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Alternative energy

The question - The government has told local council planners to encourage the development of windfarms and other renewable energy sources.Has it got it right?

Windfarms are the veggie, green, politically correct solution to energy supply proposed by a vocal minority of cranks. They have had their say and their day. Their options do not work and they should shut up and accept the inevitable. The only realistic way we are going to meet our energy demands is by nuclear power.

Michael Grounsell, chief engineer, London We should have personal windfarms and put them in our backgardens so avoiding the 'not in my backyard' culture. Diarmuid Gavin would be proud of us.

Charis Fowler, 32, senior engineer, Midlands Of course renewable energy sources, particularly from wave and wind farms, are good news. But the visual intrusion into our lives is less acceptable. Fortunately the sheltered flatlands of Cambridgeshire where I live render such a scheme unlikely to be implemented. Does that make me an irresponsible engineer by saying Not In My Backyard?

John Dadson, 53, TV journalist, Cambridge Windfarms should be compared for aesthetics with coal fired power stations and not romantic rural images of flour grinding windmills.

There is a maximum cluster below which they look sleek and above which they become a carbuncle.

Renewable energy should be promoted; but so should minimum insulation requirements for new build homes supported by grants for appropriate refurbishments.

Andrew Powell, 41, senior engineer, Manchester I see very few locations which would be spoiled by windfarms They will change the landscape but not ruin it.

John Park, 55, senior engineer, Glasgow As history tells us: moderation.

Single structures are rather striking but as soon as we start to rely on swathes of the armtwirling little chappies, the soothsayers will tell us we're slowing the rotation of the earth, mucking up rain patterns and slaughtering millions of vital insects - and we're all doomed. So yes please, but gently does it.

Jon Balley, 53, water engineer, Bucks I would like to see more initiative on saving energy rather than providing more for people to waste.

Ben Zabulis, 46, consultant, Nottingham Renewables yes, offshore windfarms yes, but only in a balanced energy portfolio and only if the taxpayer or the consumer subsidises them.

Geoff Home, 54, director, North Yorkshire When we built coal fired power stations in the heart of London noone seems to have listened to the people who lived next to them, so why should the people whose view might be spoilt dictate where we build wind farms.

Michael Dommett, 47, engineer, London Windfarms are an outrageous waste of money. Nuclear power is the only sensible long term solution.

Allan Howlett, principal project manager, London Every time I drive over the border to Cornwall and see the windfarms there I feel awe-struck. I like them.

In fact, I like all forms of renewable energy. Windfarms in rural areas, on the coast and in the sea (perhaps combined with tidal generators) should be allowed and encouraged.

Peter Hookham, 44, traffic and ITS engineer, Devon

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