Articles filed under General from UK
Campaigners allege that the wind industry’s tax havens have deprived public services of “many millions” of pounds, while boosting private profits. Scotland’s renewable energy wealth is being “looted” by international tax avoiders, and profits “siphoned overseas”, they say. According to experts, wind farm ownership is “opaque” and “secretive”. The “bright green image” promoted by the renewable energy industry is “more a murky shade of grey”, says one.
Dismissing anyone who opposes this as a nimby allows developers to present themselves as holding the moral high ground. Nimbys are anti-progress refuseniks, they say, while developers are good for the economy, bringing improved infrastructure and even environmental gains. Yet anyone who has been involved in a local campaign will tell you how rarely developers contribute to local infrastructure, and how frequently finished developments can differ from original plans. The proportion of affordable housing is invariably the first casualty, renegotiated downwards as soon as planning permission is achieved.
Emeritus professor of the rural environment Michael Alder, who is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society, said a national debate was needed on the future of the countryside – including biodiversity and landscape as well as food and fuel. “Land is finite, and whatever you use it for there are trade-offs. “Sometimes these trade-offs are acceptable and sometimes they are not. “I have a particular concern about food security – the Sunnica proposal is for land that is very productive.”
The renewable energy company now wants six turbines measuring 200m; one at 190m and three at 150m. Ms Herrick previously said she had been taken aback at the speed at which Energiekontor UK sought a variance to its original consent and that developers should not be allowed to continually alter plans.
The hill at Knock Iveagh, which is home to a stone-age burial cairn, was an inauguration site for Irish kings and is a protected monument. A planning mistake meant archaeological experts were not consulted about the turbine application before approval was given. They later said that had they been, they would have recommended refusal.
‘Renewables are just not what people think they are. People think that they harmonise society with the natural world but that’s fantasy. Renewables can’t save the planet, are we going to keep letting them destroy it?’ ...Pound for pound, however, rare earths are vastly more intensive to extract and refine. To Shellenberger that, in combination with renewables’ unreliable, diffuse power, makes the entire green-energy revolution – Boris’s billions and Biden’s trillions – a vast mistake. ‘Renewables are going to have to fail, and they will fail spectacularly everywhere over the next several years, before we discover that really there’s no alternative, in terms of climate change, to doing a lot of nuclear.’
Last Wednesday the wind died, and Britain’s fleet of thousands of wind turbines mostly stopped turning. The engineers at National Grid had seen the problem coming: temperatures and wind speeds had been low all week and were forecast to fall further.
A Borders resident says they are “worried” about plans to build a wind farm near their home. Last month, this newspaper reported that E Power Limited will apply for planning permission to build the farm at Ditcher Law north of Oxton. But now a village resident says the proposal to build 15 wind turbines is “not really suitable” for the area.
Controversial plans by a north-east energy firm to build wind turbines on the edge of a village have prompted more than 340 objections from nearby residents. St Fergus Energy Limited hopes to build two 119 metre high turbines on land between the village and the gas terminal, owned by North Sea Midstream Partners on the nearby coast line. However the proposals, submitted by Midlothian firm Green Cat Renewables, have prompted outcry from the community.
A public inquiry into plans for a 39-turbine wind farm in a Highland mountain range has heard it could ultimately lead to a “complex larger than the city of Dundee” being built on a “once tranquil plateau”. The proposed Glenshero development would be sited next to the recently built 66-turbine Stronelairg wind farm in the Monadhliath mountains.
Residents of a picturesque Highland glen have gone head-to-head with developers over a wind farm name change. Developer Vento Ludens has told residents in the areas likely to be impacted by the wind farm near Glen Affric that the project name has changed from Fasnakyle to Fiodhag.
Trade unions have been highly critical of the failure to secure more renewable power engineering work for BiFab. Work on turbine jackets was seen as the best hope for Scotland's offshore fabrication sector. However, contracts have repeatedly gone to overseas yards, including Spain and Indonesia.
"Both the First Minister and the Prime Minister promised a green jobs revolution but they didn't tell anyone it would be exported, and it all amounts to broken promises to workers who needed these yards to be thriving instead of dying. "The fabrication contracts for NnG, just like those on the Seagreen project, will be manufactured by the rest of the world.
Energiekontor had appealed against Scottish Borders Council's rejection of its eight-turbine Wull Muir scheme. However, a reporter said it "failed to respect" the character of the area and turned down the appeal.
In a statement, the National Grid Electricity Systems Operator (ESO) said: "Unusually low wind output coinciding with a number of generator outages means the cushion of spare capacity we operate the system with has been reduced." It added that it was exploring measures to ensure that there was enough generation available to increase its capacity, and would update the market later on Wednesday evening.
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."
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.
“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.