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Campaigners in Eden have welcomed a government-sponsored report that highlights the damage wind farms can do to tourism. Members of COLT, Communities Opposing Lamonby Turbines, say the report backs their view. Plans for turbines at Whinash were thrown out after a public inquiry. Further applications for turbines at Lamonby, Skelton and Shap are being opposed by campaigners. The energy policy document, written on behalf of the Small Business Council, focuses on the impact on tourism and the rural economy of putting turbines up in rural areas. The SBC advises trade and industry ministers on the effect of Government policy on small firms. The report refers in part to a survey of 212 Cumbrian firms, in which 42 per cent thought that wind farm developments would detract from visitors’ experiences. Opinions of some in the report would like to see more offshore wind farms.
The Environment and Public Works Ministry is in favor of developing wind farms on Greek islands but wants to place strict restrictions on such development. The Greek islands, buffeted by winds for most of the year, have great potential as wind park locations. Ministry officials estimate that as many as 7,000 turbines could be installed, producing about 14,000 megawatts of energy annually. Private investors are fighting over prime locations. The islands also happen to be among Greece’s major tourist attractions. An overdevelopment of wind farms would create both aesthetic conflicts and great noise pollution, as anyone who has visited a wind park can confirm. Thus, the new land use plan for renewable energy sources being prepared by the Environment and Public Works Ministry would limit wind parks to 4 percent of a municipality’s area (versus 8 percent on the mainland and on the island of Evia), which should limit the number of wind turbines to 2,000, producing some 4,000 MW of energy.
Lewis Wind Power’s project to create the UK’s largest onshore wind farm would support only 70 jobs ‘at best’ - and not 233 posts as alleged by the company. This is the claim in a study carried out on behalf of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) by global real estate adviser DTZ Consulting, concerning the economic assessment of the plan for the Barvas Moor where it is proposed to build 181 wind turbines. David Hodkinson, Lewis Wind Power director, said: “We look forward to studying the contents of the report, but do wonder why RSPB is having to broaden its campaign against the Lewis Wind Farm away from the bird interests that are at the heart of its charitable status and Royal Charter.”
The important paper reviews research articles within the field of acoustics concerning the acoustic properties of wind turbines and noise and recommends a safe buffer zone of at least 2 km between turbines and residential dwellings. The abstract of this paper is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
Broadcaster and author Eric Robson has spoken out against plans to build a windfarm on fells alongside the M6 at Shap. The Cumbrian, who chairs Cumbria Tourism, has become a patron of Community Opposed to Shap Turbines (COST).
Lewis Wind Power have consistently made extravagant claims about the economic benefits that the world’s largest onshore wind farm could bring to Lewis and the Western Isles, arguing that these outweigh any environmental damage it would cause. Their own Environmental Statement contains an economic assessment by Regeneris Consulting, which states that 137 jobs will be supported during the development phase of the wind farm, and that a further 233 jobs will be supported once the wind farm becomes operational. However, the DTZ analysis, commissioned by RSPB Scotland, has found these figures misleading and hugely optimistic.
East Yorkshire’s tourist industry would be hit if huge wind turbines were built in the region, according to business owners. However, energy companies developing the wind farms have said the schemes could attract visitors to the area. The claims were made ahead of an East Riding Council planning committee meeting being held today.
The government’s plan to increase the nation’s reliance on green power could expand a black hole that already sucks nearly two billion kroner out of consumers’ pockets annually. In order to promote construction of wind turbines, the government has agreed to purchase the electricity they generate at a minimum price. The guaranteed prices have had the desired effect: some 5300 wind turbines dot the Danish countryside, producing 18.5 percent of all electricity generated. The practice has its downside, however. The guaranteed prices for wind power results in an overproduction that cost the state an excess DKK 21.6 billion between 2001 and 2005, according to figures from the National Audit Agency. Due to the uncertainty of whether the wind will blow, Energinet.dk, the organisation responsible for ensuring that the country can meet its electricity demand, has to keep a reserve of conventionally produced electricity in case the wind dies down. The extra cost is typically passed on to consumers in the form of higher electric bills.
