UK Wind Industry Turns to Bribery as it Fails to “Win Brit’s Hearts & Minds”


When the “love” runs out, there’s always a fat pile of someone else’s cash!


Ministers accused of trying to ‘buy off’ local discontent on wind farms
Western Morning News
Phil Goodwin
12 October 2014

Landscape campaigners have described the latest Government moves to help communities obtain financial benefits from wind farms as a guide to bribery.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has set out new standards for wind energy schemes to work with local communities.

The guidance, written by the industry body Regen South West, focuses on how communities can best obtain and use cash funds of up to £5,000 per megawatt (MW).

Opponents of turbines say windfalls under the new rules – worth £1.1 million over the life cycle of a large project up for decision in Cornwall later this month – are simply designed to “buy off” local discontent.

Campaign group Cornwall Protect said the only way the Government can achieve its renewable energy targets is to “extend the gravy train beyond developers and landowners to communities”.

Spokesman Danny Mageean said there was a danger that so-called community leaders may be keen to win “brownie points” even if they live “at the other end of the village”.

“I live five hundred metres from a 77-metre turbine so I know the problems, and I don’t think giving our parish council a few thousand would compensate for the devaluing of our property and the noise,” he added.

Ministers unveiled a raft of measures last year in response to growing anger in the rural Conservative heartlands at turbines and solar farms.

The new guidance was billed as giving more protection to the landscape and a stronger voice to locals who opposed unpopular renewable energy schemes.

In addition, the recommended community benefit package in England was increased fivefold from £1,000 per MW of installed capacity to £5,000 per MW.

DECC has published the guidance on how wind schemes should work with communities, calling for partnerships between the two.

It gives examples of different ways in which funds and other investments by developers have been used by local groups, from the provision of care services to mountain bike trails.

The guidance is expected to be followed shortly be a community “right to invest” in new renewable energy projects that will also apply to solar schemes.

Jodie Giles, communities project manager at Regen South West, authors of the document, said “We are delighted that more communities are getting involved with sustainable energy, and in particular onshore wind projects – one of the most efficient and cost effective renewables technologies available.”

Examples of how benefits have been used will soon be recorded on DECC’s new community benefits register for England.

This month, a decision will be made on plans for one of the biggest wind farms in the region – 11 turbines producing 25MW at Week St Mary in Cornwall.

Developers Good Energy are proposing a fund of £2,000 per MW, totalling more than £44,000 a year for the life of the project, available to people living within three miles of the plant.

A local electricity tariff scheme is also proposed, offering discount for locals living within the three-mile radius who sign up to receive electricity from the scheme.

The firm is also exploring the possibility of the community owning one of the turbines.

Bob Barfoot, a member of the CPRE in Devon and a planning expert who has helped prepare a report from the group Communities Against Rural Exploitation (CARE) for the planning meeting on October 23, said community benefits cannot be taken into account by councillors.

He says this point has been made by a number of planning inspectors in recent appeals, including a decision this June to uphold the refusal of a 77-metre turbine at Ladock.

In dismissing the appeal, planning inspector Paul Jackson said plans to generate about a third of the parish’s annual electricity demand were “a laudable aim”

“However, as planning permission for the scheme was refused on landscape and visual amenity grounds, which remain the main concerns, it is unclear how the intended community benefits could make it acceptable,” he added.

Environment campaigner Jeremy Varcoe, of North Cornwall, said it was wrong to lavish cash on the girl guides rather than affected locals.

“What’s so unfair is the money goes to people not affected – rather than those whose lives are blighted by the turbines – it is little more than a bribe to the local parish or town council,” he added.

“It is a dishonest device to buy off the increasing resentment among people who are against these developments. Strictly speaking community benefits are not a material planning consideration but there is no doubt that the promise of large amounts of money has affected the decision of committees and council case officers.”
Western Morning News

As community and political opposition to the great wind power fraud rolls and builds across the world, the charge that opponents are red-necked climate change deniers, infected with a dose of Not In My Backyard syndrome, starts to ring hollow.

