Articles filed under Impact on Economy from Europe
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.
Giant wind generators planned in the centre of The Weaver Valley could cost the region's tourism trade millions in lost revenue - say objectors. The cluster of four 410ft high turbines, which are 100ft taller than Big Ben and would even dwarf the Fiddlers Ferry Cooling Tower, would be amongst the tallest in the UK. ... Mike Cooksley, chairman of tourism organisation Visit Chester and Cheshire ...said: "Regional parks should be protected, developed and enjoyed by both visitors and residents. "The countryside of Cheshire is epitomised by this site and is seen by many as the antidote to urbanisation and relief from city life."
More families will be driven into fuel poverty as a push to generate more electricity from "green" sources like wind, wave and solar power sharply increases household fuel bills, the Government has said. Electricity bills could rise by 13 per cent and gas prices could go up by as much as 37 per cent as consumers are made to pay more to subsidise green energy production, ministers said in a new Renewable Energy Strategy. ...The Renewable Energy Strategy says: "It is likely that the measures we need to use to increase renewable energy will add to the challenges we face in combating fuel poverty."
Consumers face years of rising gas and electricity bills as the UK heads towards an energy crunch, according to the chief executive of one of Britain's biggest power companies. Paul Golby, of E.ON UK, said it was time for the industry and Government to come clean about the extent of the UK's energy needs - and what it will mean for domestic prices. ...Mr Golby, who was launching E.ON's energy manifesto, said his call for an "honest debate" about Britain's energy future must include a recognition that new coal-fired generation "will play a significant role in restraining prices". He said: "Without coal, bridging the energy gap will mean allowing gas to dominate our energy mix and a second "dash for gas" is something we need to avoid." But new power stations must include carbon capture and storage technology.
A couple who have been forced out of their home by wind turbine noise have found out their house is unsaleable. Jane and Julian Davis moved out of their Deeping St Nicholas home in Christmas 2006 after months of sleepless nights due to what they believe is noise and vibration from wind turbines, which are around 900m from their property. They have long believed it has no value, and their fears have now been proved justified, after estate agents Munton and Russell refused to market the property at Grays Farm.
Offshore windfarms in Morecambe Bay may be producing green energy - but they are killing off traditional trawling fleets, experts say. And the problem could become more drastic for all inshore fishing unless the Government takes action, according to the North Western and North Wales Sea Fisheries Committee. The latest report of the committee highlights the plight of trawler fishing in the bay, and says that the local industry has been decimated by the proliferation of wind farms and gas storage facilities. When local vessels, mainly fishing out of Fleetwood, are sold on they are now very rarely replaced in the bay.
Offshore wind farms cost significantly more to build and maintain than their onshore equivalent. And because they involve new and untested technology they also suffer from "first of a kind" costs. But the industry is confident that those costs will fall over time. It is difficult to compare the cost of electricity obtained from a wind farm rather than a conventional energy source like gas. This is because it involves assumptions about future construction costs, the cost of carbon emissions, and the cost of gas. However, right now offshore wind farms are significantly more expensive than thermal generation and require a government subsidy to make them economic.
...global investment bank Lehman Brothers agreed to advise and finance the $700m Cape Wind project, the US’s first offshore wind farm located near Nantucket Island and a landmark cause for many environmentalists. This March, Goldman Sachs sold its investment – redubbed Horizon Wind Energy – to Portugal’s largest utility, EDP, for more than $2.1bn, making a profit of $900m. But Lehman Brothers’ project, despite early state-level approvals, has been stuck in bureaucratic purgatory from which it is unlikely to emerge soon. The problem: Nantucket’s millionaire residents oppose the wind farm, which they claim would ruin their ocean views. The contrast between the outcome of the Zilkha investment and the Cape Wind project illustrates the unpredictability of the clean technology sector. “There is no doubt in my mind that renewable energy is like other tech start-ups, where some will succeed and many will not.”
