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The energy firm behind one of the world’s biggest offshore wind farms has scrapped plans to build large electricity plants in the Norfolk countryside. Vattenfall, which wants to build two wind farms around 50 kilometres off the east Norfolk coast, said today it will use more advanced technology which will mean a cable corridor it hopes to dig across the Norfolk countryside will be narrower. It also means no relay stations will be needed.
As more wind farms sprout up in Scotland an increasing amount of subsidy is being paid. The £51.5million subsidy paid to wind farms is more than double the £22.7million paid over the same three months last year.
Campaigners say that National Grid’s controversial 33-mile proposed pylon route between Cefn Coch and Oswestry costing an estimated £300 million is now under threat after Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom confirmed that windfarms at Llanbadarn Fynydd, Llaithddu, Llanbrynmair and Carnedd Wen were being refused.
A controversial giant windfarm which has finally been given approval will not be built unless a 200 mile sub-sea connection links Shetland to the mainland, according to the industry.
The UK government's plan to build thousands of new off-shore wind turbines along the British coast are in doubt after energy regulators announced that wind farm companies do not have the right to force their way onto people's land to lay cables.
Fresh calls are being made for parts of the Brechfa Connection wind farm power lines route to be placed under ground on the outskirts of Carmarthen. Town councillors said the wooden H-frames proposed to cross the River Towy, near Abergwili Bridge, will be a blight on the landscape and affect the Towy Valley.
‘The falling value of land, farms and homes; loss of earnings in agriculture and tourism; health implications; the destruction of natural beauty spots; the conservation of local heritage – these are all very real fears that local communities now have.’
Councillors backed their current stance to oppose the plans vehemently on the grounds that communities across the area will still be affected. National Grid announced it plans to bury eight of the 33 miles of 400 kv line that will be needed if windfarm developers win permission to build a network of sites across north Powys through the Meifod valley between Welshpool and Oswestry.
But renewable companies argue that this system was brought in before many wind farms were built, and was designed to encourage generators to site fossil fuel power stations within reasonable distances of towns and cities. This option is not generally available to windfarms, which are often better sited on hills and offshore.
Opponents to the scheme, which is due for completion next year, say it will further industrialise the local landscape and encourage yet more wind farm projects in a region they claim to be already saturated. "If this goes through, the whole area is going to be industrialised."
The scheme is part of a £200billion programme to switch to ‘green' energy and build nuclear power stations to meet targets to cut carbon emissions. This wider scheme will also be funded by higher bills for families and businesses. The network of pylons is expected to trigger disputes amid fears that beautiful views will be destroyed.
SSE chief executive Ian Marchant said: "The wind farm developers have said they cannot pay that so they have not signed their connection agreement that would give the financial guarantees. No wind farm developer will commit so there is no guarantee to build the link."
Leader of East Lindsey District Council, Coun Doreen Stephenson, has described the prospect of this happening as ‘catastrophic' - adding it could affect tourism to market towns such as Horncastle. "It is not acceptable for multi-national companies to overpower small communities by forcing their plans upon them," she said.
Electricity experts have moved to allay fears that huge pylons may be about to cut a swathe through the picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds. The National Grid is in the very early stages of working out how to link wind farms, such as those off the county coast, and other major renewable sources up to Britain's energy network.
At first glance, approval for the Beauly Denny power line through the Highlands of Scotland looks like a victory in the battle against climate change. ...Renewable energy investors may be relieved, but this decision by Scottish ministers is a needless and myopic act of vandalism. Climate change campaigners can mock the 18,000 people who objected as nimbys. But in trampling over ordinary people's love of wild landscapes, a depressing split has been opened in the Scottish environmental lobby.
Rupert Soames, the chief executive of Aggreko, the FTSE 250 emergency power generator, says the UK must prepare seriously for the danger of being hit by similar blackouts within the next decade. "It has happened before in developed countries and we should not kid ourselves that it cannot happen here," he said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph. "The UK has an unacceptably high risk of interrupted power supply." ...sceptics worry that a so-called "intelligent grid" could also be used to ration consumers in the event of insufficient capacity.
Energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband today unveiled new proposals to tackle delays to grid connection. Hold-ups have left some UK wind farm projects facing waits of up to 14 years before they can start delivering power to the grid. Under the current system, new energy projects are given a connection date on a first come, first served basis, which has resulted in about 200 projects with more than 60GW of generation capacity awaiting connection.