Keep a check on what is happening with the huge 32 turbines wind farm planned for Clocaenog, just outside Ruthin. Or, better still, get involved. To find out more check out their website http://www.cawt.info
Television presenter Griff Rhys Jones has criticised the ‘hypocrisy’ of wind farms, calling them ‘green tokenism’ (May 22, 2012). The full story can be found at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2147860/Wind-farms-green-tokenism-Actor-Griff-Rhys-Jones-attacks-turbines-says-elitist-care-countryside.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
Also on May 22, Simon Jenkins in The Guardian hits out at the government’s new energy policy. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/22/energy-policy-government-nuclear-wind
News just in (May 20, 2012)…Electricity bills set to rise to pay for wind farm subsidies. Household electricity bills will rise by as much as a quarter to pay for wind farms and other forms of renewable energy, according to a new report.
The study challenges the Government’s claims that energy bills will actually fall in the next eight years because of energy efficiency savings. The Coalition is relying on the savings to offset the price increases caused by renewable energy subsidies. Those extra costs are added on to household bills in the form of consumer subsidies. This week the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will publish its draft energy bill, setting out how it plans to reform the electricity market and reduce the cost to households. Full story at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/renewableenergy/9276895/Electricity-bills-set-to-rise-to-pay-for-wind-farm-subsidies.html
This is from today’s Daily Telegraph (April 30, 2012)..’At the moment there are 3,162 wind turbines onshore in the UK, up from a few hundred when the industry first set out 20 years ago.
Despite protests around the country, the number being built is set to speed up even further over the next few years with 657 currently under construction and 1,788 approved but not yet built.
There are another 2,974 in the planning process that have yet to be approved, meaning the total number will be 8,581 if they are all built. To reach Government targets to generate 15 per cent of energy from renewables by 2020, it is expected around 10,000 turbines will need to be built onshore in the UK.
Mr Bill Bryson, President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said the turbines will destroy the countryside………(For the rest of the article see the link below.)http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9234661/Wind-farms-in-the-wrong-places-are-turning-the-public-against-fighting-climate-change-says-Bill-Bryson.html
This sounds promising! Story in The Telegraph dated February 4, 2012. ‘A total of 101 Tory MPs have written to the Prime Minister demanding that the £400 million-a-year subsidies paid to the “inefficient” onshore wind turbine industry are “dramatically cut”. The backbenchers, joined by some MPs from other parties, have also called on Mr Cameron to tighten up planning laws so local people have a better chance of stopping new farms being developed and protecting the countryside…….’ Full story at the links below.
Although the following is a bit of a rant, it is full of useful pointers and LOTS of positive energy! Wind Watch information
Also, here’s a two minute video from Scotland which illustrates how noisy the turbines can be. http://www.wind-watch.org/video-aberdeenshire.php
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-17260015 – March 6, 2012. ‘Plans for 11 wind turbines near Newtown have been refused after planners said the scheme would have a “significant impact” on roads. Acciona Energy UK applied to Powys council to build 377ft (115m) structures at Waun Garno, Llawr y Glyn. But councillors refused the plans, after a report said access to the site was via narrow roads which would restrict the movement of large loads. There are also concerns about the impact on the view and the landscape…….’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2101581/Multi-million-pound-windfarm-set-scrapped-walker-finds-line-ancient-stones.html – dated February 15, 2012. ‘A multi-million pound windfarm looks set to be scrapped after an ancient Stone Age monument was spotted on the site using Google Earth. Workers had already begun installing 15 wind turbines on the mountain top in Wales when a walker stumbled upon a row of stones on the site and realised they were of historical interest. Archaeologists then plotted the line of stones on Google Earth and decided the relics must be around 3,500 years old……’
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/need_to_read/2012/02/13/the-growing-number-of-wind-turbines-in-north-wales-55578-30320889/ – dated February 13, 2012. ‘FEARS are growing of the possible industrialisation of North Wales’ scenic countryside with more than 100 wind turbines set to be built in the coming months. Of these 57 are set to be a colossal 475ft high (145m) – one-and-a-half times the height of Big Ben at 315ft……..’
http://www.southwalesguardian.co.uk/news/ammanfordnews/9503038.Expert_says_work_on_Mynydd_y_Betws_windfarm_must_stop/ February 1, 2012. ‘ALL construction work around the recently-discovered Neolithic stone row at Mynydd y Betws must come to an immediate halt, according to one of the UK’s leading heritage law experts. Peter Alexander-Fitzgerald, of Rescue – The British Archaeological Trust – has called for Carmarthenshire county council to use its powers to stop all work until a full survey of the area is carried out……’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-16604457 – dated January 18, 2012. ‘Fears of transport gridlock in Powys due to wind farm development will be aired at a meeting in Newtown later. Up to 40 firms are due to attend, many concerned about the impact of building up to 15 wind farms in mid Wales……..’
http://www.countytimes.co.uk/news/109454/broken-turbine-shuts-windfarm.aspx – dated January 13, 2012. ‘Unexplained damage to a wind turbine at Mid Wales’ largest windfarm has led to it being shut down for over a month. Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) says it is currently investigating the incident which took place at Llandinam Windfarm in ‘early December’. There is no explanation as yet about what caused the damage as SPR awaits the conclusions of its investigation. The incident has also meant that the windfarm has effectively been ‘switched off’ while the other turbines on the site are checked. Mike Brennan, who noticed the damage while out walking on December 27 last year, said that the incident had raised a number of questions that needed to be answered. “There are three concerns,” he said. “One is the safety of people using the bridlepaths, two the safety precautions if they put in bigger turbines and three what are the safety precautions at other sites throughout Mid Wales?”……………..
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-16524850 – January 12, 2012. ‘Opponents of wind farm developments in mid Wales have predicted a “Pandora’s box” of legal challenges to the Welsh government’s policy encouraging them. Campaigners’ lawyer Neville Thomas QC said ministers “made a mess of it” by issuing fresh guidance days before new EU environment assessment rules. He addressed the assembly’s environment and sustainability inquiry into Welsh energy policy at the Senedd. The Welsh government said its 2005 plan “remains fit for purpose”. The Senedd’s environment and sustainability committee, chaired by Lord Elis-Thomas, has been hearing the concerns of groups opposed to the spread of wind farms and electricity pylons in parts of Wales.
There are already about 200 wind turbines across parts of Powys, with reports that a further 600 could be built in the future.
There is also concerns over proposals to construct a new network of power lines in the county…….’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-16447654 – dated January 9, 2012. ‘A special council meeting about controversial plans to build wind turbines in Powys will be staged later this month. Powys council will broadcast it live on the internet on 26 January.Opposition to wind farms in the county has grown since proposals were announced last year to build a 19-acre electricity substation. The National Grid has argued that the current network will need upgrading to handle the additional power generated. Public meetings have been held in opposition to the substation and planned wind farms, and there has been a protest outside the Senedd in Cardiff. The council said the potential impact of wind farms was causing a huge amount of concern to people in the county. There are reports that more than 600 wind turbines could be built in mid Wales, in addition to more than 200 already there……’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-16289702 – dated December 29, 2011. ‘The main environment stories in 2011 have been about campaigners and protesters trying to engage government at local, Welsh and UK levels. Energy has been the main bone of contention. What’s devolved to Wales, and what’s under Westminster control, is under scrutiny and the subject of political disagreements. Energy and protecting landscapes have become major themes – opposing turbines and pylons in mid Wales, and gas drilling in south Wales……..’
http://www.northwalesweeklynews.co.uk/conwy-county-news/local-conwy-news//tm_headline=pentrefoelas-farmer-delight-at-wind-turbine-plans%26method=full%26objectid=29992195%26siteid=55243-name_page.html – dated December 23, 2011. ‘A controversial wind turbine has been approved despite concern from councillors about the impact it might have on the environment. Farmer Gari Jones, 39, of Ffordd Fronbellaf, Pentrefoelas, was delighted when Conwy county planners last week approved his application to install a 50kw wind turbine….Cllr Sue Shotton urged planners to look at the facts. “North Wales relies on tourism. It’s impact will be detrimental to the landscape. People don’t come to Wales to see wind turbines,” she said…..
