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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Farmers told to harvest wind
Wind turbine
Landowners could be paid to have turbines on their land
Farmers and landowners are being urged to create small wind farms on their fields under a new green initiative.

They can apply to have up to three wind turbines generating electricity on their land.

Energy minister Brian Wilson launched the Windworks scheme on Tuesday in Cornwall.

The Department of Trade and Industry says it could increase farmers' incomes by 4,000 a year.

Landscape impact

The energy company, National Wind Power, is promising to help farmers and landowners seek planning consent for the giant turbines.

They have met with opposition in the past because of their impact on the landscape.

Turbine on trailer
Farmers will not pay erection costs
The company will meet the cost of buying, installing and maintaining the turbines, and pay farmers for having them on their land.

It says the scheme means farmers will not have to take financial risks themselves, at a time of uncertainty in agriculture.

Ian Johnson of the National Farmers' Union said: "It sounds like another helpful measure.

"For individual farmers looking to save every penny they could be a great boon.

"I suppose there will be some concerns about how many of the things there will be and how visible they will be."

Energy targets

Friends of the Earth spokesman Ian Willmore said: "We support efforts to encourage the development of wind power.

"But the government's targets for increasing renewable energy are still too low."

The government wants 5% of Britain's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2003, and 10% by 2010.

The current figure is 3%, with a tenth of that coming from wind energy.

Cornwall already has seven wind farms.

The newest is at Bears Down, near Newquay, where Mr Wilson launched the new scheme.

Between them, their 102 giant windmills produce enough energy to supply around 27,000 West Country homes.

In all, 880 turbines are operating in Britain - the windiest country in Europe.

See also:

10 Jul 01 | Wales
Wind farm plans scrapped
05 Apr 01 | UK Politics
UK to get 18 wind farms
07 Dec 00 | Sci/Tech
Sea wind farm sets sail
16 Nov 00 | Scotland
Making waves to generate cash
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