The Viability Of Wind Turbines Questioned

Permaculture Magazine
Friday, 15th July 2011

Why it is important to move on with the argument and start to design our near futures now

In today's news there are further rumblings about the viability of wind turbines. Statistics have been put forward that say the amount of wind around the UK will drop over the next 40 years. It is stated that wind turbines will not provide the UK with enough power to keep our homes cool during our increasingly hot summers. 

Well, come on, is anyone saying that wind turbines will do that all by themselves? They are part of a solution, a solution built upon the idea of a redesign of many of our wasteful habits, a solution which queries some of our current expectations and desires. 

Questions are constantly asked about the role of wind turbines around the UK, making it at times a wearisome process to even consider building them. Of course questions about positioning in terms of best return, bird and marine life are vital, but it really is time to give an increasing number of these projects the green light and learn about what wind turbines can offer – not what they cannot. 

Currently, government is working with energy providers and now bird experts to understand really where the best places to place wind turbines are. You know, where permaculturists come from we call that joined-up thinking. It is positive, forward looking and 'can do'. 

Do wind turbines really look awful and sound terrible. Well, we have a young intern working in the office today, Rowan Law and he has just said "but many modern buildings look a lot worse than wind turbines". Other members of the Permaculture ( have slept beneath a wind turbine and they report that the sound can actually have a soothing quality.

There was a GREAT cartoon by the award winning cartoonist Matt (Matthew Pritchett) of The Daily Telegraph some years ago. He drew a picture of a couple with their house in country, one of them is saying to the other "thank goodness you stopped that wind farm being built", next to their house a massive nuclear reactor has been built (you can get hold of a copy of the cartoon via

Wind turbines are part of our future solutions. There are many such innovative ideas and solutions now coming to the forefront. Our media often reports with a negative voice, don't let this old, old fashioned attitude put you off finding out about possible ways forward – embrace what we can be and how we can tread lighter.