Articles from UK
Boris Johnson has declared that wind power is the future of Britain's energy but an investigation has revealed turbine owners are being paid over the odds. Civil servants set subsidy rate so high it's been branded ‘licence to print money’.
For all the invocations of harnessing our gusty shores in some ‘green revolution’, the proclamations do not stand up to scrutiny. Even if we cranked up wind power provision to the level the Prime Minister proposes (40 gigawatts), this amount would power only about half the homes in Britain - or 7 percent of the total national energy demand.
Aberdeenshire Council’s planning service recommended refusal on the grounds that the application is contrary to its Local Development Plan Policy and added that it would have a visual impact and could have an impact on aircraft and aviation. Councillor Ann Ross said: “I think that the scale of the additional turbines would almost make it an industrial site and the sense of encroachment. I think it’s the wrong development in the wrong location and I have to agree with the recommendation.”
But he warned: “It won’t be straightforward. The key challenge is to bring down the cost of future floating farms which are a very long distance from the coast – that’s where most of the untapped wind resource is and that is the one technology which is not yet mature enough, so that would need to be accelerated to meet this challenge.
Pat’s rural idyll was soon to come to an abrupt end. Mark Hill wind farm with 28 giant turbines to the north of Dochroyle Farm, was granted approval in 2008. It was quickly followed by Arecleoch wind farm with 60 turbines, in 2009 and Kilgallioch with 96 turbines, to the South of Dochroyle, in 2013. Pat’s home is now effectively surrounded by a ring of steel: 184 enormous turbines dominate the landscape on every side. On windy days, even when there is a light breeze, Pat says the audible noise of the turbines is like living next to a motorway. But the audible noise is only part of the problem. She says the infrasound, or low-frequency sound waves with a frequency below the lower limit of audibility, are so distressing that she has been driven to the edge of despair.
The nacelle at the top of the structure was alight and falling debris caused a small fire on the ground. Firefighters worked with the site owner and Electricity North West to isolate the power and put a cordon in place to secure the area and allow the fire to burn out safely.
Wind farm developer Viking Energy has expressed its regret for allowing silt run offs from its construction site to enter nearby Sand Water, a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and one of the many lochs regularly checked for its water quality as part of the project.
A trade union has called for a halt to new offshore wind farms until a local supply chain is established. GMB London echoed the growing anger from GMB Scotland after it was announced last week that contracts to supply turbine jackets for SSE’s offshore wind farm, Seagreen, in Angus, were awarded to firms in China and UAE.
All of the turbine jackets for Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm will be fabricated thousands of miles from the North Sea despite a Government-supported bid by Fife’s BiFab. The firm has failed to win any work on the multi-billion pound Seagreen offshore wind farm project, located just a few miles from its yards in Burntisland and Methil.
The pilot decided to fly the aircraft at 400 ft above the ground to provide clearance of 72 ft between it and the top of the turbine blades, which the pilot assessed to be a sufficient distance," the statement continued. "However, the aircraft was destroyed when it flew into a wind turbine which had a height of 413 ft above the ground."
Renowned for its stunning scenery, pure air and sense of peace, a new Viking battle is disturbing island life on Shetland more than a thousand years after the first.
A group of Lewis crofters are calling for a change to a law it claims is crippling the potential of communities wishing to use land for development. It follows the group losing an appeal in a long-running battle to build community-owned wind turbines on common grazings.
Scottish SPCA auxiliary inspector, Maggie Adkins, said: “On arrival it was clear the eagle had a serious head injury and it was also being eaten alive by midges. “It was found in a remote part of the island close to a large wind turbine, so this is likely to have been the cause of its injuries.”
The appeal went on to say that the wind turbine would not have been possible without the support of Budwieser, and that this advertisement is “intrinsically linked” to the renewable [energy] it will produce.
The protesters said they were concerned with the amount of peat that was being extracted, as peat is regarded as a valuable carbon sink and should not be disturbed to build a renewable energy project on.
But what of wind turbines built on top of sensitive, natural environments – does low-carbon energy still help reduce emissions if it involves disturbing the kinds of habitats that are effective at trapping carbon and keeping it out of the atmosphere? This is an important question, but it is one that is too rarely being asked. In our recent study, we found that wind farms in Spain are being built on rare peat bogs that store vast quantities of planet-warming carbon. Because these habitats are so poorly mapped, there’s a good chance that this mistake is being replicated in many other places throughout Europe, including the UK.
Objectors’ concerns have centred on the impact of the project on local habitats and wildlife and on the size of Cleve Hill’s battery installation. There are fears that a fire could lead to "thermal runaway", causing a plume of toxic hydrogen fluoride gas to drift over the local urban areas in Faversham and Whitsable.
“Wind turbines have been very disruptive to the landscape where they've been allowed. They do not in any way match the character of the British landscape,” said Mark Sullivan, the Chairman of CPRE West Midlands, who has written to 25 MPs with local constituencies. He added that solar farms are an “insidious” presence. ...Mr Sullivan argues that the national CPRE does not reflect its membership’s view on the subject, and says if wind and solar farms return to the countryside “the long and costly fights against them will resume.”
Councillor David Moore, admitted he was personally a “not a great lover” of wind energy and also warned the turbines would make those off the coast of Walney look like “babies”. He added: “I look forward to us developing that position statement and I think it’s one that will create a lot of interest and debate in Copeland.
“Already, on windy days or days when the country’s demand is low, the electricity grid cannot cope with production from the wind farms already operating in Caithness and Sutherland. “This has led to eye-watering sums being paid to wind farm operators to turn off turbines – money that ultimately comes from all electricity customers.”