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Volume 130: debated on Monday 28 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the type of sites viable for giant windmills; and what representations he has received about the extent of visual intrusion consequent upon any projected building of such windmills.

The types of site considered to be viable for medium and large-scale wind turbine generators are those having medium to high wind speeds, in open terrain and which are located sufficiently far from the nearest habitation.I have received a small number of representations from members of the public on experimental medium-sized machines currently under test.An assessment of the environmental implications and public acceptability of renewable energy sources is a key element of my Department's current research and development programme. The programme is also examining constraints on the United Kingdom's total wind energy resource that would be imposed by such environmental factors as national parks, areas designated as being of outstanding natural beauty and urban land.