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-16093611 – dated December 8, 2011. ‘More windfarms and pylons may be built in Wales in the national interest, says UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry. It could mean the pylons being sited against the wishes of local people, he said. He was speaking as campaigners opposed to turbines in mid Wales protested to the Senedd………Speaking to reporters on Thursday, First Minister Mr Carwyn Jones said: “Do we want to see more wind? That’s right. There are limits to that. We have made our view clear with the limits we have expresses in Tan 8. The UK government has of course said that they will ignore Tan 8 – that’s the difficulty.”
http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Wind-farm-bid-progress-leaves-group-stunned/story-14044841-detail/story.html – dated December 5, 2011. The article states ‘Campaigners have reacted with shock that plans for a major wind farm in Carmarthenshire have been allowed to move forward. The Government’s Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) has formally accepted an application from a company to build 28 turbines in Brechfa Forest…….The news comes despite Carmarthenshire Council’s planning committee recently criticising the company for the way it carried out its public consultation. Caroline Evans, of the Brechfa Forest Energy Action Group, said: “We are very shocked and surprised that the IPC has accepted this application to go forward to the examination stage because the county council is quite damning in its report. The company behind the plans is RWE Npower Renewable, which wants to build the wind farm on land to the east of Alltwalis. The project, called Brechfa Forest West, is so large it does not go to the county council through the normal planning process, but to the IPC.’
http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Wind-turbine-firm-failing-consult-properly/story-13996367-detail/story.html dated November 30, 2011. The article states, ‘County planners have criticised a wind farm developer for alleged failings during its public consultation in Carmarthenshire. Members of the county council’s planning committee were looking at the way an energy company dealt with people over its plans for 28 turbines on land east of Alltwalis, north-east of Carmarthen. The project is called Brechfa Forest West and the developer is RWE Npower Renewables.’
http://davidjonesblog.com/2011/11/26/tan-8-is-key-to-wind-farm-spreah-daily-post-article/ – dated November 26, 2011. Article by David Jones, Conservative MP for Clwyd West, in which he urges the Welsh Government to amend TAN8.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-15832666 – dated November 22, 2011. ‘An official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in north Wales is being extended. Environment Minister John Griffiths has ruled around 230 square kilometres of land in Wrexham and Denbighshire should fall within the Clwydian Range AONB. He said the move proposed by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) would help protect the landscape…….He added, “AONB status for this area will help safeguard its natural beauty and promote sustainable development. The AONB brand may also help to draw in an increased number of tourists to enjoy the area’s natural beauty.”
http://www.darrenmillaram.com/news/clwydian-range-extension-welcomed – dated November 23, 2011. Clwyd West AM Darren Millar welcomes the extension of the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/3500971/Wind-turbines-would-need-to-cover-Wales-to-supply-a-sixth-of-countrys-energy-needs.html – dated November 20, 2011. ‘An area the size of Wales would need to be covered in wind turbines to meet just a sixth of the nation’s daily energy needs, according to a new study that has cast doubt over the Government’s push for wind energy.’
http://www.trapp-online.org/index.php/about-us – the website for Trannon Residents Against Power Plans. TRAPP was formed in July 2011 and is based in Trefeglwys in the beautiful Trannon Valley. We were formed in response to plans to build a 20 acre substation at Abermule or Cefn Coch and a long route of huge pylons through Mid Wales and Shropshire to transmit power from hundreds of proposed new wind turbines.
http://www.nonantymochwindfarm.co.uk/latest-news-powys-shropshire-pylons-plans.html -excellent website which has the opening statement, ‘ The magnificent wilderness around Nant y Moch and Pumlumon in the Cambrian Mountains is highly cherished: a sacred, exquisite jewel. But this world class countryside faces a shabby shameful threat. A planning application will be submitted late 2011 early 2012 to construct a massive wind power station at Nant y Moch.’
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/11/10/lib-dem-peer-warns-of-damage-to-landscape-by-new-wind-farms-in-mid-wales-91466-29750656/ – dated November 10, 2011. ‘A Liberal Democrat peer yesterday warned of the “devastating” potential of wind farms to damage the landscape of Mid Wales. Lord Thomas of Gresford described the economic benefits of wind farms as a “total illusion”. He urged the Department for Energy to pay attention to high-profile protests against new wind farms. He was speaking even as Lib Dem Energy and Climate Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday insisted the UK’s turbines are “here to stay” and will not be replaced by shale gas.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-15575037 – dated November 3, 2011. ‘Energy companies could shun Wales and invest elsewhere in Europe because of the complicated planning process, AMs have been warned. Scottish Power says local planning authorities have been unable to progress wind farm applications in a reasonable timescale.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-15569612 – BBC piece dated November 3, 2011, about work starting on a controversial road access for the 15 turbine Mynydd y Bettws wind farm in Carmarthenshire. Complaints have centred on the ‘thousands’ of lorries entering the site, and how the houses shake as they pass. A local resident also said, ‘that generators were running all night and that he had recently had to ask for tower lights shining towards his house to be turned.’
http://visitwalesnow.org.uk/index.htm – a hard-hitting website that looks at the devastation to the Welsh landscape caused by wind farm development. Good use of photographs, too.
http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Warning-wind-farm-funds/story-13631043-detail/story.html dated October 22, 2011 -the story opens with ‘Investment in renewable energy projects in Wales is in danger of being frozen, the boss of a Port Talbot wind farm company has said. Piers Guy, head of development at Nuon Renewables said this would be a disaster for the company and for Wales.’
www.megalithic.co.uk – on this website was the following piece which may be of interest to those keen on the archaeology and history of the mountain and surrounding area. (We have put the last section in bold as being of specific interest.) ‘Tan-y-Coed (047396) is much mutilated but was probably originally circular with a diameter of c.50m. Bowen and Gresham refer to a large capstone with a chamber visible. Branas Uchaf (011375) has also been damaged but was probably originally a circle with a diameter of c.25m and a central megalithic chamber (several stones are visible). Craig Yr Arian (012358), a gouged heap of stone with a dislodged capstone and intrusive modern walling is the sorriest-looking prehistoric site I know. Because of the forest cover it is difficult to assess its topographic situation but its builders made no attempt to site it in view of the nearby tomb of Branas Uchaf; rather it seems to lie on a minor saddle between the wartersheds of the Dee and the Afon Dinam (a feeder of the Ceidiog), and if anything it seems to favour the Afon Ceidiog side of the catchment. At c.370m I think it is the highest megalithic site in North Wales, and in terms of its siting is perhaps more reminiscent of a Late Neolithic/Bronze Age cairn. See Bowen and Gresham 1967, 29-32; Burnham 1995, 12-13, 196) I tentatively hypothesise a prehistoric ford or ferry across the Dee at Tyfos, providing an alternative to the traditional crossing at Cynwyd. This would connect both circles to a direct route across the Berwyn massif into the North Wales heartland and perhaps ‘explain’ their pairing (it should be noted that Bowen and Gresham proposed this very course 35 years before I thought of it (1967, 3-4)). The route north would pass Tyfos and then cross the unfrequented minor uplands of Mynydd Mynyllod via the natural breach created by Nant Mynydd Mynyllod. The evidence is circumstantial, consisting only of the pure elegance of the route on the Ordnance Survey map and indications of a pre-modern path alongside the modern bridleway to the east of the stream. This initially rises by some heavily disturbed zig-zags at 028390 (to join a worn track from the east) and is thereafter apparent sporadically (e.g. 027391, 025396). Without a now-lost river crossing here it lacks purpose beyond a local stock way onto the higher ground. The crux of the route, across boggy and overgrown terrain passes between a small standing stone on a slight eminence (marked as a boundary stone on the map (019407)) to the east, and a dense grouping of cairns on the slope to the west. Most of the latter are undoubtedly clearance cairns (probably prehistoric) but I hazard that two prominent larger ones may be equivalent to pass-markers (017407) (NB. the ancient cairns are distinguishable from their frequent recent counterparts which are characterised by massive boulders). This surprisingly remote and unspoiled watershed zone, which includes the enigmatic Llyn Mynyllod, has the feel of a prehistoric presence lying just beneath the surfaces of the land and water. Writing in connection with the kerb circle and ring cairn a little further north along this hypothetical route, Frances Lynch observes that: ‘…the area as a whole is important in prehistory for it forms a nodal point to many natural lines of communication.’ (Lynch 1986, 81)
http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Fresh-road-safety-worry-injury/story-13631112-detail/story.html – dated October 22, 2011. This article is about ‘A safety campaigner who has warned of the danger of large vehicles being allowed to use an access road to a wind farm development needed hospital treatment — after a collision with a low loader.’
http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/20111021/mp-warns-wind-farms-could-destroy-mid-wales.htm – story dated October, 20, 2011, in which MP Glyn Davies speaks out that he feels the plans to include hundreds of onshore wind turbines in mid Wales will make no economic or climate change sense whatsoever. The proposal includes the erection of 600-800 onshore turbines, further to the ones that have already been granted, and furthermore a 20 acre electricity sub-station and 100 miles of new cable (most of which will be carried on steel towers of 150 high).
