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The road to clean energy

There is an unprecedented consensus that we are headed for a world of extreme weather patterns with devastating consequences for hundreds of millions of people.

Can a climate catastrophe be avoided? The government wants the UK to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

Is that possible and, if yes, how? 

It was here, arguably, where the UK’s green revolution began, with an enterprising local farmer, Martin Edwards.

“It all started with a storm,” he says. “We lost the roof of the house and my mother said if only we could use the wind rather than be done in by it – that got me thinking.”

The next four years were spent shopping for wind turbines in Denmark, tense negotiations with the local council and overcoming a cautious rural community. In 1991, Edwards and his brother opened the UK’s first commercial wind farm.

“The locals thought we were fruitcakes,” says Edwards, “but they didn’t object too much – mostly because they didn’t really know what a wind farm would look like. No-one had ever seen one so they didn’t know what they were getting.”

The original 10 turbines have since been replaced by four bigger, better, more efficient generators of renewable energy.

Eerily beautiful to some, an eyesore to others, they emit a low hum audible only when close up. The turbines seem to turn slowly but Edwards assures me the tips of the blades are moving at over 100mph.

There are now more than 10,000 of these modern-day white windmills in the UK - 8,000 of them onshore, and 2,000 much bigger versions offshore, and the price of wind energy has plummeted since Edwards installed his first turbines.



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