Library filed under General from Europe
More than 100 construction workers could face the dole after the fuel crisis brought their project to a halt.
This short video shows the challenges of transporting a 40-meter wind turbine blade along roadways. The turbine component is headed to the Whitelee wind energy facility in the United Kingdom. Duration: 2 minutes 19 seconds
While supporters wax lyrical about how England's 137 turbines are an aesthetically pleasing solution to the need for more renewable energy, opponents remain unconvinced. Critics claim that, placed in the wrong area, they produce unacceptable levels of noise, adversely affect wildlife and destroy the natural landscape. If that wasn't bad enough, these apparently innocent looking structures also have the power to drive away tourists and kill birds. There appears to be little middle ground and, with plans in the pipeline for a further 136 sites - 23 of them in Yorkshire and the Humber - the debate is set to get more intense.
Scottish Renewables (Letters April 24) persists in presenting wind-generated electricity as renewable. While the wind certainly is, the back-up need of windpower electricity isn't. Claims of saving CO2 emissions are just that: claims with no basis as fossil generation is not displaced. ...Wind farms are only built to access huge public and consumer subsidies and are only supported by misinformed environmentalists and politicians, and those who profit from them.
Environmentalists are used to fighting battles. But with environmentalism going mainstream - wind farms, biofuels and nuclear power stations, for example, are fast becoming some of the most controversial issues in British politics today - environmentalists increasingly find themselves skirmishing with one another as they see-saw between pragmatism and idealism. ..."We [the RSPB] are committed to tackling climate change," it says. But "we cannot support any renewable generation proposal which would have a significant and adverse impact on wildlife and habitats, particularly sites which are protected by law specifically for their wildlife value." It denies that there is a conflict between meeting renewables targets and protecting wildlife. But this conflict keeps on happening.
The news source noted industry analysts saying that Spain already has an installed base of 15 000 MW in wind energy facilities, with ambitious targets of 20 000 MW by 2010 and 30 000 MW by 2020. Spanish wind power producers foresee a maximum capacity of 40 000 MW by 2030. But Red Electrica de Espana (REE), the country's grid operator, constrains the share of wind power to 30 per cent of the energy mix, to ensure that the grid does not falter on wind availability issues. Wind power producers are reportedly concerned about this set-limit and are expecting to see downtime for wind facilities once the limit is breached.
In response to Scottish industry's concerns that its lights may go out, Britain's power industry had to admit it would not make one iota of difference as wind power is too unstable to be included in any calculations of how much power is needed to satisfy the country's needs - whether or not the wind is blowing our power stations will still burn the same amount of fossil fuel.
Germany was replaced by the United States as the world's No.1 market for newly installed wind turbines last year due to falling subsidies, the German wind energy federation BWE said on Tuesday. While new installation of wind turbines worldwide rose about 31 percent overall to 20,076 megawatt (MW), new installations in Germany slumped 25 percent to 1,667 MW last year, the association said in a statement.
Mr Simpson said that while he was not against windfarms in general, he feared that incentives and government targets meant that, despite local opposition, energy firms would get their way in what he described as a "Tesco syndrome" - whereby large companies persevere until they get what they want due to attractive subsidies in the long term. "These companies will just keep coming back, appealing and appealing in the hope local people will give up or run out of money or finally planning inspectors will find in their favour," he said.
Plans to build one of Europe's largest onshore wind farms in the Outer Hebrides were formally rejected today after Scottish ministers ruled the £500m scheme would devastate a globally significant peatland.
So how is this relevant to the proposal (which thankfully Scottish ministers are "minded to refuse") to put 181 wind turbines and 88 miles of road network on the Lewis peatlands, an area afforded special protection under European law? The point is we need places like the Lewis peatlands, we need places where protection of nature is first priority, not just for the sake of wildlife, but for our own well being as a species. A staggering 800,000 hectares of Europe's land was converted to artificial surfaces between 1990 and 2000, a trend which has continued into this century and will no doubt continue into the future. Strict protection of the very best places for wildlife is therefore as high a priority as ever ...Any erosion of [protected areas'] status will spell disaster for our tentative efforts to live in better balance with the natural world.
Anti-wind turbine group FLAT said it is pleased Marshland Windfarm Ltd has re-scheduled a public event at Marshland St James and is holding a consultation at Tilney St Lawrence. ...FLAT is calling for calm and democracy at the forthcoming meetings saying: "We would encourage you to let the developers know exactly what you think about the proposal - but please ensure that this is done in a calm and democratic way. "Some of the recent unforgivable attacks of vandalism (on members of both sides of the debate) have shown that things are beginning to get out of hand."
