I have been told that Viking Energy intend to instigate a planning process in September. Environmental impact assessments have not yet been published and may not be (and need not be) until the day that planning application is submitted. This gives little or no time for public debate or consultations on these. This also says to me that VE have already made up their mind that the environmental consequences of the wind farm and cable are acceptable. Once the planning application is submitted, and the planning process underway, promises that "if the people of Shetland don't want this it won't go ahead" are empty because the final decision is taken in Edinburgh, not Shetland. I guess that VE's response to this will be that they have a mandate to instigate this process - I bet they won't test this in a referendum.
It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that at present there is no policy, with literally hundreds of applications in the pipeline and turbines appearing here, there and everywhere. ...The rush to renewables should not, however, mean an easy ride for proposals which have a significant and potentially irreversible impact on other aspects of life.
Gradually, the message is beginning to sink in. With wind farms already growing in unpopularity, people are now waking up to the gigantic scale of the rip-off being perpetrated. As more and more people begin to understand this, it should only be a matter of time before the whole programme crashes and burns.
But, there is one minor problem ... wind energy is an EU-supported obsession. To stop the scam, we have to confront the EU. Is there a politician brave enough to do this?
Even if I don’t really get the finer points of the equation, I can see that the sums fail to add up in a quite spectacular way. You spend forty grand; you get back a couple of hundred pounds a year in return for a clear conscience.
Wind farms provoke negative reactions from two overlapping groups of people: those who believe the farms are ugly, and those who believe they do not make economic sense.
The second lot will be asking themselves some serious questions this weekend with the news that Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) is to splash out more than £1bn for Irish wind farm group Airtricity. ...If wind farms do not make economic sense, then a multibillion-pound international delusion has taken hold.
"According to ScottishPower, the project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 650,000 tonnes per year."
Erecting a wind farm per se does not reduce emissions. A reduction in emissions only takes place when fossil generation is displaced by the wind generation.
But because the wind is variable, intermittent, sometimes too strong for turbines and is largely unpredictable, back-up power-station generation is required continuously, irrespective of wind conditions, to ensure a reliable electricity supply.
If the 180,000 homes mentioned were to rely only on the output of Whitelee wind farm, they would be unable to switch anything electrical on with any confidence that it would work because of the unreliable output from wind farms.
At last. Proof from an unbiased organisation - the charity Renewable Energy Foundation - based on irrefutable data from Ofgem, that wind turbines are inefficient.It gives the lie to the repeated claims of promoters of these industrial sites that they will “power X number of homes”.
These claims are unfortunately faithfully printed by many newspapers, leading the public to believe that a group of machines overshadowing the local area will really provide a dependable source of electrical power for local residents. Nothing could be further from the truth; in the Westcountry turbines are running inefficiently for more than three-quarters of the time.
There must be a constant back-up from nuclear and conventional power stations.
One of the best-kept secrets of British politics - although it is there for all to see on a Government website - is the cost of what is by far the most expensive piece of legislation ever put through Parliament. Every year between now and 2050, acccording to Ed Miliband's Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc), the Climate Change Act is to cost us all up to £18.3 billion - £760 for every household in the country - as we reduce our carbon emissions by 80 per cent.
There is no way we could hope to install two giant £4 million offshore turbines every day between now and 2020, let alone that they could meet more than a fraction of our electricity needs. But the cost of whatever does get built will be paid by all of us ...This would drive well over half the households in Britain into "fuel poverty", defined as those forced to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on energy.
Wind farms are unpopular and becoming more unpopular. In a recent ITV Wales This Week poll on wind farms 72 per cent were opposed and 28 per cent were in favour.
In Glyncorrwg, where I live, our own polling shows similar figures on those for and against wind farms. We are faced with a proposal by Spanish-owned Gamesa for four 603-feet turbines near to people's houses and a Primary School. .....The Welsh Assembly should be protecting us not encouraging wind farm developers to spoil our beautiful landscape. Come on everybody, don't just moan - fight as you have had to fight in the past to save your communities from these ugly developments.
April 4, 2007
in This is South Wales
You only have to examine the letters pages of this newspaper to appreciate that the wind farm issue is one that will run and run.
Both sides in the debate are firmly entrenched in their positions. But, while they continue lobbing verbal hand grenades at each other, bit by bit, wind farms are starting to sprout like mushrooms across West Wales.
Mushrooms is probably an ill-considered word to use; there is nothing organic about wind farms. They do not blend into the countryside. Rather, they stand there stark against the hillsides, defiant to any local opposition.