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/10/20/renewable-energy-companies-criticise-wales-slow-planning-process-for-delays-91466-29627319/ dated October 20, 2011. The article leads off with ‘ Major renewable energy companies have criticised Wales’ slow planning process and a “lack of ambition” to deliver major projects in evidence to an inquiry into the system. In evidence to the Assembly’s Environment and Sustainability committee, which is investigating the planning system, representatives from three renewable energy developers criticised the speed of processing planning applications and said that there was a “lack of leadership” in implementing ambitious targets.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-15148610 – dated October 4, 2011. BBC story regarding, ‘residents who fear roads serving a planned wind farm in Carmarthenshire will not be able to cope with large lorries needed during construction are calling for direct action. About 100 people attended the public meeting in Cwmgors near Ammanford. Building work on the 15 turbines at the Mynydd y Bettws wind farm is due to start in the next few weeks.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-15072221 – dated September 27, 2011. BBC Wales piece about people living near wind farms calling on the Welsh Assembly to have periods of respite when turbines are switched off to give residents some ‘peace and quiet’.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-15008779 – dated September 21, 2011. BBC video news piece in which First Minister Carwyn Jones warns that large windfarms could be built anywhere in Wales, because the UK government is refusing to devolve more powers on large energy schemes to the assembly.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-10883774 – dated August 6, 2010. This is an interactive map with details of existing and planned wind farms in Wales. Not sure if it is totally up-to-date.
http://www.midwaleswind.co.uk/section489545.html This link has details of action groups who are working together to keep residents of Mid Wales informed about wind farm planning in the area. Good support and huidance in opposing large scale wind farm development is available through this link.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/01/local-opposition-onshore-windfarms-tripled – March 1, 2012. ‘Local opposition to onshore windfarms has tripled since 2010, a new Guardian poll reveals, following a series of political and media attacks on the renewable technology. However, a large majority of the British public (60%) remains firmly in favour of wind power, while also opposing the building of new nuclear or coal power plants in their local area. The poll shows that the national debate over wind energyis becoming sharply polarised, with the percentage of Britons strongly supporting the building of a new windfarm in their area going up by 5%, and the percentage strongly against rising by 14%……………………’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9114054/David-Cameron-says-countryside-wind-farms-have-been-wasteful-of-public-money.html- dated February 29, 2012. ‘In his strongest ever criticism of green energy, the Prime Minister suggested too much taxpayer cash has been given to on-shore wind farms, which are now highly profitable for developers because of generous susbsidies. We’re cutting the subsidy to onshore wind because I think it has been over-subsidised and wasteful of public money,” he said during weekly Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons. “The second thing we’re doing is the Localism Act will give local communities a greater say over issues like wind turbines”……..
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/28/windfarms-risk-free-millions-for-landowners – dated February 28, 2012. Part 2 of the series – well worth reading!
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/27/windfarms-axed-uk – dated February 27, 2012. ‘In the first of a three-part series, we look at the political shifts causing investors to doubt Britain’s commitment to wind…..’
http://www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk/Wind-farm-drive-turning-region-pin-cushion/story-15265522-detail/story.html – dated February 18, 2012. ‘Campaigners against wind turbines have formed a new alliance amid claims a “windrush” of up to 600 new planning applications could turn parts of the Westcountry into a “pin cushion”. Around 400 new schemes are being prepared in Cornwall as council planners now consider 69 formal requests for permission, it has emerged. A further 200 sites are said to have been earmarked for Devon with landowners in windy parts of the region set to earn close to £500,000 per year for a single turbine……’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2102848/Green-taxes-add-15-bills-At-admission-families-paying-energy.html – dated February 18, 2012. ‘Electricity prices are 15 per cent more expensive than they should be because of green policies, Whitehall officials have admitted. Energy costs for hard-pressed consumers have been pushed up by extra charges imposed to help the Government meet pledges to cut carbon emissions…..’
http://www.thametoday.co.uk/news/local/wind_farm_victims_deserve_hs2_rights_1_3522560 – dated February 18, 2012. ‘A Hollingdon woman is furious that those affected by HS2 could get compensation, but she would receive nothing for having her ‘life ruined’ by a series of 410-ft -tall wind turbines. In December plans were submitted to build four turbines, each bigger than the London Eye, at the edge of Aylesbury Vale – in an area that campaigners claim is one of the least windy in Bucks. Mrs Hazel Coey, 58, claims her house will be worth 50 per cent less if the wind farm is built – but the group behind the plans claim it is not ‘reasonable’ for her to seek compensation………..’
http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2012/02/16/22m-wind-turbines-plan-at-four-shropshire-farms/ – February 16, 2012. ‘Talks are under way to install the windfarm which would span four farms between Minsterley and Worthen near Shrewsbury. Developers say the scheme would create enough energy to power 7,500 homes in the area a year and to save more than 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year……’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-17028930b -February14, 2012. ‘Conservationists say they fear that subsidies could turn Northamptonshire into the wind farm capital of England. The Campaign to Protect Rural England says there are currently nine applications under consideration in the county where the wind speed is one of the lowest in the country.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9076458/Wind-industrys-extensive-lobbying-to-preserve-subsidies-and-defeat-local-resistance-to-turbines.html – dated February 11, 2012. ‘The intensive lobbying – both to construct wind farms and to maintain generous subsidies – comes amid growing unease over an industry adding to the burden on household electricity bills. Analysis of UK wind farms shows that the 15 biggest owners will between them receive almost £850 million in subsidies that are added on to household electricity bills………’
http://www.bwea.com/ukwed/planning.asp – dated February 6, 2012. List of all planned wind farm developments in the UK (should be accurate, apparently, even though I can’t find Mynydd Mynyllod in the list!) From RenewableUK.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2096797/Wind-farms-actually-INCREASE-climate-change-raising-temperatures-warn-academics.html dated February 5, 2012. ‘They have long been championed as a way to combat global warming by creating clean energy. But wind farms can actually alter the climate according to a new study by a group of American scientists. The team from the University of Illinois found that daytime temperatures around wind farms can fall by as much as 4C, while at night temperatures can increase………..’
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/297150/MPS-bid-to-halt-hot-air-Chris-Huhne-s-wind-farms – dated January 22, 2012. ‘A new cross-party campaign group is to be set up in Westminster to demand the Government drops its support for thousands more wind farms. Energy Secretary Chris Huhne wants a major expansion of onshore wind farm development to help Britain meet green targets. Backbench MPs from all parties will brand heavily subsidised onshore wind farms inefficient, expensive and a major blight on the landscape. They will urge Ministers to re-think a policy which will add £280 to the annual energy bill of hard-pressed homeowners by 2020……….’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9000760/Wind-power-is-expensive-and-ineffective-at-cutting-CO2-say-Civitas.html – dated January 9, 2012. ‘A study in the Netherlands found that turning back-up gas power stations on and off to cover spells when there is little wind actually produces more carbon than a steady supply of energy from an efficient modern gas station. The research is cited in a new report by the Civitas think tank which warns that Britain is in danger of producing more carbon dioxide (CO2) than necessary if the grid relies too much on wind. Wind turbines only produce energy around 30 per cent of the time. When the wind is not blowing – or even blowing too fast as in the recent storms – other sources of electricity have to be used, mostly gas and coal……’
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/news/john-muir-trust-says-xmas-used-to-bury-wind-farm-news/006055/ – dated January 2, 2012. ‘The John Muir Trust (JMT), the UK’s leading wild land conservation charity, is dismayed to see that another festive season has been used by the Scottish Government to bury bad news. The Trust notes that the announcement post-Christmas, of approval of the East extension to the Muaitheabhal wind farm in South Lewis potentially brings further destruction to one of the UK’s best wild land areas. Helen McDade, head of policy for the JMT, said, “This approval comes before a sod has been turned on the original site. If developers can come back after the whole planning process, including a Public Local Inquiry, and significantly change their plans before a sod is turned with no real scrutiny, it makes a mockery of the planning process…….’
