General and UK
As the integrity of our electrical power supply is "the" essential element if we wish to remain an industrial power, why do we allow the "naive" green movement and our hapless politicians to bend science to fit their preconceived over-simplified analogies?
The real message of the REF reports, however, is, first, that wind is so unreliable that we would have to build up to a dozen new conventional power stations just to provide backup for all the intended turbines when the wind is not blowing; and, second, that the more we depend on the unpredictable wind, the more this will destabilise the grid, threatening its breakdown.
This was confirmed by another recent report, from UCTE, Europe’s principal grid authority, on the power failure that blacked out much of western Europe on November 4. A significant factor in that collapse of the grid was the growing difficulty of accommodating Germany’s dependence on 18,000 turbines for 6 per cent of its power.
Energy has a price - as consumers we are painfully aware of it when the gas bill surges or the cost of a litre of petrol catches us by surprise.
When it bites our wallets we tend to blame oil companies, Middle Eastern sheikhs or Russian oligarchs, depending on prejudice or the last news headline.
Less understood is the political price of energy, but it was the hidden message in the reams of paper published yesterday by Alastair Darling, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.
For years the Government ignored the warnings about crumbling nuclear plants and the need to scrap dirty coal power stations.
Finally someone has grasped the uranium fuel rod.
Government faith in wind powered energy was described by a national newspaper commentator yesterday as "a delusion that mediaeval methods could fuel the 21st Century."I know that many correspondents to this paper share that view. I must admit the sporadic performance of the single turbine on Swansea docks, as viewed from my bedroom window, inclines me to agree with them.
We must stop the march of inefficient wind turbines which are a blot on our breath-taking landscape.
Wind farms are set to play a big part in national and regional targets for renewable energy production and last year Cumbria's councils produced the 62 page Cumbria Wind Energy Supplementary Planning Document. ...Meanwhile we urge planners seeking the best places to site wind farms in Cumbria to do plenty of background research. ...Such data should be evaluated as Cumbria performs the tricky balancing act of meeting renewable energy targets, safeguarding lives and health, and preserving our uniquely beautiful countryside.
Common sense and democracy in the Highlands of Scotland finally died on the 17 April 2007 with the injustice carried out by the Highland Council Planning committee.
We all know that nimbyism is the placing of selfish individual wants before the common good. ...Or so the cliché goes, propagated unquestioningly by politicians and the press alike. This week Labour's official environmental lobby group Sera wheeled it out while complaining about what it believes is impeding the spread of wind turbine developments across the country. The problem was caused by "nimby councillors" who opposed planning permission, said Sera. ...The truth is that the values a nimby defends were, until very recently, those which most environmentally-minded people would support. In the face of this prejudice and propaganda, it takes courage to be a nimby. ...The qualities of a particular area will seem insignificant beside the fate of the earth. Set against big, sexy statistics concerning the future of mankind, the future of a moorland, a wood, some fields, a village, will seem puny. But it is not. It is in these places that a nation's soul resides; they are too important to be obliterated in a mood of emotion and anxiety for some nebulous, ill-defined national interest.
At last the Government has admitted this error and is looking at the Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) once more. That is why it is so important people object to the application at Batsworthy (see www.twomoorscampaign.co.uk)
. As more people are realising, it is the search for profit that brings these unwelcome visitors, not any concern for cleaning up our planet.
It seems that my letter on the Braes of Doune has upset James Adamson (February 10). I can certainly sympathise with the plight of those unfortunate enough to dwell in the midst of urban deprivation and consider myself privileged at not requiring to do so.
But my adversarial comments, in common with many other contributors', are not directed towards a single wind farm, but to the ever-increasing diminution of Scotland's unrivalled scenic beauty. Especially when even the greatest proliferation of wind farms, including that of mainly theor-etical wind and wave power, would not even look at our future green energy requirements. In a factual world, there is, at present, no realistic alternative but modern nuclear electricity generation plant, if our future clean energy demand is to be met.
As for Mr Adamson's description of other contributors, apart from myself, as being "letter-writing whingeing cohorts", and in view of his own particular diatribe, I would just like to say to him: "Welcome to the club."
So how is this relevant to the proposal (which thankfully Scottish ministers are "minded to refuse") to put 181 wind turbines and 88 miles of road network on the Lewis peatlands, an area afforded special protection under European law? The point is we need places like the Lewis peatlands, we need places where protection of nature is first priority, not just for the sake of wildlife, but for our own well being as a species. A staggering 800,000 hectares of Europe's land was converted to artificial surfaces between 1990 and 2000, a trend which has continued into this century and will no doubt continue into the future. Strict protection of the very best places for wildlife is therefore as high a priority as ever ...Any erosion of [protected areas'] status will spell disaster for our tentative efforts to live in better balance with the natural world.