We are told hundreds of 400ft metal and concrete towers will provide Wales with renewable energy. Dissenters are accused of not wanting to save the planet.
We are presented with the picture of evil nuclear or fossil-fuelled energy on the one hand and cute windmill-like wind power on the other. Oh, that it was that simple.
Wind turbines are not cute: they are monstrous and noisy. Sometimes, as in the case of Llanmiloe, Pendine, bits fall off.
They do not provide enough energy to slow down global warming and the energy they provide costs more per unit. Great for the energy company shareholders. Not so great for the rest of us.
And there is a fatal flaw in wind turbines - when the wind stops, they stop. In other words, every wind farm needs some sort of back-up.
If there is a message being carried on this (ill) wind, it is that a new Assembly (after the elections) must reconsider how it is to meet Government renewable energy targets.
Common sense has prevailed and the Berwick Borough councillors have rejected the plan for 10 turbines on Wandylaw Farm, Chathill.
What worries me is the fact that all reportage and general thought on the subject appears to centre around the "look" or appearance of these structures, in other words the aesthetics, will they spoil the landscape?
I hear nothing of the fact that this technology is sporadic by nature and will not perform to its stated capacity. The spokesman of Ridgewind Ltd, who hope to develop the site, was "devastated" and bemoaned the fate of future generations. ...They claim to be able to generate enough power for 11,200 homes!
Over what period and at what rate?
This is not an exact science. They can only base these figures on supposed potentials and mathematical models of past performance of local wind conditions. Well the past is no guarantee of future performance, as you will know if you have "read the small print"!
The government's conservation watchdog has been accused of putting wildlife and wild places at risk by preparing to relax its defences against development.
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is under fire from environmental groups and insiders for allowing plans for a coal mine and wind farms to go ahead, despite the damage they could do to rare birds and peat bogs.
Critics warn that a review of corporate strategy being led by SNH chairman Andrew Thin could result in more damaging developments being given the go-ahead. Fears have been fuelled by a recent interview in which Thin said he was neither a conservationist nor an environmentalist.
The view from the top could not be clearer: Ed Miliband, the minister for energy and climate change, said last week that opposing the onward march of wind turbines - on which the government is pinning its hopes of meeting its targets on renewable energy - should be as "socially unacceptable" as not wearing a seatbelt or failing to stop at a zebra crossing.
Hmm. Tell that to the people who believe the view over Britain's last remaining wildernesses is about to be destroyed for ever - and for a very dubious set of returns.
Campaigners who helped to defeat plans for a windfarm near Allonby are rightly refusing to rest on their laurels.
A huge number of objections helped to persuade Allerdale council not to allow turbines in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
But they know that the Government's policy to have 20 per cent of all UK energy provided by renewable sources by 2020 leaves the door open to more applications and appeals.
Our crofters have had years to consider the "lucrative" income that we could "enjoy" if this wind farm were granted, and we have said no each time we were asked. Sixteen surveys or ballots have all yielded overwhelming opposition to this project, comprehensively backed up by more than 13,000 objections submitted to the government - with only 77 letters in support - hardly the "widespread support at both national and local level" which he claims this project has.
We are not for sale, at any price. We are not the "needy" yokels that Mr Maciver claims, nor will we be bought by dangling "lucrative" carrots as bait to encourage us to capitulate. We most certainly do not share his views that building 181 giant turbines, digging miles of roads, drains and ditches, pylons, excavating five huge quarries (each up to a mile long) would be "managing the moorland to the benefit of our environment".
The only proven source of the steady base load electricity necessary for a modern society to function is nuclear fission. James Lovelock - deeply pessimistic about the effects of what he calls global heating - recognises this. However, Greenpeace and others stick to their long-established opposition to nuclear power. Some people see bio-fuels as an important component of a lower-carbon future. Others believe they are a distraction and cause more environmental problems than they solve.
Of course, these are not the only options, but they illustrate the point that specific technologies should not to be rejected out of hand. It is ludicrous to suggest that we could rely on wind and solar power entirely. And the agenda for some seems to be to eliminate all private transport and scale back international trade enormously, to take us back to smaller, self-contained economic units; the very reverse of a globalisation trend which has been in progress for centuries.
Scottish & Southern Energy is advocating more hydro-electricity projects because wind farms need instant back-up when the wind abates (Scrutineer, 27 March). This is most interesting to those of us endowed with memory, for we've come around a full circle ...