The first turbines are up-and-running at a controversial windfarm which is set to transform the Rossendale landscape. Four turbines are now spinning and undergoing tests on the Scout Moor wind farm and another two should be in action within a week. Engineers have already erected a total of 15 turbines on the hills above Rossendale with work on the 26 turbine windfarm expected to be completed by July. When completed, it will be the biggest onshore wind farm in England stretching across two miles of moorland.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in February, Edison Mission Energy, a unit of Edison International, said the 144-foot-long windmill blades it recently bought from Suzlon have begun to split at three wind-power sites it operates in the Midwest. Suzlon has recalled 1,251 blades from its top-of-the-line turbines, which represent the majority of blades the company has sold to date in the U.S.. Its troubles don't end there. A year ago, the company bought a controlling stake in a large German turbine manufacturer, REpower Systems AG, in one of India's biggest overseas acquisitions. ...Now, Suzlon can't get its hands on the blueprints. Hamstrung by a German corporate law, Suzlon must offer to buy out minority shareholders before it can demand REpower's designs. It's unlikely that the company could make a tender offer until 2009, say people with knowledge of the companies. ...Mr. Kher blamed the cracks on the Midwest's unexpectedly violent changes in wind direction. Though Mr. Tanti says that only 45 blades have cracked, Suzlon says it will add an extra lamination layer to almost all of the blades it has shipped to the U.S. To repair cracked blades and reinforce the rest, the company expects to spend $30 million.
Spain's wind parks currently have an installed capacity of some 15,000 megawatts and the government wants to see 20,000 MW in place by 2010 and 30,000 MW by 2030. Spain's wind power manufacturers say they can expand capacity to 40,000 MW by 2020. But national grid operator REE currently limits wind parks to supplying 30 percent of Spain's energy demand, to protect power network from sudden drops in power if the wind falters. ...REE had to enforce the 30-percent limit last month when wind turbines set a production record and momentarily met some 28 percent of total demand. Wind parks have produced up to 24 percent of demand on a given day and fluctuations in output produce wide swings in prompt power prices in the over-the-counter market.
Only George Orwell could have invented - and named - the British Government's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) that came into operation yesterday. It is the latest in a long line of measures intended to ease the conscience of the rich while keeping the poor miserable, in this case spectacularly so. ...The British Government has been persuaded by the wind turbine manufacturers to commit a third of its annual renewables subsidy to this uniquely inefficient energy source, advertising over hill and dale the cabinet's horror of making a decision on nuclear power. ...If all these fancy subsidies and market manipulations were withdrawn tomorrow and government action confined to energy-saving regulation, I am convinced the world would be a cheaper and a safer place, and the poor would not be threatened with starvation. Just now, for reasons not all of which are "green", commodity prices are soaring. Leave them. Send food parcels to the starving, but let demand evoke supply and stop curbing trade. The marketplace is never perfect, but in this matter it could not be worse than government action. Playing these games has so far made a few people very rich at the cost of the taxpayer. Now the cost is in famine and starvation. This is no longer a game.
I have read the applicants' press release and it does nothing more than describe all the benefits that will go to a business empire and farmers that have been persuaded to sign over their milk quotas in order to make cheese. The 34 farms from near and far will be paid a premium that, according to the press release, will average per year some £10.000-£30,000 each. The loss of value for the properties around these turbines will far exceed this figure with no compensation. Not one word is written about the residents around the village whose lives will be permanently blighted by the sight and sound of these money making monstrosities. ...I just do not agree with the way that private individuals can erect turbines for their own benefit without any consideration for the people who live around the area.
A protest group has moved to publicly distance itself from a growing list of "horrifying" attacks against landowners supplying land for a wind farm. In one of the most recent attacks the hedge of one landowner's home was set alight - leading his panicked teenage son to race outside fearing his granddad's next-door home was ablaze. The proposed wind farm at Marshland St James has already been blamed for the death of landowner and father-of-three Richard Herbert, who an inquest ruled committed suicide in a state of fear and anxiety over the backlash to the scheme among fellow villagers. ...Wind turbine opposition group Fenland Landscape Against Turbines (FLAT) has issued a statement reiterating that its campaign is a peaceful one and condemning illegal acts.
The Aithsting grazings committee, which represents up to 40 crofters between East and West Burrafirth, Tresta, Aith and Clousta, have written to developers Viking Energy "strongly" objecting to their plans to build a 554 megawatt (MW) wind farm. The crofters have also written to the owners of the Burrastow and Venemtry estates on which they raise sheep, calling on them to turn down an offer of compensation for siting wind turbines on their land. The crofters believe the scale of the development outlaws it under the most recent crofting legislation, which allows land to be "resumed" for specific community-based activities.
Council bosses in Sheffield have identified Westwood Country Park, in High Green, as the location for the city's first-ever wind farm. But that has already blown up a storm of opposition from local people: ...Sheffield Council has approved proposals for a feasibility study for the city's first wind turbine site in Westwood Country Park. If it recommends going ahead it could see up to six 100-metre turbines whirring away in around 18 months. But the plan worries Andy Redfern, a company director, who has lived on Merbeck Drive, High Green, for nearly 20 years. His pleasant family home is practically the last in Sheffield before the Barnsley border. His sitting room looks out on the hillside of Westwood Country Park - smack where Sheffield Council hopes to site the wind farm. ...The campaigners want to know which developers have already been approached about the plan, and what trusts or covenants exist with regard to the country park.