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[英伦广角] 2015-05-02 英国独立党反对风力发电

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A short boat trip from the Kent coast and you'll find them --the holy green grail to some but an inefficient blight to others. The Thanet wind farm with 100 giant turbines is one of the world's biggest offshore fields,dwarfing our eleven-meter boat.

“This entire wind farm generates enough electricity for 200,000 homes every year. But for Nigel Farage, the business of winds generates something else, political support for UK.”

He is trying to harness the kind of concern we saw at this wind farm exhibition on the isle of green.

"The noise does matter."

Estuary Energy wants to site two turbines on the whole peninsular Kent. They are trying to convince residents not to block the project.

"You always need a balance. You are always going to need hydro. You are gonna need off shore wind, perhaps tidal, some nuclear, some gas. But onshore wind is the most economically viable way of developing renewable energy resource and UK's got a lot of it."

"This is about wind farms.”

“Aha, I have to control my language here."

For a party with little grass root organization, UKIP has been quick to take political advantage of this potential pool of support, helping to organize protests adding a dash of purple proceedings.

"Let me tell you something: If wind energy worked, if it produced reliable electricity, if it didn’t need to be subsided, if the poor weren’t subsiding the rich to make it work, I’d be all for it. I would even accept how ugly they are. But it does not work.  It's one of the greatest follies I've seen.”

So UKIP is tying the issue not just to mimbyism but corporate greed and EU subsidies, while siphoning away Tory climate change skeptics perturbed by Cameron's Habahasky approach.

"A lot of UK voters would prefer that we still were in the 1950s, without too much housing, without too many wind farms. And the whole issue of climate change and the environmental issue, absolutely feeds in tonight Farage's narrative."

But the wind industry is booming, helping the UK towards its 15% renewable energy target by 2020. But particularly onshore turbines have presented UK with an opportunity, injecting itself into often bitter planning disputes blowing around the country.

Robert Nisbet, Sky News, Kent.
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