Friday, 21 August 2009

Another reason why we need an integrated environment policy

There was a recent article in the Guardian which mentioned that a wind farm built on top of a peat bog might actually contribute carbon to the atmosphere as the carbon stored in the peat would be released into the atmosphere (they were talking about large developments in Shetland and Caithness). This reminds me of a bit in an article I wrote three years ago for Renewable Energy World magazine which mentioned this very fact. 

Indeed, I look at this as simply one more example of the urgent need for a comprehensive and integrated climate change and renewable energy policy, incorporating planning, energy, transport, biodiversity, fisheries etc.... Such a policy is obviously a huge task, but the first thing we need to realise is that we cannot be lassaiz-faire about this. It will not work. The market is great at generating efficiency in a game with set rules but it cannot be left to deal with issues as important at this. We need to plan and guide our wind farms far more carefully than we are at present, never forgetting why we are doing it.


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