We’ve reported in the past about how the Christian church is embracing renewable energy with the Vatican installing solar panels, but now it looks like they are taking it a step further and trying to profit from it. In the UK, the Diocese of Exeter has proposed plans to erect six wind turbines on church land in the parishes of Black Torrington, Chittlehampton and East Anstey in north Devon, saying the decision is “to sustain the ecology of the Earth for future generations before God”. The choice to install wind turbines though, has irked several people who have accused the church of trying to make money from the technology.

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Of course, the decision has courted the usual controversy that goes with installing wind turbines, but some local residents have said the church shouldn’t be involved in such a project saying that “wind turbines are so controversial” and “divide communities”. In a letter to The Telegraph, one concerned citizen even expressed his worry that the project is simply so the Church can make a quick buck. In his letter, Harry Riches says that wind turbines “depend on extravagant subsidies and generous feed-in tariffs. The cost of electricity produced by such machines is roughly three times that from conventional sources. Therefore consumers, including those already suffering fuel poverty, are compelled to pay larger electricity bills.”

In that spirit, it would be reasonable to expect the Church of England to abhor any action that adds to the burdens of the poor. Surprisingly, the Diocese of Exeter is not inhibited by such moral considerations. “(If) money is not a consideration, it would add credibility to the decision if the diocese bequeathed all income from the turbines to charities concerned with the poor that are independent of Church administration,” he said.

Wow – apart from Mr. Riches’ inaccurate comments about the costs of wind turbines, he has really thrown down the gauntlet so it’ll be interesting to see what the church does do with the income generated by the turbines. Perhaps investment in tidal energy technology?

+ Diocese of Exeter

via The Telegraph

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