Villagers need solar incentives
By Mid Devon Gazette | Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 08:00
THE problem with plans for a huge 'solar farm' at Ash Thomas, is that residents get no benefit.
Solar Power Generation Ltd wants to put up 42,000 panels mounted on staging at Great Curham Farm, Ash Thomas, near Tiverton, presumably hoping to make a good profit from them.
Many residents are furious, arguing that the development will cover more than 47 acres and will be an eyesore.
This column has been much in favour of wind turbines and small-scale solar farms, but even I have my doubts about such large-scale development, especially if there is nothing in it for people living nearby.
Imagine if they were offered free electricity, or an annual payment, or a new village hall or other community facility. This would surely make the scheme more palatable.
I don't have a problem with farmland being used for the generation of renewable energy. I don't buy the 'industrialisation of the countryside' argument, as much farming has become rather industrialised, and I don't really see the aesthetic difference between giant ugly new barns and solar panels.
But other people do, so should be compensated.