Okay, it's not Oblige, it's more like Noblesse, Score!!!
From the Telegraph:
The aristocrats cashing in on Britain's wind farm subsidies
Growing numbers of the nobility are being tempted to build giant wind farms on their estates by the promise of tens of millions of pounds being offered green energy developers.
They are among the nation's wealthiest aristocrats, whose families have protected the British landscape for centuries. Until now that is.For increasing numbers of the nobility – among them dukes and even a cousin of the Queen – are being tempted by tens of millions of pounds offered by developers to build giant wind farms on their estates.An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph reveals how generous subsidies – that are added to consumer energy bills – are encouraging hereditary landowners to build turbines up to 410ft tall on their land.With controversy over onshore wind farms growing, the role of the landed establishment in fuelling the 'scramble for wind' will alarm opponents.
They claim wind farms are blighting the countryside while failing to deliver a reliable supply of electricity despite the cost.
Latest figures show the amount of electricity generated by UK wind farms actually fell last year because of the lowest average wind speeds this century.
However, supporters say a network of wind farms will guarantee Britain cheap, sustainable energy in the future.
The turbines being hosted by the landed gentry are almost always many miles from the aristocrats' own homes. The Duke of Gloucester, who lives in an apartment in Kensington Palace in London, is hoping to build a wind farm 85 miles away on his ancestral estate in Northamptonshire, which he moved out of in 1994. Each turbine could earn the Duke, who is the Queen's cousin, up to £20,000 a year and possibly much more.
It comes as Sir Reginald Sheffield, David Cameron's father-in-law, whose baronetcy was created in the mid 18th century, admitted last week he earns as much as £350,000 a year from eight turbines on his estate at Bagmoor in Lincolnshire.
In a letter last week to the Spectator magazine, Sir Reginald protested that he did not own the turbines on Bagmoor farm and that his estate received only a "modest income" amounting to "less than one tenth" of £3.5 million.
Calculations by an energy think tank suggested Sir Reginald could be receiving about £120,000.
The Duke of Roxburghe has angered locals – including the neighbouring Duke of Northumberland – after winning a lengthy planning and legal battle to build 48 turbines, each about 400ft high, on unspoilt moorland in the Scottish borders.
Construction work began about two months ago with the building of a road 10 miles long through previously pristine countryside to reach the wind farm site.
The Duke, who is worth about £100 million, will reportedly earn as much as £2.5 million a year from the deal although a spokesman, who declined to discuss the actual amount, said that figure was not accurate.
One industry expert said a more realistic figure was in the order of £720,000 a year.
In the course of the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm at Fallago Rig that could net the Duke anywhere between £18 million and £62.5 million.
The details of the deal struck with an energy company remain confidential although The Sunday Telegraph understands the Duke's earnings are performance related – in other words the more the wind blows the more money he will make.
One industry expert estimated Fallago Rig could generate about £875 million income over the next quarter of a century for the Duke and his commercial partner North British Windpower.
Half that sum is in the form of a consumer subsidy, introduced by the last Labour government to encourage renewable energy projects, and which is added on to household electricity bills.
The turbines will not be visible from Floors Castle, the Duke's ancestral home about 25 miles away.
The Duke of Beaufort, who is worth £120 million, is trying to build 19 turbines on land near Swansea – about 100 miles from his family seat at Badminton House in Gloucestershire....MORE
How beautiful they stand!
Amidst their tall ancestral trees,
O'er all the pleasant land.
The deer across their greensward bound
Thro' shade and sunny gleam,
And the swan glides past them with the sound
Of some rejoicing stream.
Blackwoods Magazine April, 1827
I wish Noel Coward were around to comment:
- The stately homes of England,
- How beautiful they stand,
- To prove the upper classes
- Have still the upper hand.