Turbines: they’re blowing in the wind all over France

Rick Jackson believes Big Ben's bongs should not be silenced

RICK JACKSON: Our las total eclipse was typically British – cloudy

0
Have your say

Last week was fairly triumphant for me, personally, not least because I’ve managed to book a holiday for me and two friends to go and help France reduce its wine lake.

It’s something we approach with seriousness, professionalism and all round good humour each year.

We use it to supplement our grape intake with a selection of local cheeses and bread.

While we’re there we’ll also take in the local sights – the cider museum is a firm favourite – while rocketing around the countryside.

The place we go is in southern Normandy, famous for its rolling hills and fields as well as its produce.

But while the casual observer may be forgiven for thinking they are still in Hampshire, look closely at the horizon and, as well as a clutch of Norman church steeples, you’ll also see wind turbines turning lazily in the breeze.

I don’t think they’re a blot on the landscape any more than those churches are.

Drive up close to them and you can’t even hear them, and I’m pretty sure my music wasn’t turned up so loud as to completely mask them.

The French have always been fairly progressive in their attitudes to energy, seeing that the country is mainly run on nuclear and renewable energy rather than relying on gas and coal.

And I like seeing groups of wind turbines, doing what they do, and helping ease the burden on fossil fuels.

Sure, they’re not the most efficient energy providers, but they’re better than being held to ransom by Russia or the Middle East every time we want to put the kettle on.

So I’m a bit dismayed to hear a planned wind farm in the sea off the coast of Dorset has attracted so many objectors.

They say the farm will be noisy, as the company behind it has miscalculated the way sound travels across water.

I wonder if that’s the real reason they don’t want it.

Might it possibly have something to do with the fact that they don’t like the look of them?

If they get their way and it’s not built and then the lights go out on them – well, then it’s time for a Gallic shrug in their direction, n’est pas?