Paterson said although alternative energies would undoubtedly become very important in years to come, there was "little clarity" in the sector at the moment. Many fundamental questions remain about how to best capture and transmit energy from natural sources, making it difficult to assess the potential effectiveness of new innovations. However, Paterson said the biggest barrier was the fact that the sector is heavily regulated and influenced by government. Much of the current interest in alternative energies is being driven by strong support from Europe, the UK and the Scottish Government. "But from an investor's point of view, we have got to think about the long term," Paterson said. "What happens if the government changes, or priorities shift?"
One of Northumberland's longest-serving councillors has given his evidence to the Middlemoor inquiry, after years of being 'gagged' by local government rules. Political heavyweight John Taylor, who is county member for Longhoughton division and district representative for Hedgeley Ward of Alnwick District Council, was finally able to break his silence on Friday afternoon on the plans for 18 turbines near South Charlton. He said: ..."This is the first time that I have been able to comment from a personal point of view on the matter. "As I have said previously, I have lived and worked in Northumberland for most of my life and I feel very strongly that these proposals will have the most detrimental effect on the landscape.
The Norwegian fish industry fiercely fights goverment plans to build windmill parks at sea. The windmills will hinder fishing and shipping, a fish industry association argues. In its annual conference this weekend, the Norwegian Fishery Association unanimously supported a proposal to fight the development of windmill parks at sea.
ONE of the North-East's biggest visitor attractions is to lead the fight against plans for a wind farm in Northumberland. And the Duchess of Northumberland's Alnwick Garden will be backed by other tourism favourites, including the Chillingham Wild Cattle park and possibly Alnwick Castle - the home she shares with the Duke of Northumberland. ... "The garden is concerned that the sheer scale of the development may discourage visitors to the Alnwick area - these visitors freely express the pleasure they feel when enjoying the fantastic natural and historic landscapes of Northumberland together with the coastal area of natural beauty and the Northumberland National Park."
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.
Producers of the Oscar-tipped film Atonement may not have chosen Teesside as a location if a planned wind farm had already been built, it is claimed.
European power companies are making billions of euros in excess profits in the European Union's battle to beat global warming by cutting emissions of carbon gases, and consumers are paying for it, economists say. The electricity generators are given, free of charge, permits to emit millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide which are currently worth around 20 euros a tonne, but are then charging consumers as if they had been made to pay for the permits. Michael Grubb, Chief Economist at the Carbon Trust and Director of Climate Strategies, calculates that this practice which he says is economically justifiable gives the industry windfall profits of some 20 billion euros ($27.14 billion) a year. "It is free money," he told Reuters. "It's how you'd expect companies to behave, but politically and morally it is going to be hard to justify making so much money out of a scheme designed to reduce emissions - with consumers footing the bill."
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).
Windfarm objectors yesterday told a planning inquiry into two proposed developments in a picturesque area of central Sutherland that the schemes would have a severe adverse impact on tourism. They claim the 46 turbines would destroy the unspoilt landscape, which they claim is the main tourist attraction in the economically fragile area.
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".
CAMPAIGNERS against plans for a new wind farm between Bagthorpe, Barmer and Syderstone have been told of the horrific impact turbines can have on village life. A packed public meeting in Bircham Newton heard from a number of guest speakers who gave grave warnings about the health impact, noise disturbances and threat to wildlife which could stem from the five turbines earmarked for the villages. Included among the speakers was Jane Davis, of Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire, who described the persistent noise problems she has faced from a wind farm near her home. She also spoke of how the value of her property has plummeted since the development was completed. Syderstone resident Reg Thompson, a member of the action group formed to oppose the plans, said: "People are very concerned about this. "There are moves being made in Europe to ban wind farms that are within two kilometres of housing and we hope that becomes legislation because every house in Syderstone falls within that radius. "People are very upset. We have seen housing deals fall through as people no longer want to move here.
British Gas is not planning further cuts to fuel bills, despite making profits of £533 million from the first six months of the year. Parent company Centrica described the £3 million-a-day haul as a one-off and said profitability would now fall as wholesale gas became more expensive..............The company is carrying out a £2 billion investment programme in large-scale infrastructure projects over the next three years, including new power stations and wind farms, in order to increase its production capacity and reduce dependence on a volatile gas market.