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Wind power industry taking money from the poor

Published 21/12/2015

In the ongoing debate over wind farms and their detrimental effect on the countryside and the rural community, an often overlooked factor is money.

In the wind power industry, the topic of money is shrouded in secrecy.

Due to this, commentators are left to make their own estimations on how much wind farms earn based on the complicated rates and subsidies involved.

An interesting article in the Guardian, published in 2012, stated that: "The Earl of Moray is thought to get about £2m a year in rent from a 49-turbine wind farm on his Doune estate in Perthshire."

This wind farm has an installed capacity of 72MW. In comparison, the wind farm proposed for Doraville in the Sperrin Mountains will have a capacity of 115MW.

It's easy to see, then, why landowners are falling over themselves to install wind turbines - regardless of the objections of their neighbours.

What makes this even more galling is that, due to the large subsidies the wind power industry attracts, a large amount of this is paid by electricity consumers via an increase in their bills. This is felt most keenly by those who can ill afford it.

In Northern Ireland, 42% of households are in fuel poverty. According to the charity Age Sector Platform, this "... contributed to 2,390 extra winter deaths in Northern Ireland over the last four years".

The wind power industry takes money from the poor and gives it to the rich.

CHARLIE McCULLAGH

Plumbridge, Co Tyrone

Belfast Telegraph

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