“You stay away from my estate young man,” said Prince Philip to an industry rep who suggested wind turbines for the Duke’s estate.
The Sunday Telegraph reports,
In a withering assault on the onshore wind turbine industry, the Duke said the farms were “a disgrace”.
He also criticised the industry’s reliance on subsidies from electricity customers, claimed wind farms would “never work” and accused people who support them of believing in a “fairy tale”.
The Duke’s comments will be seized upon by the burgeoning lobby who say wind farms are ruining the countryside and forcing up energy bills.
Criticism of their effect on the environment has mounted, with The Sunday Telegraph disclosing today that turbines are being switched off during strong winds following complaints about their noise.
The Duke’s views are politically charged, as they put him at odds with the Government’s policy significantly to increase the amount of electricity generated by wind turbines…
When Esbjorn Wilmar, of Infinergy, which builds and operates turbines, introduced himself to the Duke at a reception in London, he found himself on the end of an outspoken attack on his industry.
“He said they were absolutely useless, completely reliant on subsidies and an absolute disgrace,” said Mr Wilmar. “I was surprised by his very frank views.”
Mr Wilmar said his attempts to argue that onshore wind farms were one of the most cost-effective forms of renewable energy received a fierce response from the Duke.
“He said, ‘You don’t believe in fairy tales do you?’” said Mr Wilmar. “He said that they would never work as they need back-up capacity”…
The generous financial incentives being offered to green energy developers have led landowners to look to build wind farms on their estates, including the Duke of Gloucester, the Queen’s cousin.
Prince Philip, however, said he would never consider allowing his land to be used for turbines, which can be up to 410ft tall, and he bemoaned their impact on the countryside.
Mr Wilmar said: “I suggested to him to put them on his estate, and he said, ‘You stay away from my estate young man’.
“He said he thought that they’re not nice at all for the landscape”… [Emphasis added]