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It's one thing that such cncerns exit, but just how widespread are they in the population really? A problem in Britain has always been that a loud anti-wind minority has been assumed to represent a silent majority. Do you have a French poll on the subject?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 01:15:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For example, a recent poll on "spoiled landscape":

Holiday plans affected by windfarms - Environment - Scotsman.com

A total of 80 per cent of people in the UK - and 83 per cent of Scots surveyed - said the presence of a wind farm would not affect their decision about where to stay when on a holiday or short break in Britain.

When asked if wind farms spoiled the look of the countryside, 52.1 per cent of people in both Scotland and across the UK disagreed, with a further 29.3 per cent in the UK and 28.3 per cent of Scots saying they neither agreed nor disagreed.

Only 18.7 per cent in the UK and 19.6 per cent of Scots said wind farms did spoil the look of the countryside.

The most in-depth poll I saw which focused specifically on local opinion, was also from Scotland nine years ago, and found that people closest to the wind farms are the most supportive:

Public Attitudes to Windfarms: A Survey of Local Residents in Scotland

  • People living close to windfarms (within 20 km) like the areas they live in, mentioning the peacefulness (28%), scenery (26%), rural isolation (23%) and friendly people (20%) as particular strengths. When asked to say what the shortcomings are, most commonly mentioned are a lack of amenities (20%), poor public transport (18%), and lack of jobs (8%). Just five people (0.3%) spontaneously mention windfarms as a negative aspect of their area.

  • Three times the number of residents say that their local windfarm has had a broadly positive impact on the area (20%) than say that it has had a negative impact (7%). Most (73%) feel that it has had neither a positive nor negative impact, or expressed no opinion.

  • People who lived in their homes before the site was developed say that, in advance of the windfarm development, they thought that problems might be caused by its impact on the landscape (27%), traffic during construction (19%) and noise during construction (15%). However, only 12% say the landscape has been spoiled, 6% say there were problems with additional traffic, and 4% say there was noise or disturbance from traffic during construction.

  • ...People living closest to the windfarms tend to be most positive about them (44% of those living within 5km say the windfarm has had a positive impact, compared with 16% of those living 10-20km away). They are also most supportive of expansion of the sites (65% of those in the 5km zone support 50% expansion, compared with 53% of those in the 10-20km zone).

  • Similarly, those who most frequently see the windfarms in their day-to-day lives tend to be most favourable towards them (33% of those who see the turbines all the time or frequently say the windfarms have had a positive impact on the area, while 18% of those who only see them occasionally say the same).



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 01:36:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't cite a poll offhand, but I have personal knowledge of a groundswell of opposition to windmills in rural areas of SW France and in the Mediterranean coastal strip of Languedoc (flat, uninspiring landscape for the most part). I know people in hilly country who are undoubtedly "green-minded" who are passionately determined to prevent skyline wind projects (and they are succeeding). And the coastal opposition seems to veer towards threats of violence and sabotage (I have seen roadside graffiti threatening the "wind lobbyists" with the "rising anger" of the people).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 03:01:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  • Can you say if this is the case of a loud minority or a wider majority?
  • How much connection is there to the UK? Merely import of rhetoric, or organisational connections?
  • How much involved are farmers in wind projects in that region? Not at all, they only lease land, or are given shares in projects, or are there even community projects fully owned by locals?
  • Is your sample big enough to differentiate public opinion in areas where there are windmills already and areas without?


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 03:42:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I'm not running a poll organisation... ;)

On the first question, I have been surprised by the number of people I've heard express fairly virulent anti-wind opinions. And the movement is wide enough to stop local projects not far from where I live.

I'm aware of no connection with the UK. This movement (as far as I can make out) is endogenous. It took off from the coastal areas.

Afaik farmers (as such) are not so much involved in the hill projects - landowners may be. They can lease and pick up rent. In some cases they can build their own projects (possibly after having bought land for the purpose). But there are also local-authority projects (one of which, locally, see above, is not going to see the light of day because of widespread opposition).

The more you go towards the Med coast, the more built projects there are, and the more virulent the opposition.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 03:54:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In hilly area, the place to put wind farms is on the crests. And it's also on those crests that the hiking trails go through... hiking trails that provide most if not all of the non-agriculture local business. And hiking on a path transformed into an industrial-strength dirt road for the purpose of building wind mills is not as romantic as on a smaller path !  (not to mention hiking while the windmills are being built).

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 10:08:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In hilly areas in Appalachia, the working alternative is to blow the crests sky high in mountain top removal coal mining.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 05:42:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No coal has been mined in France for 20 years... And also, there are alternative places to put windmills such as offshore or the Rhône valley which is thoroughly industrialised and has a reasonable wind resource.

The Massif Central is more densely populated than Appalachia, also.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 08:29:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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