Andrew Manning, spokesman for KNOll to Windfarm, says: “The findings are clear to us. Property values are likely to fall as a result of the proposed commercial wind development at Inner Farm.” “What is particularly worrying to us is that many wind farms in the UK are located in areas where there are relatively few residential properties, not close to towns and villages such as Burnham and Brent Knoll, where there are far more properties to be affected.” “The big question for the residents of Burnham-On-Sea, Brent Knoll and their surrounds must surely therefore be not whether values will fall, but by how much?”
A WIND farm located in the hills high above Selkirk, between Linglie Glen and The Three Brethren, generating money for local causes as well as electricity, could transform the Royal Burgh. Investigations into the possibility of a community wind farm are at a very early stage, but Selkirk Community Council has now taken the step of submitting their comments on a draft document about community benefits from commercial wind farms. The council feels there is plenty of under-exploited Common Good land and has welcomed the consultation paper, drawn up by Scottish Borders Council, as a good starting point for creating order in the important area of commercial wind generation and how it may impact on communities. However, the community council is adamant that any money generated by a wind farm on Common Good land should be paid to, and disbursed by, the local community, as embodied by the community council.
AMBITIOUS plans were announced yesterday to build the world's largest community wind farm on Shetland, capable of generating enough power to supply a quarter of Scotland's homes. The islands council, which has already made a fortune from its oil fund established 20 years ago, is now poised to make a massive windfall from renewable energy. The £600-million development of 200 turbines is to be built across a 90sq-km site on the north of the Shetland mainland, near the village of Vidlin, in a groundbreaking partnership between Viking Energy, the company established to represent Shetland Islands Council's (SIC) interests in wind farms, and energy giant Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE). The agreement, paving the way for the massive development, was formally signed at Busta House in Brae. The development of the giant wind farm is expected to generate up to £25-million-a-year income for the islanders.
A Welsh firm has vowed to plough hundreds of thousands of pounds into an Afan Valley community if its wind farm plans get the green light.Cardiff-based Eco2 is poised to submit plans for four 410ft turbines to power 7,500 homes on land near the village of Glyncorrwg. It said it will dish out £9,750 a year to the community for 25 years - the projected lifespan of the scheme. But opponents in the village say they are under siege from wind farm applications, and that the benefits will have scant impact on climate change.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the adventurer and outdoor campaigner, has launched a scathing attack on the Scottish executive’s renewable energy policy, claiming the country’s landscape is being ruined by wind turbines. Fiennes, a world-renowned explorer and mountaineer, accused ministers of creating a blight across much of rural Scotland and of putting the country’s tourism industry at risk. He said rural communities were threatened with destruction and urged Jack McConnell, the first minister, to scrap his renewables target until other methods of green energy generation are found.
Campaigners fear the impact of plans to use the Port of Ramsgate in Kent as the operating base for the world’s largest wind farm in the Thames Estuary. The government granted permission on Monday for the 341-turbine scheme off the Kent and Essex coasts along with a smaller 100-turbine project off Thanet. The Ramsgate First group said it was concerned about the effect of the base on residents and visitors to the town. Thanet District Council said it would not allow any serious disruption.
Plans to build England’s largest onshore windfarm would hit North Devon’s vital tourism industry, a public inquiry into the project was told yesterday. The warning was made by Martin Wickham, the general manager of the North Devon Marketing Bureau, at the public inquiry into plans by Exeter-based Devon Wind Power to build 22 wind turbines each 360ft high at Fullabrook Down, near Ilfracombe. Mr Wickham said the beautiful rural nature of North Devon and Exmoor was the underlying reason for people to come to the area and they might find other places to go if they felt the view had been spoiled by a windfarm.
The development of wind turbines around Dartmoor could damage the area’s vital tourism industry in the same way as foot and mouth disease, a public inquiry into windfarm plans has been warned.
When the Siddells moved to rural Ayrshire, they hoped for a life of peace and quiet. Now, at night, they say they can’t hear the television properly because of the wind turbines that loom over their converted steading.
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.
‘A victory for common sense and local democracy’ — that was the description of a planning inquiry decision that ruled against building three wind turbines within striking distance of Dartmoor. Opponents, who have fought the scheme to build the 81m turbines for the last 18 months, were in jubilant mood following the announcement last Thursday. Inspector Keith Smith dismissed an appeal by developers West Coast Energy following a public inquiry held in Okehampton in June. Ray Quirke, chairman of opposition group ODAT, said: ‘We are overjoyed and extremely relieved at the news. These turbines would have blighted our lives.