Library filed under Impact on Economy from Europe
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.
An Internet-style bubble is looming in renewable energy stocks with valuations reaching the ozone layer and businesses managing to secure flotations with little or no turnover, a French investment fund has warned. With raw material prices showing no sign of abating, companies that supply renewable energy or equipment such as wind turbines and solar panels could see their margins suffer, Matteo Novelli of Star Innovation at CFD Capital Management said. "There is clearly a bubble forming in the eco-energy market and there could be a hefty correction at some point," Novelli told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. European Union leaders have pledged to get a fifth of the bloc's energy from renewable fuels like wind, solar and biofuels by 2020, three times the current level. Political pressure for a cleaner environment and high oil prices have sparked an investment rush into alternative energy. But Novelli said such businesses were so fashionable that valuations could not be sustained in the short to medium term.
Lord James Joicey runs the 16,000-acre Ford and Etal Estate where more than 30 small businesses operate, most of them heavily reliant on tourism for survival. He went some way down the line of agreeing to have turbines on his land, but withdrew when the full implications of their size and impact on local society became apparent. He was also concerned for the owners of local small businesses. He admits, however, that the income from hosting turbines - around £10,000 a year per unit - would have been welcome.
One couple's plans on hold because of wind farms. How many more local businesses are affected? Businesses heavily reliant on tourism are dismayed at proposals to erect giant wind turbines in north Northumberland. When Nick and Gail Maycock rolled up at the front door of a former pub in Northumberland, they realised straight away it was for them. They were looking for somewhere to run as a B&B and, with their worldly goods and three dogs packed into their Morris Minor, the sight of The Friendly Hound couldn't have been more appropriate. Now, nine years on and £100,000-worth of rebuilding and development later, the couple look out on to the stunning landscape across to Ford Moss Nature Reserve with the threat of staring at 10, 360-foot wind turbines at every turn. "We don't want to see our hard work going down the drain," says Nick. "None of us is opposed to alternative energy sources and we realise we can't keep on going the way we are, but these developers have no interest in local businesses.
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.
The Lake District attracts more than 17 million visitors, one million overnight stays and tourist spending in excess of £34m a year. Its lure to tourists is well known - hills, dales, lakes and attractions that range from Beatrix Potter to owl sanctuaries, and traditional Lakeland shows to restored miniature steam railways. But now, if the West Cumbria branch of Friends of the Earth have their way, visitors will be heading to this particular green and pleasant corner of England to gawp at . . . wind farms.
Fife's prime attraction for visitors must be taken into account when a proposed wind farm near the picturesque village of Ceres is deliberated, a tourism leader has warned. The region's main appeal for tourists, its scenery and environment, must be given due consideration VisitScotland Fife area director Alan Graham said.
But campaigners from local pressure group Vortex massed outside the venue and canvassed the opinions of visitors leaving the exhibition. Vortex member Roger Wytcherley, aged 55, of Napley Heath, said the majority of people were opposed to the plans. "Everybody has been very willing to tell us their feelings, and not many are for the wind farm," he said. "A lot of people say their questions are evaded and washed over. People are most concerned about noise and loss of equity in their houses. People are not buying houses around here because of the threat of the wind farm.
There's been mixed news for tourism in Berwickshire this week - while one plan looks set to boost the economy another development is threatening to do the exact opposite............Things aren't looking as promising for the residents of Coldingham Moor. As reported in last week's Berwickshire News, they are becoming increasingly worried about what repercussions the proposed windfarm for Drone Hill could have for them. The development is the brainchild of PM Renewables and if their application is given the green light by Scottish Borders Council's Planning Department later this summer, 22 76 metre high turbines could soon be standing on either side of the A1107 across the cliff tops. Both Coldingham Community Council and Coldingham STAG have voiced their concerns over negative side effects for the local tourism industry and a recent survey by Visit Scotland has confirmed their suspicions. Results pointed to the fact that 26 per cent of people questioned wouldn't visit a place with a windfarm in its vicinity.
People in Mid Wales have been urged to fight the "deluge of proposals" for windfarms. Welshpool-based campaigner Dan Munford has collected almost 2,000 signatures. Worried residents across Wales have been signing up to fight the expected increase in the turbines. Many have voiced fears that any such increase could have disastrous effects on tourism.
Trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling yesterday launched a landmark development which could make Lowestoft the "wind energy capital" of the country. Mr Darling visited the town officially to launch the building work for the £9m Orbis Energy project at Ness Point. The new business centre will be ideally placed to lead the way in delivering the clean energy commitments made in the minister's white paper last month, as it will overlook a section of the North Sea which has become a global focal point for wind and wave energy.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds promised to communities as a recompense for living in the shadow of Sutherland's only operational wind farm have yet to be paid, it emerged this week. The £25 million Beinn Tharsuinn wind farm, straddling the Sutherland/Easter Ross border, came on stream two years ago, but local people have yet to see a penny of the community benefit pledged.
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.