Library filed under Energy Policy from Europe
In a book released today, Dr. John Etherington - former Reader in Ecology, Thomas Huxley Medallist at the Royal College of Science and former co-editor of the Journal of Ecology - argues that wind farm technology is a wholly counter-productive and undesirable response to the problems of climate change and electricity generation.
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 experts at Carter Jonas in Peterborough have welcomed the lifting of a policy restriction against wind farm development in and around Oundle and Thrapston and nearby rural locations. For some time now, the energy team specialists have been urging local authorities to accommodate national targets for renewable energy when it comes to local planning policies and to ensure that development is appropriate in terms of location and being sustainable.
Ministers are considering whether to establish a "conservation bank" to help overcome planning objections to wind farms and other renewable-energy projects. Planning problems have held back British onshore wind farms. Vestas blamed nimby (not in my back yard) objections for its recent decision to shut Britain's only wind-turbine plant, on the Isle of Wight (see panel below). Vestas and other energy groups say planning delays and uncertainties make it riskier to invest in Britain than in other countries.
Jeremy Paxman's brother has launched a battle against plans for nine 120ft wind turbines overlooking Dartmoor national park which he said would "stick out like a sore thumb". James Paxman also criticised the Government's policy of subsidising wind energy, arguing that turbines were one of the least cost effective and reliable ways to generate electricity.
How would you imagine an environmentalist would react when presented with the following proposition? A power company plans to build a new development on a stretch of wild moorland. It will be nearly seven miles long, and consist of 150 structures, each made of steel and mounted on hundreds of tons of concrete. ...The answer is that if you are like many modern environmentalists you will support this project without question. You will dismiss anyone who opposes it as a nimby ...and campaign for thousands more.
Europe's largest onshore windfarm project has been thrown in severe doubt after the RSPB and official government agencies lodged formal objections to the 150-turbine plan, it emerged today. The setback adds to the problems facing the government's ambition to install 10,000 new turbines across the UK by 2020 as part of its plan to cut the carbon emissions causing climate change.
Wind farms risk becoming "redundant symbols" of Government efforts to combat climate change, the Campaign to Protect Rural England has warned. ..."What is going to happen is we will end up with these monstrosities in the landscape when other renewables have been developed and they will not take them down," she said.
We have to accept that the "real time" generation of electricity from a plethora of renewable energy is a seriously flawed strategy that will not get us closer to carbon-free generation any time soon, if ever. The "energy mix" is just a pretty lame excuse for the inadequacies of these puny wind and marine devices that litter our landscapes and seabed.
Miliband’s citing of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in support of his policy of subsidising the construction of many thousands of otherwise uneconomic wind turbines might appear grotesque, even comical; but not if you genuinely believe that Britain’s switching from coal to wind power for its electricity generation will save the lives of countless Africans. I have no idea whether Miliband truly believes that it will - but if he does, he is deluded.
Hundreds more wind farms than those already planned will have to be built to meet "flawed" Government targets for renewable energy, it was claimed last night. ...Professor Ian Fells, an energy expert and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said the Government's plans were "hugely expensive" and "wildly optimistic."
To meet our peak demand of 56 gigawatts of electricity would require 112,000 turbines covering 11,000 square miles, or an eighth of Britain's entire land area, says Christopher Booker. ...Most alarming of all, however, in the desperation to reach EU "renewables" target, is the setting up of a new Infrastructure Planning Commission to force through thousands of these absurd objects over the wishes of local people and councils, who are now to be robbed of any right of appeal.
Controversial plans to build four 102m wind turbines at Carsington Pastures have been given the go-ahead. A High Court Judge has today determined that proposals for the wind farm should proceed. Pundits said the ruling could be a landmark case for the future of wind farms across Britain.
"How the hell did we let that happen?" we often ask ourselves when we look at the brutalist monstrosity tower blocks which we allowed to blight our towns in the sixties. In a few decades' time we're going to be asking exactly the same question about the 300 foot wind turbines ruining what's left of Britain's wilderness. And a bit like the perpetrators of terrible sixties architecture now, no one's going to be able to come up with a satisfactory answer because, quite simply, there isn't one: wind turbines are a bad idea in almost every way imaginable.
On Wednesday Mr Miliband acknowledged that low-carbon energy would be more expensive for consumers, but pointed out that high-carbon fuels like coal and gas could also be expected to get more expensive because of increased demand from China and India. "We are going to minimise the costs as much as possible, but it is true there is not a low-cost energy future out there.
Let us be clear: Britain is facing an unprecedented crisis. Before long, we will lose 40 per cent of our generating capacity. And unless we come up quickly with an alternative, the lights WILL go out. Not before time, the Confederation of British Industry yesterday waded in, warning the Government it must abandon its crazy fixation with wind turbines.
The CBI today warns that giving too many incentives to wind risks deterring private investors from backing alternatives such as nuclear and clean coal, leaving the UK's energy mix dangerously skewed towards one source.
The Confederation of British Industry is lobbying the government to cut back its plans for expanding wind power, arguing that it would be better to focus on building more nuclear reactors so the UK does not have to fall back on volatile and carbon intensive gas supplies. The business group will today unveil a report called Decision Time in a bid to dramatically change the UK's energy policy.
Europe is finally cottoning on to the costs of tackling climate change, says the WSJ edit page, as economic fears lead to backsliding on the environment: "In other words, Western European leaders are the latest to discover that climate-change talk is cheap, but carbon-emissions regulation is expensive." So how to fight climate change?
Last week the Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE) called for a halt on a proposed €30bn spend on the national energy infrastructure so that a proper assessment of future energy needs as well as the economic benefit of the massive investment in renewable power could be addressed. ...Plans are now afoot to deliver up to 7,800 MW of wind power on the island of Ireland, with a mixture of onshore and offshore projects in the pipeline. It may well help reduce our carbon emissions, but at what cost?