Our goal is to avoid the damage to the countryside by encouraging a reduction in overall consumption and being more efficient with what we use. Energy companies should be encouraged to deliver energy reduction and efficiency, not simply lower prices. Energy users should be equipped with smart meters and smart grids to see how much energy they use, and selling any excess electricity back to the grid. We want to see checks on fossil fuel production, and renewable or low-carbon energy sources so that communities can produce their own electricity and heat.
CPRE’s report, ‘Generating light on Landscape Impacts’ is a helpful overview of the way that wind turbines can be constructed whilst minimising harm to the environment. In this report CPRE argues that a locally accountable, strategically planned approach which takes account of landscape capacity and steers wind development to the right places, will enable us to promote renewable energy, including some onshore wind, while protecting cherished countryside. The report builds a case for such an approach by examining how onshore wind proposals are currently being treated in the planning system. It uses local examples provided by our branch network and Planning Inspectorate appeal decisions.