Solar farm - what is it that the naysayers want?

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As a director of Ovesco, I know that the vast majority of local opinion favours renewable energy generation; the negative opinions that the Sussex Express has published represent only their authors.

Three letters last week expressed antipathy towards the large solar field array proposed by Vogt at Upper Stoneham Farm.

It always surprises me how vehemently some people oppose renewable energy projects on subjective and sometimes spurious grounds.

I would like to know what they actually want. Are they willing to reduce their personal energy output substantially?

I would be surprised if they did, though Britain’s CO2 reduction targets could be met by a reduction in energy use alone.

Do they then dispute the necessity for immediate and radical CO2 reduction? Not that I know of. So how do they propose to achieve it other than by means of renewable energy?

The naysayers’ main platform of opposition is that a solar farm won’t look nice. I agree. I don’t like rape fields either, which is what you normally see there.

Ideally, I would prefer a return to primary temperate forest on Upper Stoneham Farm.

That would look really nice. But that is not going to happen. What will certainly happen, if climate change is not avoided, is that most of our countryside will end up under water and Britain will become an archipelago. What price nimbyism then?

I would also mention that many of the farmed fields around Lewes are permanently covered in unsightly plastic membrane which no-one protests against!

A solar farm by contrast would be an exciting and hopeful project that I would love to see happen.

On specific points, Dr Parker assumes that Vogt will earn its money from the government feed-in tariff. This is incorrect. Vogt will be using tradable ROCs (Renewable Obligations Certificates) which place no levy on householders.

Secondly, the picture of a solar farm printed in last week’s letters section is inaccurate and misleading.

Thirdly, a solar farm at this location is ideally placed because of being right next to the existing electricity substation, thereby maximising its efficiency and reducing energy loss from cabling.

Dirk Campbell

Lewes