Due to the increased threat to wild land from development, the John Muir Trust is running a Wild Land Campaign, seeking a designation to protect the UK’s best wild land. To find out more visit the JMT website.
http://www.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday/scotland/waterways_in_national_park_will_create_power_to_ward_off_wind_farms_1_2032421 – January 1, 2012. ‘It is a world famous region that attracts thousands of tourists to the banks of its picturesque lochs and rushing burns. Now bosses of the national park that surrounds Loch Lomond want to turn the area into a renewable energy powerhouse. Dozens of hydro power schemes are to be built in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park over the next five years as park officials make the most of their “liquid assets”. They believe that harnessing the power of the park’s many rivers and burns will help Scotland meet its green energy targets while avoiding or restricting the construction of unsightly wind farms in the vicinity……..Gordon Watson, the director of planning and rural development for the Park Authority, said: “We have sought to explore how best to contribute to renewables targets without detracting from highly valued landscapes, which also form the basis of the significant tourism economy of the area.” He added: “Undoubtedly wind farms are very difficult to reconcile with protecting the scenic qualities of the park.”………’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-16357251 – dated December 29, 2011. ‘A wind farm developer is to fight a council decision to reject its plans for an 11-turbine project in Wigtownshire. In September, Dumfries and Galloway councillors refused planning permission for a wind farm at Glenchamber, between New Luce, Kirkcowan and Glenluce. They expressed concerns over its “significant adverse impact” on the landscape…….’
http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/national-news/122988-scotland-gives-green-light-to-controversial-250m-wind-farm.html – dated December 28, 2011. ‘The Scottish Government has given approval to build a controversial wind farm following years of campaigning and inquiries. Multi-millionaire landowner Christopher Moran has been granted permission to build 59 wind turbines on his 40,000-acre Glenfiddich estate in Speyside, Moray, despite strong opposition from local residents and organisations…’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/8978458/10m-cost-of-turning-off-wind-farms.html - dated December 27, 2011. ‘Official figures disclosed that 17 operators were paid almost £7 million for shutting down their farms on almost 40 occasions between January and mid-September. Continuing to make payments at that rate would lead to householders paying out £9.9 million in 2011 for operators to disconnect their turbines from the National Grid. The scale of the payments triggered a review of the rules on so-called constraint payments. The payments are made when too much electricity floods the grid, with the network unable to absorb any excess power generated. The money is ultimately added on to household bills and paid for by consumers. Last year, only £176,788 of such payments were made, but changes in the way the National Grid, which supplies energy to retail companies, “balances” the electricity network have meant a huge expansion in their use…..’
http://www.cawt.co.uk/index.php?mact=CGBlog,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=526&cntnt01returnid=19 - dated December 26, 2011. ‘The extent of Scotland’s push to become the green energy leader of the world is revealed today as figures show 2700 new onshore wind turbines are in the pipeline, taking the potential total number stretching across the country to more than 4000. However, experts warned space is running out for the often controversial developments, with claims from one leading wind-farm developer there are only three to four years of “serious” onshore development left as the number of suitable sites disappear. Analysis of the energy map from RenewableUK indicates an unprecedented surge in proposals for wind turbines, with 56 applications lodged for new sites compared to 28 the year before, with a total of 530 new turbines proposed in a single year. There are 1349 turbines in operation and a further 2738 turbines are either in the planning process, under construction or with consent for building work…..’
http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2011/12/24/windy-bank-wind-farm-faces-huge-setback-61634-30004700/ – dated December 24, 2011. ‘A plan to build a £12.5m wind farm in a picturesque part of County Durham has received a huge setback. The plan to build five 115-metre turbines between the village of Woodland and Hamsterley Forest – close to the home of TV botanist David Bellamy – is facing significant planning problems that could lead to delays of up to a year – or outright rejection….’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-16318155 – dated December 23, 2011. ‘A farmer has been ordered to pull down a wind turbine after his retrospective planning application was refused. Perth and Kinross Council have given David Mitchell three months to remove the 20KW turbine at Pairney Farm near Auchterarder….’
http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/thinking-tech/wind-turbine-explosion-generates-controversy-video/9476 – dated December 16, 2011. Spectacular footage of the recent wind turbine fire in Scotland.
http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/7488223/the-climate-change-committees-suspiciously-opaque-report.thtml – dated December 15, 2011. ‘The Climate Change Committee, a quango set up to advise the Government on its emissions targets, make a big claim in their report today. They have, they suggest, disproved the argument that climate policy is set to drive substantial increases in energy bills by 2020. They say that ‘policies to achieve a low-carbon economy will add a further £110 to bills in 2020, almost entirely due to support for investments in low-carbon power generation’, less than other estimates. …..’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/dec/12/thinktank-blasts-renewables-support – dated December 12, 2011. ‘Britain is heading for an energy crisis by the middle of the decade due to the government’s “unrealistic” reliance on wind, solar and other high-cost renewable energy technologies, according to a controversial report out today. Ministers are failing to factor in the cost of dealing with intermittent energy sources and ignoring the implications of burdening consumers with higher energy bills, said the right-leaning Adam Smith Institute and Scientific Alliance….’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8949993/Over-reliance-on-wind-farms-will-lead-to-power-cuts.html – dated December 12, 2011. ‘A report by the Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance says that wind farms cannot meet the need for energy, leading to “a crisis by the middle of this decade”. It estimates that five turbines would have to be put up every day to generate the Government’s targeted amount of electricity from wind, which is championed by Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary. Martin Livermore, a director of the Scientific Alliance, said turbines cannot be built quickly enough to replace Britain’s current coal and nuclear stations, which will mostly have closed by the end of the decade………….’
http://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/news/business/wind_farm_policy_has_msps_up_in_arms_1_1993440 – dated December 11, 2011. ‘Local campaigners helped pack the public gallery of the Scottish Parliament debating chamber to hear their MSPs launch a joint attack on the government’s pro-wind farms strategy. Thursday night’s session even witnessed a few brave SNP members, including Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale’s Christine Grahame, refusing to let their political masters off the hook for the spread of turbines. The reason for the packed attendance was a motion lodged by Lothians Labour MSP Neil Findlay, lambasting the lack of planning guidelines and absence of community involvement when it comes to the granting of turbine applications…..’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8948363/1500-accidents-and-incidents-on-UK-wind-farms.html- dated December 11, 2011. ‘The figures – released by RenewableUK, the industry’s trade body – include four deaths and a further 300 injuries to workers. The scale of incidents – equivalent to almost one a day – emerges following the publication of dramatic photographs showing one turbine which had crashed to the ground in a field near a road and another exploding into flames, caused by 150mph….’
http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/at-a-glance/main-section/wind_farm_proposals_given_the_go_ahead_amid_rejection_calls_1_4048883 – dated December 10, 2011. ‘Controversial plans for a wind farm on land at Hook Moor, east Leeds, have been granted after a second appeal against their rejection. Leeds councillors have previously rejected the plans for five turbines on land near Micklefield but the Planning Inspectorate has overturned that decision following a public inquiry. Critics have greeted the news with dismay……….’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-16084013 – dated December 8, 2011. ‘Homes had to be evacuated and a road was closed after a turbine had problems with gusts of wind in the Borders. The incident happened near Coldingham in Berwickshire on Wednesday. The turbine has been erected but was not turned on and appears to have been unable to cope with gusts of up to 50mph. The A1107 was shut from the north side of Coldingham, at the Croftlaws Caravan Park, down to Lumsden Farm and a 200m cordon was in place.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-16038774 – dated December 6, 2011. ‘Landscape conservation charity the John Muir Trust has objected to plans to construct 43 wind turbines near Ardgay in Sutherland. The trust said some of the turbines would be close to an area that could be designated wild land in the future.’
http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/9402446.Huhne_s_plan_for_32_000_more_wind_turbines/ – dated December 5, 2011. ‘Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne has revealed plans to build up to 32,000 new wind turbines in the Government’s bid to reduce its carbon footprint.’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/8932649/Are-rapidly-growing-wind-farms-a-new-Klondike.html – dated December 3, 2011. The article focuses on communities who feel they are being ‘trampled’ in the rush to build onshore wind turbines. ‘Now, communities all over Scotland are attacking what one MSP called the “uncoordinated, unplanned and incoherent shambles” of onshore wind farm developments. In one of the best-attended sessions of the Scottish Parliament – in terms of the public gallery at least – a whole host of MSPs attacked the plethora of turbines now scarring the Scottish landscape. Good heavens, even a few Nats managed to utter some words of criticism, an almost unheard of phenomenon in recent Scottish political history.’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/8925467/Couple-settle-with-wind-farm-operators-over-unbearable-hum.html – dated November 30, 2011. Couple make a settlement with power company following claim that their £2.5m farmhouse was unmarketable due to wind turbines and the noise. The family said they were forced out of their home by the noise by the 8 turbines that were half a mile from their property. The story states, ‘Their QC told the court that, instead of experiencing trouble-free, green renewable energy when the wind farm started operations, Mr and Mrs Davis faced “an industry operator – a subsidiary of EDF – which has refused to acknowledge the noise their turbines make and the effect that has had on the lives of these claimants”. Instead, the main operator “appears to have tried to impose a code of silence on those examining or recording the noise that these turbines in this location have caused”. Mr Harrison added: “Further, at least until recently when their own recordings and monitoring have finally forced the defendants to acknowledge they are causing problems, their approach has been to try and shoot the messenger”.
