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  1. National

RenewableUK: Financial 'sweetener' is uneconomic

RenewableUK, an energy trade association, said the government's proposals of giving communities a financial "sweetener" for having wind farms in their area was "uneconomic."

Developing wind farms requires a significant amount of investment to be made upfront.

Adding to this cost, by following the Government's advice that we should pay substantially more into community funds for future projects, will unfortunately make some planned wind energy developments uneconomic in England, so they will not go ahead and that is very disappointing.

That said, we recognise the need to ensure good practice across the industry and will continue to work with Government and local authorities to benefit communities right across the country which are hosting our clean energy future.

– Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK
  1. National

Over 4,000 wind turbines in UK

The government has announced a raft of new proposals that gives communities the chance to stop wind farms being built in their area.

Here is a look at how important wind turbines are for the UK's energy supply:

  • Onshore wind provided 3% of the UK's electricity supplies in 2011.
  • That generated enough power for the equivalent of 2.5 million homes.
  • More than 4,000 wind turbines are in operation across the country.
  • Almost 6,000 are under or awaiting construction or in the planning system.
  • The industry attracted £1.6 billion in private investment in 2011/2012.
  • It supports approximately 1,800 jobs.

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  1. National

New rules will give residents ability to stop wind farms

Residents will be able to stop the construction of wind farms under new guidance which puts people's concerns over the need for renewable energy.

As part of a package of measures that will significantly increase the amount of money communities will receive for agreeing to host wind farms nearby, the changes include hundreds of pounds off energy bills for householders.

Tough rules for wind farms: could this mark the end of onshore wind? Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said the Government remained committed to "appropriately sited onshore wind" but a Downing Street source said David Cameron felt it was "important that local voters are taken into account."

However concerns have been raised that the new rules will mark the end of new onshore wind, making it harder to build wind farms, with not many communities keen to take up the "sweetener" of payments.

The renewables industry said that the much higher rate of payments would make some developments uneconomic and prevent them from going ahead.

Church releases eco-film

A film showing how churches across Yorkshire are responding to environmental challenges and global warming has been released. 'Our Hope for God's Creation' was produced by the Church of England in Yorkshire and the North East.

It shows how different parishes are working to tackle climate change.

God's love for the whole of the cosmos lies right at the heart of the gospel. Our Hope for God’s Creation shows us how churches can put that love into action with examples of good stewardship and how we can all contribute and make a difference. I hope it will be an inspiration for churches throughout the province and beyond.”

– Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

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Yorkshire tour guide donates scales to monitor baby tortoises in the Galapagos Islands

Baby giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands are to be monitored on weighing scales donated by a Yorkshire tour guide

Baby giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands are to be monitored on weighing scales donated by a Yorkshire tour guide.

Santiago Bejarano, who organises trips from his headquarters in Trinity Lane, Beverley to the Pacific archipelago, will deliver two highly sensitive weighing scales tothe Galapagos National Park later this month.

The specialist scales will help them to monitor embryo growth of these creatures through their eggshells before returning them to the wild.

Clearing out the sewers

A team from Yorkshire Water removed a mound of fat weighing the same as five family cars from a sewerage pipe in Rotherham.

The pipe was 80% blocked by the build up and there was a danger that it would overflow into the river or flood the town's businesses and homes.

Ash tree disease found in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Ash trees Credit: PA file picture

A disease threatening to devastate the UK's native ash trees has now been found Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The Chalara fraxinea fungus has wiped out 90% of ash trees in some parts of Denmark. It causes leaf loss and crown dieback and can lead to tree death.

There are fears that the UK's ash trees are facing a similar fate to its elms, which were destroyed by Dutch elm disease in the 1970s.

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