Impact on Economy and UK
The government and its cheerleaders wrap the drive to zero CO2 emissions in the language of growth, jobs, investment and innovation. ...and claims the energy bill will create 250,000 jobs. Even if that is achievable, it's the product of the single-entry bookkeeping so common in political green-energy projections. You can create any number of jobs putting up subsidized windmills or installing solar panels. But if in the process you drive up energy costs or taxes throughout the economy, you're bound to destroy more work than you create.
It is now evident there has been a failure to prepare for this additional supply from new areas by providing extra capacity on the grid. The constraint periods are becoming longer and the payments larger, undermining the progress from fossil fuels towards green energy. Wind farm operators in Scotland have received almost £6 million in payments to stop producing electricity over 33 days between mid-April and mid-May.
Official figures have revealed a catastrophic decline in Scottish tourism last year ...VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay has blamed the poor weather. Since when do tourists come to Scotland for the weather? ...This is the same tourism chief who claimed a few weeks ago that giant industrial wind turbines which now scar some of our most beautiful hills and glens are not a deterrent to tourists.
Apart from anything else, by 2020 our Government expects us to pay £100 billion for a further 10,000 useless, subsidised windmills, plus £40 billion to connect them to the National Grid. These costs alone would almost double our present electricity bills.
Miliband’s citing of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in support of his policy of subsidising the construction of many thousands of otherwise uneconomic wind turbines might appear grotesque, even comical; but not if you genuinely believe that Britain’s switching from coal to wind power for its electricity generation will save the lives of countless Africans.
I have no idea whether Miliband truly believes that it will - but if he does, he is deluded.
A landmark court ruling has ordered that Jane Davis be given a discount on her council tax because her £170,000 home has been rendered worthless by a wind turbine 1,000 yards away.
This is effectively an official admission that wind farms, which are accused of 'spoiling countryside views and producing a deafening roar', have a negative effect on house prices. ...One of these impacts is of course safety. In June this year a 16-foot wind turbine blade smashed through a farmhouse roof in Northern Ireland as the farmer and his family slept inside.
Why should these massive, noisy and ugly industrial monsters be allowed to be sited so close to our homes? ...
Little, if any, consideration is given to local people's views. Occasionally the companies involved might offer a presentation, staffed by slick professional salespeople, or they try to sweeten the locals with perhaps a new community centre or maybe a playground, when actually this money has already come out of our pockets in electricity bills or via our taxes in the form of subsidies.
They are frankly little more than latter-day carpetbaggers, mainly from the south, coming to rape our countryside.
Add to this the damage to the tourism industry, and the whole concept of ranks of wind turbines across the roof and shores of Wales, producing intermittently and unpredictably amounts of electricity far less than developers lead us to expect, seems utterly foolish, especially when there are much less damaging ways to produce electricity (in which Wales is self-sufficient, in any case).
Given two identical houses at the same price, one with wind turbines on the horizon, which would you buy?
No prizes for guessing that the twirling monsters would be a deterrent. But the British Wind Energy Association dismisses this as a "myth about windfarms - their impact on house prices".
It is hardly surprising that a trade organisation uses "spin" to sell its windmills, but I wonder how it will react to the news in Denmark's Copenhagen Post (July 30) that its government is drafting a proposal suggesting that "homeowners living in the shadow of the 150-metre giants be compensated for lost property value where values have been brought down by the presence of nearby wind turbines".
Our experience shows that there is a real noise problem, which can be severe. Unfortunately, it is clear that existing regulations are not adequate to protect people, and until this whole noise phenomenon is better understood and regulated we feel that Councils and wind developers should be exercising the Precautionary Principle. Large wind turbines should not be permitted close to residential areas.
I agree with Dr John Etherington's critical observations (April 23) about the recent "survey" on the impact of wind turbines on property values. I came across this "survey" in the media and wrote to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) expressing concern about its media statements about it. My letter and the response from RICS are as follows:
Does the BWEA think it unreasonable that SWATT request that the Welsh Assembly call a moratorium on wind farm development until independent surveys are executed on these vital issues. Concerning the election, our campaign resulted in us getting the issue onto the election agenda. And the two anti-TAN 8 main parties were the ones who gained seats in the elections.
Nothing can erase this UK-wide report from the historical record, but there are now claims that a new survey by Oxford Brookes University and RICS shows that windfarms do not impact on property value.
Ifwe look carefully at this survey, it is based on two small windfarms in Cornwall where the turbines are less than 60m tall compared with the present industry standard of 120m and proposals by Gamesa for 180m (600 ft) giants in south Wales.
The authors of this new report are more honest than the windpower developers with their warning that: "... as more windfarms are built, more property will become proximate. Therefore, a cautious approach should be adopted until a larger and more in-depth study can be undertaken." The wind promoters understandably ignore this "health warning".
Noise from our local wind farm 1,000 yards away has destroyed our lives.The constant swish would just about be bearable, but the thumps and whacks are not. And then there's the hum. We would do anything to be able to live and sleep in our own home again, but sadly, as our home is no longer worth anything, we are trapped. To sleep at night, we drive five miles to a quiet house we have rented.
The Government says noise pollution is an issue, albeit of low priority, but by allowing wind farms to be built close to homes (no less than two kilometres is the French recommendation) they are creating and propagating more noise pollution.
Those of us unfortunate enough to live or work near these so-called friendly giants lose everything.
Cumbria already has 11 windfarms and up to 10 more are earmarked by 2015, more than anywhere else in the north west.
Given the new regulations, which require objectors to make their case within just 120 days, it becomes ever more vital for robust planning guidance to be in place to ensure the county’s six district councils don’t approve wind farms which would undermine Cumbria’s landscape-dependent tourism.
Trevor Koronka is right about the threat to tourism which, like it or not, is now the economic backbone of most rural areas (Letters, September 21).
Protesters share our concern that the case for wind power is unproven - and that alone should stop the march of turbines across Cumbria - but the overriding issue, which has caused objectors to write in from all over the country, is that these windmills will be an eyesore in a lovely spot.
Allerdale council must block this plan, just as it has already sensibly halted a test mast proposal at Tallentire Hill.
There is development, and there is development. We can take new building if it adds to our tourism strategy, but we mustn’t take it if it threatens to drive customers away.
Are we putting at risk a perfectly viable, and potentially lucrative business to accommodate something which is still the subject of intense debate?
That is the question being raised by Northumberland Tourism - the agency set up this year to promote the county's visitor industry.
And it is a perfectly valid one.
If we are to spurn the nuclear option, or indeed if we are to embrace it, we must do so only once we have taken all aspects into account. Rigour and honesty is required, too. We must accept the relevance of the subsidies that wind power receives, and the low carbon nature of nuclear energy.