Restrictions on wind farms and other renewable energy projects have been relaxed by the government in a bid to meet electricity targets.
Protesters say wind farms are a scar on the landscape
Ministers issued new planning guidance making it easier for developers to get renewable energy projects approved.
By 2010 10% of the UK's electricity must come from renewable sources, including wind, solar and tidal energy.
Protesters claim wind farms scar the landscape but councils have now been told to "promote" renewable energy.
Wind farms have proved particularly controversial, with applications taking a year to be determined and about half being turned down.
Last week a Lincolnshire district council rejected an application to build ten 100m-high wind turbines in the face of strong local opposition.
The Conservatives have proposed tightening planning rules and accused the government of ignoring residents concerns.
The new guidance replaces planning rules dating back to 1993 before the government embarked on its renewable energy drive.
It opens the way for renewable energy projects to be built across the English countryside as long as there is no significant detriment to the local environment.
It also allows councils to set requirements for new developments to use renewable energy.
Planning Minister Keith Hill said: "The development of a broad range of renewable energy resources is vital in our fight against global warming and climate change."
He said he expected wind farms to supply the most energy but tidal and solar technology, such as solar panels on the sides of buildings, could also be used.
The British Wind Energy Association said the guidance was a "vital stepping stone" in ensuring a clean, green future.
But Andrea Davies of the Campaign to Protect Rural England said it did not "provide adequate environmental safeguards to protect local landscapes, wildlife and the wider countryside".