http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/wind_farms_and_housing_will_destroy_wildness_of_national_park_1_1986729 – dated November 26, 2011. ‘Britain’s largest national park is in danger of losing its unique “sense of wildness” due to the damaging effect of wind farms and a proposed housing development, outdoor enthusiasts have claimed. In a strongly-worded response to the Cairngorms National Park Authority’s draft plan for 2012-2017, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has urged planners to ensure there is no further loss of natural habitat. The council highlights the impact of wind farm developments and a housing project, which it claims will have an adverse effect on the natural landscape.’
http://www.shetnews.co.uk/news/2366-viking-wind-farm-is-set-to-shrink.html – dated November 23, 2011. ‘The size of Shetland’s proposed £680 million Viking Energy wind farm is set to be slimmed down yet again due to concerns about aeroplane safety. Developer Viking Energy has confirmed they are discussing the removal of some of the proposed turbines close to the oil industry airport at Scatsta. Meanwhile negotiations with Scottish Natural Heritage over the potential impact of 127 huge turbines in central Shetland on the red-listed whimbrel appear to have stalled. SNH want the removal of 17 turbines from the Lang Kames to reduce the visual impact of the development. The agency is also worried about the number of whimbrels that might be killed every year……’
http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/rspb_attacks_green_light_for_highland_wind_farm_1_1979728 – dated November 23, 2011. ‘The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has condemned a Scottish Government decision to approve a 33-turbine wind farm by an internationally important wildlife site, claiming it could affect protected species. Fergus Ewing, the energy minister, yesterday gave the go-ahead to the Strathy North development in Sutherland, proposed by SSE Renewables.’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2064081/Hurrah-Prince-Philip-Wind-power-ruinous-folly-age.html – dated November 21, 2011. Opinion piece by Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail praising Prince Philip’s views about wind farms.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2064054/Ex-chancellor-backs-Philip-attack-wind-farms-Duke-described-absolutely-useless.html?ito=feeds-newsxml – dated November 21, 2011. Daily Mail picks up the Sunday Telegraph story and brings former Chancellor, Lord Lawson’s, views into the mix, too.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/8903348/Prince-Philip-Only-tickling-the-nose-of-our-energy-crisis.html – dated November 21, 2011. Follow up piece in the Daily Telegraph from Prince Philip’s comments in yesterday’s paper. Second paragraph in states, ‘Wind farms are Blairism incarnate. Wanting to look big on the international stage, he committed Britain to some preposterously over-ambitious targets for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. As ever, this was glittering, shop-window stuff, the bill for which would somehow be obfuscated by the dour Scot in accounts. After due nail-biting, Brown came up with a system so convoluted that most people have only just realised that the person who ultimately pays is the consumer.’ Certainly worth a read!
http://www.wind-watch.org/whattodo-p.php – useful and interesting link from the wind watch website, which is relevant wherever you live.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/8901431/Switch-off-for-noisy-wind-farms.html – article dated November 20, 2011. ‘Following complaints about the noise of rotating blades from nearby residents, operators have agreed to switch off the machines or reduce their speed when the wind is blowing too strongly. The agreements, which mean the turbines generate less electricity, have been revealed in dossiers from local authorities about their investigations into noise pollution complaints.’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-philip/8901985/Wind-farms-are-useless-says-Duke.html – dated November 20, 2011. ‘In a withering assault on the onshore wind turbine industry, the Duke said the farms were “a disgrace”. He also criticised the industry’s reliance on subsidies from electricity customers, claimed wind farms would “never work” and accused people who support them of believing in a “fairy tale”. The Duke’s comments will be seized upon by the burgeoning lobby who say wind farms are ruining the countryside and forcing up energy bills.’
http://backpackingbongos.wordpress.com/about/ – an excellent and inspirational website aimed at people who enjoy the countryside, backpacking and wild camping. A big thank you to them for a fantastic write-up supporting STEMM’s efforts to stop turbines being erected on Mynydd Mynyllod.
http://www.thornegazette.co.uk/news/local-news/wind_turbines_are_set_to_arrive_1_3979381 – dated November 18, 2011. ‘Lorries have begun delivering 22 turbines to a controversial windfarm. Doncaster Council’s planning committee granted permission for restrictions to be lifted at the Tween Bridge windfarm site near Thorne. Objectors argued that the wind farm would be too noisy.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-15797150 – dated November 18, 2011. ‘A consultation over plans to install more turbines at a wind farm on the Lancashire moorland is set to take place later this month. Peel Energy is hoping to add to the 26-turbine Scout Moor site, which is on land between Edenfield and Rochdale.’ Key here are the plans to EXTEND an existing wind farm. Currently the articles do not say how many more turbines are being considered.
http://www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk/Wind-farm-noise-affects-residents/story-13873940-detail/story.html – dated November, 17, 2011. ‘An online survey set up by North Devon MP Nick Harvey has shown nearly 80 per cent of those living near to Fullabrook Wind Farm are affected by the noise of the turbines………Within a month over 60 people filled out the survey. The results confirmed television aerials and mobile phone signals have also been affected as well as people being disturbed by the effects of the turbines’ flicker.’
http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/windturbinesminimumdistancesfromresidentialpremiseshl.html - Wind Turbines (Minimum Distances from Residential Premises) Bill [House of Lords.]
http://rawindfarm.com/ – the website for a group opposed to plans to build 19 125 metre turbines on the Frodsham Marshes. Public inquiry coming up November 22, 2011. Their MP Graham Evans (Conservative) is very supportive and launched an online petition.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-15689965 – November 11, 2011. The article states, ‘Villagers against plans for two 71m (233ft) wind turbines on a farm in Northamptonshire have raised concerns at a public meeting. Plans for two 250KW turbines on a field off Hinwick Road, Wollaston, were met with worry over the impact they would have on the village.The effectiveness of the turbines was questioned as was their estimated £180,000 annual subsidy. Landowner Chris Sumner has defended the scheme.’ The article goes on, ‘Many questioned the 18.8p subsidy that Mr Sumner will receive for every unit of electricity produced – which equates to roughly £180,000 a year. Resident Paul Bateman, 71, of York Road, Wollaston, said: “They are not considering the village at all. There are so many reasons against it, and only one for. It’s greed.” The plan and the subsidy was defended by Mr Sumner who said the £180,000 is an estimate of what he will receive a year but added that the turbines would cost between £1.25m and £1.5m to build and maintain. He said: “Yes there will be a profit but no-one would invest in anything without a return. It is a business opportunity but it will also help to offset my carbon footprint.”
http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/9358611.North_Yorkshire_wind_farm_proposal_turned_down_by_planners/ -dated November 11, 2011. ‘A controversial proposal to build a new wind farm near Selby has been rejected by district council planners. Plans to build five 127-metre high wind turbines at Cleek Hall, Turnham Lane, in Cliffe, were put forward by developers Hallam Land Management in 2009, and would have seen the 13-hectare site changed from farmland for 25 years.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-15542442 – dated November 11, 2011. ‘More than 300 campaigners are expected to lay out theiropposition to the Scottish government’s wind farm policy at a national conference in Ayr later. The conference is being organised by Communities Against Turbines Scotland (Cats) and will be chaired by South Scotland Labour MSP Graeme Pearson. An organiser said, ‘All over Scotland we are seeing giant wind turbines cropping up all over the countryside and people are beginning to say enough is enough. The time has come for the government to think again about its wind farm policy.’
http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2011/11/10/duke-of-northumberland-backing-anti-wind-farm-protestors-61634-29750945/ – dated November 10, 2011. The Duke of Northumberland has hit out against wind farm developments dismissing the turbines as a means for Governments to “pretend to be green”. The landowner says it is “idiotic” and “lunacy” to “destroy beautiful landscapes so that governments can pretend to be green”. He has also claimed turbines only benefit landowners and developers, while ordinary people suffer from increased energy bills.
