Matthew Sinclair points out that wind farms often are delayed by planning permission:
The problem is that wind farms are getting stuck in the planning system. Now, it is important at this stage to note that they aren’t just facing the same “not in my back yard” opposition that many industrial developments do.
Saying it isn’t nimbyism is nonsense because the majority of people who object to wind farms would also object to nuclear, or coal, or gas power stations being built near them. All these people want to use electric power, which has to be generated somewhere, but they don’t want it generated near them.
So I suggest the following system regarding planning for power stations:
1. planning requests would normally go through on the nod
2. if the people don’t like the planning request, they would be able to force a referendum on it. (I think that 5% of the electorate at any level of government should be allowed to force a referendum on any issue).
3. if, in the referendum, the majority vote against it, the power station doesn’t get built
4. if there is not enough generating capacity built, and there are as a result shortages, then the electricity companies would be obliged to cut off first those districts that have voted against power stations. Then the nimbyscum would shiver in the dark. Which is what they deserve.