Sprinkling a little cash – like confetti at a wedding – isn’t going to overcome the fact that anyone with an interest in the roll-out of giant fans – which obviously includes those in impacted and threatened communities – is alive to the scale and scope of the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time (see our post here).

The level of anger is palpable and has already erupted with community defenders toppling MET masts in Scotland (see our post here); and sabotaging turbines and construction equipment in Ontario (see our post here).

True it is that everyone has a “price”. But not everyone is ready to sell their souls.


About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Tie me kangaroo down says:

    Like a paedophile ring plying their victims with presents and toys, the wind industry wont stop their abuse until they face independant judicial and scientific investigation and are held accountable for their crimes.

    Communities neighours and hosts around the world are being groomed by baubles, gifts and fine legal print. And insiders and acousticians in the industry know that the abuse is ongoing. It was first exposed by the Kelley/NASA acoustic research of the 1980’s, then quietly and conveniently buried, lest it expose their dirty little secret of toxic acoustic pollution, and get in the way of development and exploitation by international industrial giants like GE, Siemens, Vestas and others who are happy to screw the citizenry in the name of profit and greed.

    Governments know the abuse is happening but have failed to act because they are in bed with the perpertrators of the abuse.
    The Greens delude themselves that it is for “the purification of the planet”, and vigorously offer the ecofascist salute.

    Their time is running out. Some governments and parliaments are finding the courage to question the deception of a technology that is both environmentally, financially and morally unsustainable.

    The Rolf Harris/Bill Cosby finale is building for an industry performing a Green charade, an environmental lie, an obscene abuse of citizen and human rights.

  2. Not to mention the wind industry’s …so-called…”Good Neighbor Agreements”….which offer a few thousand per year for the local residents to be silent about their complaints…I know this first hand….This deal was offered to me and most of my neighbors….many of them took the money and now are silent about the problems they must live with day after day….This is a sick reality….and our government’s turn a blind eye to this deal making …and I would definitely call this “Bribery” but they (our governments) call it…..LEGAL….!!!???….WHY….I tell you why…BIG MONEY..!!

  3. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    What use will these bribes be when there is no community left? When everyone has either sold up or just left to try and find a place where they can live in peace and health. Money buys a lot but it cannot buy a clear conscience.

    If these turbines were as wonderful as they are said to be why is it bribes need to be offered to get people to accept them?

    If those already living with them are so unhappy why do others think money will make them acceptable to them their families and communities?

    The offering of money is the last straw for this industry they have tried everything else – lies, deceit, infiltration of Governments and approving authorities, sweetening their ‘chosen’ academics and other ‘experts’ but THEY HAVE NOT WON the battle of the hearts and minds of those who they determine will be neighbours to their shafts of destruction.

    Money is all they are concerned with and it must be galling for them to have to hand it out rather than simply banking what they have not earned.

  4. Scum bags will do any thing to put their fans up. They will not tell the truth about the corrupt fans.

  5. Community funding is little more than bribery, the offer of jobs the dangling carrot. Recipients are silenced against negative comments about IWP’s. This soulless bribery in Australia could well be funded not with equity or profits but through the bottomless free government subsidies and funding these companies get. I would prefer community funding from the Government directly to community services and without the soulless turbine logos plastered over the town.

    Selecting a few community figures to help in decision-making and distribution of funds assists the company profile and community consultation requirements; provides free promotion and support for their company and makes them appear blameless on who gets chosen to receive funding or not. In our area it’s only sustainable type projects or activities that may apply or have a chance to be selected for a ‘donation’. Struggling groups quickly apply for funding in small communities.

    If the renewable industry goes belly up or the subsidies dry up are people likely to then speak out about the horror of turbines inflicted on their towns or communities? Is it worth not being able to speak out just for a few thousand dollars for heating or money to plant trees or put in (un) sustainable products? Is it worth the blight on the landscape or on land values or on peoples health? Do any of our local representatives think not everything is open for business? Is there a limit to the price we pay in costs to our health, our heritage our landscapes or land values?

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