http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/wind_turbines_a_waste_of_space_says_mep_1_1956935 – dated November 10, 2011. The article opens with ‘MEP Struan Stevenson will tell a conference tomorrow that wind farms are a “waste of space” that “desecrate the landscape and make people’s lives a misery”. In a hard-hitting keynote address to the National Windfarm Conference in Ayr, Conservative MEP Mr Stevenson will attack the use of wind farms to generate power in Scotland.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-15676948 – dated November 10, 2011. ‘A blimp is being flown over a village in Northamptonshire in protest against plans to build two wind turbines. It is being flown at 71 metres, (233ft), the same height of the planned turbines at Wollaston village near Wellingborough.’
http://www.bwag.co.uk/#/home/4527517895 – excellent website put together by the Baumer anti-windfarm group in Lincolnshire, who took on the developers and WON!
http://www.thecourier.co.uk/News/Fife/article/18751/scottish-natural-heritage-objects-to-fife-wind-turbines-saying-they-pose-risk-to-bird-life.html – piece dated November 8, 2011, regarding Scottish Natural Heritage’s objection to five applications for wind turbines on the basis that they pose a threat to thousands of pink-footed geese.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0177101/Panorama_Whats_Fuelling_Your_Energy_Bill/ – BBC Panorama dated November 7, 2011, which takes a look at the government policies that are leading to higher fuel bills. An article linked to the programme states, ‘New government estimates on future fuel bills are expected this week, but the last figures it released – in July 2010 – pegged average household fuel bills in 2020 at £1,239 – or about £100 lower than they are today. But that figure is heavily disputed, both by industry watchers and consumer groups. Citigroup analysts think the average bill could be as much as 50% higher, or £2000, while consumer website uSwitch has suggested that bills could triple to as much as £3,202 by 2020.’
http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2123108/wind-power-sector-slams-flawed-kpmg-energy-report – article dated November 7, 2011, which reports that ‘the renewable energy industry has slammed the findings of a forthcoming report that suggests the UK could save £34bn by ditching plans for a massive expansion in wind power capacity. The preliminary findings of a report by KMPG, previewed in the Sunday Times yesterday, claimed Britain could meet its 2020 carbon reduction targets more cost effectively by building nuclear and gas-fired power stations instead of wind farms.’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2058415/Scrapping-wind-farms-favour-nuclear-gas-save-550.html?ito=feeds-newsxm Daily Mail article dated , November 7, 2011, which opens with ‘Shelving expensive wind farms in favour of cheaper nuclear and gas-fired power stations would save every Briton almost £550, it is claimed. Government plans to cut pollution by a third by 2020 rely heavily on wind power and will cost £108billion to implement, an accountancy firm has calculated. But shifting the emphasis away from turbines and towards nuclear and gas-fired power stations would slash the bill by £34billion, according to KPMG. This equates to around £550 for every person in the country.’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8872269/Chris-Huhne-was-as-wrong-about-the-euro-as-he-is-now-about-the-wind.html – dated November 5, 2011. Daily Telegraph comment piece which unfavourably links Chris Huhne’s attitude to the euro to that of wind turbines. ‘Chris Huhne, whose current panacea for Britain’s ills is his dream that we should pay £200 billion, to largely foreign-owned companies, to cover our countryside and sea with thousands of inefficient and ludicrously expensive windmills – not to mention filling our roads with even more useless electric cars. Another of Huhne’s fellow euro-fans was Adair Turner, who now works alongside him as chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, sharing his infatuation with windmills and electric cars….’
http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/9345976.Wind_farm_worries_blowing_up_a_storm_in_Christchurch/ – dated November 5, 2011. The opening of the article states, ‘Concerns over proposals to develop a huge new wind farm off local waters are gathering pace in Christchurch. The Eneco wind farm proposals off the South coast could see between 150 and 240 turbines providing enough energy for between 615,000 and 820,000 homes, say the energy company. The site is designed to take advantage of Poole and Christchurch Bays to swing the massive wind generators inshore to a mere eight miles off Christchurch Harbour Entrance – roughly the same distance out as the Needles.’
http://www.nhs.uk/news/2010/01January/Pages/Wind-turbine-sound-and-health.aspx – an article from NHS News regarding claims of illness due to wind turbine noise and the research that is being carried out. The opening paragraph states: ‘”The noise caused by wind farms can make some people ill”, reported The Daily Telegraph. It said experts have dismissed the idea of a “wind turbine syndrome” as a special cause of headaches, nausea and panic attacks, but have acknowledged that the irritation caused by the noise can affect certain individuals.
http://www.thewestonmercury.co.uk/news/survey_shows_resident_s_opposition_to_wind_farm_1_1116106 – article dated November 4, 2011, showing the strong opposition to a wind farm in Rooksbridge, Somerset.
http://www.royston-crow.co.uk/news/business_2_1572/litlington_wind_farm_proposal_attacked_by_villagers_1_1116682 – articled dated November 3, 2011, about plans to erect five 100 foot turbines. One of the opponents to the plan said: “I decided to look into it because I was in favour of renewable energy, but wind does not appear to be the way forward. 70,000 are required to replace one coal-powered station and they never will match up, as the wind doesn’t blow all the time and when it does they can’t store it.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-15578344 – dated November 3, 2011. In the piece it is stated that Scotland’s Labour leader has said the SNP government’s renewable energy targets were “overambitious” and “technically undeliverable”. Iain Gray made the claim at Holyrood’s First Minister’s Questions where he quizzed Nicola Sturgeon, who was standing in for Alex Salmond. Mr Gray pointed to a report which said the 100% renewables plan by 2020 could not be justified…..He added that renewable energy was the SNP’s “key policy for Scotland’s future” but “they have not got a clue about it”. He went on: “Investors say the referendum makes it unsupportable, and separation makes it unaffordable but the people who actually build the technology on the ground say it is technically undeliverable. Last week the first minister had to apologise for misleading parliament, but isn’t he misleading Scotland on energy every single day of every single week.”
http://www.timesandstar.co.uk/news/politics/under-siege-villagers-fight-eastman-303ft-turbine-plan-1.893994?referrerPath=home/our_staff – dated November 3, 2011. ‘Two West Cumbrian communities have launched a campaign to block a massive new wind turbine seen as vital to the future viability of one of the area’s biggest employers. Villagers in Seaton and Flimby claim they are under siege from wind turbines, odour from the nearby sewage works and industrial development. Airvolution Energy wants to erect a 303ft turbine at Wythegill Syke, Seaton, for Siddick’s Eastman Chemical plant, to help keep the firm competitive.’
http://www.meltontimes.co.uk/news/protesters_fight_wind_turbine_proposals_1_3207860 – article dated November 3, 2011, regarding people opposing a farmer’s plans to build a turbine near Melton. ‘But neighbouring residents claim the turbine will have an enormous impact on the landscape and have raised a whole raft of concerns including visual impact, noise and vibration, impact on local wildlife, reduced property prices and potential health risks.’ Sound familiar?
http://www.marketrasenmail.co.uk/community/mp_slams_wind_farm_plan_as_a_blight_on_landscape_1_3208861 – article dated November 3, 2011. The piece focuses on plans to build two turbines in an AONB area which local Market Rasen MP Edward Leigh has said would be “a blight on the landscape”. Northwold Farm – a major potato grower – wants to build two 34-metre wind turbines on its land between Rothwell and Thoresway villages.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-15560178 – a short BBC film piece dated November 2, 2011. ‘An international finance group has warned its clients of the dangers of investing in Scottish renewable energy projects ahead of a referendum on independence. Citigroup said investors risk their assets being stranded in an independent Scotland.’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2056542/Donald-Trump-RSPB-join-forces-defeat-Scottish-wind-turbine-project-threatens-golf-resort.html?ito=feeds-newsxml – article dated November 2, 2011, about how Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman, has found ‘an unlikely friend in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Scotland. The American tycoon has joined forces with the charity to oppose a development of 11 turbines in Aberdeen Bay, which he claims is a ‘disastrous and environmentally irresponsible’ project…….. he added that it’s badly sited and would have a detrimental impact on tourism and other important businesses operating in the area. The championship course at Trump’s development on the Menie Estate had already been completed and is due to welcome golfers next July. But he claims the rest of the project – a £250 million luxury hotel, 950 holiday homes and 500 houses – would be ‘at risk’ if the wind farm goes ahead.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-15512973 – BBC audio interview dated October 30, 2011, with Scottish Power chief corporate officer Keith Anderson in which he talks about the energy business and the UK government’s decision to drop a carbon capture scheme over projected costs. The piece is just over 20 minutes in length.
