wind resource in Europe. It's everlasting, ready to use now.

"By embracing wind, we will increase our nation's energy security and create thousands of new jobs for Britain."

The campaign has a petition at www.embracewind.com

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