http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/furness-windfarm-supporters-and-opponents-speak-out-1.892170?referrerPath=news/ – dated October 30, 2011. ‘Planning officials at Barrow Town Hall are wrestling with 10 separate applications for wind developments. Since June, Barrow Borough Council has received applications for 15 wind turbines and one for an anemometer tower…….The proposals are likely to face objections from campaigners who are dead set against a rush of turbines coming to Barrow.’
http://www.no-tiree-array.org.uk/ – website created by opponents to plans for an off shore windfarm near the beautiful island of Tiree off the West coast of Scotland. They are also up against Scottish Power so it makes interesting reading!
http://www.publicservice.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=17829 – story dated October 26, 2011, in which Energy Secretary Chris Huhne states that ‘critics of renewable energy sources such as wind farms are “curmudgeons and faultfinders”.’
http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2011/10/26/david-bellamy-speaks-out-against-wind-farms-61634-29661535/ – story dated October 26, 2011, Dr David Bellamy talks about his long-standing opposition to wind farms. He is ‘of the opinion all wind farms are a waste of time, and believes the Government is starting to recognise this. He added: “Recently more wind farms have been turned down than have gone through. Right now our Government is turning around and seeing the errors of their ways. The solution to energy problems certainly isn’t wind turbines. I don’t think the Government actually thought it out. I think the whole thing is cracking very quickly – but so many people are making so much money out of it around the world so we keep plugging away building these hideous wind farms.”
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hO2VqJreAVYlva_BWg7baEWSnMMw?docId=N0292181319639005649A – story dated October 26, 2011, in which 29 turbine wind farm plan rejected due to threat to protected hen harriers. ‘Environmental charity the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) welcomed the news of the application’s withdrawal as “fantastic”.’
http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2119813/uk-onshore-wind-farm-consent-rates-crash-low – dated October 25, 2011. This is an article that states how ‘onshore wind farm developers have been urged to deepen their engagement with local communities after a new report revealed that planning approval rates for new wind farms have sunk to an all-time low of just 42 per cent. The latest State of the Industry report (PDF) from trade association RenewableUK shows that approval rates for new onshore wind farms in the UK fell by 11 per cent to 42 per cent in 2010/11.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-15443084 – dated October 25, 2011. The opening paragraphs state: ‘The number of wind turbines being refused planning permission by local authorities is “alarming”, according to a renewable energy industry body. RenewableUK said approvals fell from 58% of the applied-for capacity in the year 2008-09 and 57% in 2009-10, to 39% in 2010-11.’
http://www.thecourier.co.uk/News/article/18283/mearns-the-subject-of-more-windfarm-applications.html dated October 24, 2011. Opening paragraphs from story in The Courier. ‘A wind turbine ”gold rush” is continuing to gather pace and the applications are among more than 800 at various stages of planning in Aberdeenshire. Campaigners believe the flurry of applications will continue because turbines are permitted 400m from the nearest residence in Aberdeenshire — yet in Fife it is 2km.’
http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/express-and-chronicle/2011/10/22/huddersfield-villagers-wind-turbine-cluster-concerns-86081-29633196/ – dated October 22, 2011. People in village near Huddersfield concerned at increasing levels of wind turbine applications and that, as one local councillor said, ‘This has probably happened because someone’s been around talking to the farmers saying ‘would you like a windfarm – you’ll get so much money?’
http://www.cornishguardian.co.uk/Maps-reveal-continuing-spread-wind-turbine-plans/story-13620794-detail/story.html dated October 21, 2011. The article sates: ‘The massive demand for wind power sites in Cornwall has been revealed by official maps which have been released for the first time…..Despite the planning hurdles, and often well- founded opposition from affected communities, some 120 sites across the county are currently being pursued.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-15383983 dated October 20, 2011. BBC website piece. ‘The testing of 22 turbines at one of England’s largest onshore wind farms in Devon is almost complete. Devon Wind Power said the site at Fullabrook, between Barnstaple and Braunton, should be fully operational “within days”. The 110m (360ft) turbines will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of about 30,000 homes in North Devon. It took 66 convoys – carrying 176 loads – to deliver the parts of the turbines to the site. An electricity substation has been built on the southern edge of the wind farm site. From there, underground cabling will connect the wind farm to the national grid at Barnstaple.
http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/planning/spatial_planning_guides.aspx – dated October 3, 2011. RSPB policy regarding wind farms in North West England, includes the following paragraph which is also relevant to us: ‘We have been concerned for some time that the areas lying outside statutory nature conservation designated areas, ie Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s) and Special Protection Areas (SPA’s), which support important populations of birds have not been accurately mapped and are not adequately protected through the planning system. This has become an issue especially with the large number of on-shore wind energy proposals in north west England. Some areas without statutory nature conservation designated areas are ‘functionally linked’ to an SSSI/SPA because the bird species which are associated with the SPA cannot be sustained from within the SPA alone and birds regularly occur without the protected area network. A good example of this are wintering geese and swans, which roost within an SPA (there are several along the north west coast) and feed on surrounding (non-designated) farmland.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b015n3zr – piece from Radio 2 Jeremy Vine programme which went out on October 20, 2011. The topic is ‘Would you rather have a fracking plant or wind turbines in your back yard?’ You need to join it at 0:32.49. Only has 6 days to run.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-15383427 BBC website story dated October 20, 2011, covering Stirling council’s stand against Scottish Power’s plans for pylons and overhead lines. SP had been ordered to work with the authority to mitigate the effect of pylons around Stirling. SP is said to ‘maintain it can meet its conditions by painting and planting – rather than burying the line,’ a claim the council, which wants the lines putting underground, decided was ‘inadequate and ineffective’.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b015zrkl BBC Radio 4 piece dated October 19, 2011, reported on the impact pylons are having on our countryside and investigating the cost of putting cables underground.
http://www.countryguardian.net/ this is a link to a UK-wide conservation group which has campaigned against industrial turbines for nearly 20 years, since the first UK windfarms appeared in the Lake District. This website contains a comprehensive database about wind energy, including the List of UK Wind Farm Action Groups. This contains links to over 275 UK Windfarm Action Groups as well as international links, and well-researched articles about all aspects of windfarms, news links etc.
http://www.windbyte.co.uk/ website that covers, in detail, the ‘wind rush’ in North East England and South East Scotland.
http://www.stopthewindfarm.org.uk/documents/FreyHadden.pdf – a highly detailed 137 page report about ‘noise radiation’ from wind turbines near homes and the effects on health. One of the conclusions drawn by this February, 2007, report is that ‘a safe buffer zone of at least 2 kms should exist between family dwellings and industrial wind turbines of up to 2MW installed capacity with greater separation for a wind turbine of more than 2MW installed capacity.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-15198337 dated October 7, 2011. A BBC article about an electricity company which wants to build 15 wind turbines next to a Northamptonshire wildlife haven and has now has been asked to prove the scheme’s green credentials. Ecotricity wants to put the 400ft-high turbines close to Salcey Forest.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/8794860/Alex-Salmonds-green-energy-revolution-threatens-firms-with-bankruptcy.html – article dated September 29, 2011. It states that ‘the costs of Alex Salmond’s green energy revolution are ‘going through the roof’ and threaten to bankrupt companies by doubling energy bills, business leaders have warned the First Minister.’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2040499/David-Hockney-slams-plans-build-ugly-wind-farms-landscape-inspired-him.html – article dated September 22, 2011, in which the artist, David Hockney, has slammed plans for wind turbines on the East Riding of Yorkshire where he grew up. The piece states, ‘The artist has featured the green hills and rolling valleys of the East Riding of Yorkshire in his paintings. But 11 huge turbines are due to be put on the very landscapes that so inspired him – and a further 23 are under consideration. These will stand up to 460ft tall and do not include dozens of smaller turbines less than 180ft high on farmland.’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk//article-2038898/Samantha-Camerons-father-plans-wind-turbines-Britains-glorious-landscapes–YOU-helping-pay-it.html dated September 18, 2011. Article about the Prime Minister’s father-in-law who, ‘by his own estimate, already receives almost £350,000 a year for the eight turbines at Bagmoor, which was constructed in 2009. That means he is earning nearly £1,000 every single day on the back of the turbines.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14965099 September 18, 2011. BBC video piece regarding how energy prices have soared with bills 20% higher than last year with the “big six” energy companies making huge profits while the wholesale price of gas is a third lower than its peak in 2008.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/8770620/Foreign-firms-reap-500m-a-year-in-subsidies-from-UK-wind-farms.html dated September 18, 2011. Piece gives detail regarding how ‘ A Sunday Telegraph audit of Britain’s 3,419 turbines reveals 2,276 are either fully or partly-owned by foreign businesses. The findings demonstrate how companies from around the world are benefiting from generous incentives offered by the Government to meet carbon reduction targets.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/8726922/Military-radar-deal-paves-way-for-more-wind-farms-across-Britain.html dated August 27,2011. Story about how wind farm developers have overcome Ministry of Defence opposition to turbines by purchasing new radar systems ‘to ensure Britain’s early warning systems remain effective in detecting enemy aircraft and missiles…….Opponents say that the £20 million cost of the radar stations shows just how profitable wind farms are, thanks to the consumer subsidy introduced by the last Labour government to encourage renewable energy projects.’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/8713128/The-aristocrats-cashing-in-on-Britains-wind-farm-subsidies.html dated August 21, 2011. Daily Telegraph story giving details about how Britiain’s wealthy aristocrats are being tempted ‘by tens of millions of pounds offered by developers to build giant wind farms on their estates.’ Lengthy piece but full go interesting information and links to other stories.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/8713199/Duke-of-Northumberland-an-unlikely-hero-in-the-fight-against-wind-farms.html dated August 20, 2011. Article about how the Duke of Northumberland is resisting offers from wind farm developers worth millions of pounds and also ‘gives support, including financial backing, to local campaigns against wind farms.’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/26/bravo-for-the-nimbys-wind-power dated May 26, 2011. Simon Jenkins piece in praise of those opposing wind farms!
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/246740/2km-buffer-zone-plan-to-shield-houses dated May 15, 2011. Daily Express story about South Cambridgeshire District Council becoming the first in the country to launch a public consultation on putting a 2 km distance between residents and wind farms. Other councils are understood to be watching events in the area keenly and, if successful, the buffer zone idea could spread across the country.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/andrewgilligan/100053493/windfarms-the-wind-of-change-has-started-to-blow/ dated 13, 2010. Anti-windfarm piece which contains the following paragraph, ‘Wind isn’t totally useless. But as an inherently intermittent and unpredictable resource, it simply can’t provide energy on anything like the scale we need. There are far better renewables– ground-source heat for instance – so why’s nobody talking about them? Perhaps it’s because you can’t see a ground-source heat pump (it is, as you might expect, buried under the ground.) A wind turbine, by contrast, is a tangible, visible source of political commitment and moral righteousness.’
http://www.tw312.org.uk/?p=1282 TW312 is a group of local residents concerned about the proliferation of planning applications for wind factories across the Stewartry area of Dumfries and Galloway.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204542404577156200233431724.html – January 13, 2012. ‘COPENHAGEN—Vestas Wind Systems A/S said Thursday it will shed more than 2,300 jobs, or 10% of its work force, close one of its 26 factories and reshuffle management in a cost-cutting plan as it grapples with industry overcapacity. The world’s largest wind-turbine manufacturer also warned that if U.S. lawmakers fail to extend a renewable-energy subsidy, known as the production tax credit, which expires by the end of 2012, it could lead to the layoff of an additional 1,600 workers in the U.S. Vestas will start preparing for a possible scale-down of U.S. operations later this year, it said. Vestas is grappling with a deteriorating market for wind turbines as extra supply and looming competition from Chinese makers have put downward pressure on prices, while pressure on government finances has put wind-energy subsidies at risk in Europe and the U.S……..’
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/energy-smart/nsw-gets-worlds-toughest-wind-farm-rules-20111223-1p826.html – dated December 23, 2011. ‘People living within two kilometres of proposed wind farms will have the right to veto them, under a NSW government proposal. Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard says NSW remains committed to being part of the Federal Government’s 20 per cent renewable energy target by 2020, despite proposing what he has described as the world’s toughest wind-farm guidelines. Under the proposal, a company wanting to set up a wind farm in an area where landowner consent has not been given will have to go to an independent regional planning panel if there is community opposition…..’
http://www.energyboom.com/wind/pattern-energy-abandon-100-mw-wind-power-development-california – November 22, 2011. ‘The San Francisco-based wind developer is abandoning the 100 MW Yolo County wind project due to the impact it could have on local bird species, including golden and bald eagles. The project which was closing in on entering construction is the third wind project Pattern has halted in the last two years. Although media representative Matt Dallas could not disclose what how much money Pattern has spent on the wind farm, he did say the cost is “significant.”‘
www.europesillwind.org/films/europes-ill-wind-2.html – excellent website with a 25 minute video about ‘the tissue of lies’ we are being presented with regarding the ‘benefits’ of wind farms.
http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/img/WTSguide.pdf – a very detailed and interesting American guide (complete with useful illustrations) to the topic of turbine noise. The final page states ‘ I am a physician and scientist (Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics); my expertise lies in clinical and environmental matters. Whether or not wind proves to be a viable source of power, it is absolutely essential thatwindmills not be sited any closer than 1.25 miles (2 km) from people’s homes or anywhere else people regularly congregate. (Highways are also a problem for motorists with seizure and migraine disorders and motion sensitivity, from the huge spinning blades and landscape-sweeping shadow flicker.) I consider a 1.25 mile set-back a minimum figure.In hilly or mountainous topographies, where valleys act as natural channels for noise, this 1.25 mile set-back should be extended anywhere from 2-3 miles from homes. Let me be clear. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the wind energy proposition that says windmills must be sited next door to people’s homes. Siting, after all, is the crux of the issue. Irresponsible siting is what most of the uproar is about. Corporate economics favors building wind turbines in people’s backyards; sound clinical medicine, however, does not.
http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/3/035103/pdf/1748-9326_6_3_035103.pdf – a report published in September 2011 by a group of Swedish scientists entitled ‘Infrasound and low frequency noise from wind turbines: exposure and health effects’.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2011/11/04/401911_opinion-news.html - American newspaper piece focusing on sleep disorders caused by wind turbines, leading to people abandoning their homes. An extract from the article states: ‘ This pattern has manifested throughout the world in recent years since wind turbines have grown from the original 50m structures to 150m giants. A study published last December by Danish researchers Moller and Pedersen linked bigger, modern turbines with increased noise impact.’
www.windturbinesyndrome.com/book.html – an American site that links to a book that’s available to buy about the much-debated wind turbine syndrome. The site states: ‘ Many people living within 2 km (1.25 miles) of these spinning giants get sick. So sick that they often abandon (as in, lock the door and leave) their homes. Nobody wants to buy their acoustically toxic homes. The “lucky ones” get quietly bought out by the wind developers—who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge that Wind Turbine Syndrome exists.’
http://augustafreepress.com/2011/10/31/group-reports-on-bird-kills-at-west-virginia-wind-farms/ – story dated October 31, 2011, opens ‘with the deaths of nearly 500 birds at the Laurel Mountain wind facility earlier this month, three of the four wind farms operating in West Virginia have now experienced large bird fatality events, according to American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nation’s leading bird conservation organization.’
http://www.aweo.org/ – an international website, although based in America, which contains many lively articles (and poems about turbine noise) arguing against wind power. Worth a look!
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228346.300-smart-sensors-stop-flickering-wind-turbines.html Scientist article date October 14, 2011, about a system which eliminates shadow flicker by putting the turbine blades into ‘idle mode’.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/29/opinion/the-not-so-green-mountains.html?_r=1&ref=windpower – article dated September, 28, 2011. Piece is critical of wind turbines destined for Vermont. The last two paragraphs are: ‘Ironically, most of the state’s environmental groups have not taken a stand on this ecologically disastrous project. Apparently, they are unwilling to stand in the way of “green” energy development, no matter how much destruction it wreaks upon Vermont’s core asset: the landscape that has made us who we are. The pursuit of large-scale, ridgeline wind power in Vermont represents a terrible error of vision and planning and a misunderstanding of what a responsible society must do to slow the warming of our planet. It also represents a profound failure to understand the value of our landscape to our souls and our economic future in Vermont.’ The piece is written by Steve E. Wright, an aquatic biologist, and a former commissioner of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.
http://www.clepair.net/windSchiphol.html – this link is titled ‘Wind in the Netherlands’ and how wind turbines increase fossil fuel and CO2 emission.
European Platform Against Windfarms – The European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) was founded in Paris on October 4th 2008 by a small number of federations, associations and other groups from four EU countries. It now has 501 member-organisations, from 22 countries (individuals cannot become members).
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/denmark/7996606/An-ill-wind-blows-for-Denmarks-green-energy-revolution.html – dated September 12, 2010. The article claims that Denmark, which has long been a role model for green activists, has now become one of the first countries to turn against the turbines