Pro wind farms. Let's be "for" something for a change!
Government seriously considering u-turn on wind; wind companies' investment on hold due to uncertainty; well-funded anti-campaigns. Is the viability of life on earth more important than a view?
David Maunder commented
Sorry Jessie, you obviously jump to unjustified conclusions. I certainly do not work in the industry. I am aware of a Dr David Maunder who does, but he is not a known relation of mine, and I have never had any contact with him, either directly or indirectly. I am a retired English teacher, with several post graduate environmental qualifications, but I have also worked in the planning world for some time.
I live some ten miles from the firing ranges on Salisbury Plain, and would gladly replace the sound of the guns, which frequently rattle both windows and furniture in my home, with some nice peaceful wind generators. In fact, we are to have three sited about four miles from my home, and I welcome them.
Having read through your comments with increasing distaste, is it really necessary to be so spiteful in your approach?
Ah yes David, I guess you wouldn't have a bad word to say about any renewable energy as you work in the industry itself.
All negative aspects, dismissed!!!!
"virtually no loss of land" - mmm I lke that one particularly.
Are RES still denying everything to do with AM by the way?
David Maunder commented
I am appalled by the unending stream of disinformation disseminated by the anti wind power lobby. Of course there are parts of our beautiful countryside where it would be inappropriate to site wind generators, but in general it lifts my heart to see these aesthetically pleasing structures quietly working away on our behalf to bring us clean renewable energy. Yes, 'quietly', because I have visited several wind farms, (Delabole, in Cornwall, and several in Wales), and stood beneath them. Newer and larger generators can at times produce low-frequency sound which can travel further, but this is insignificant compared with most industrial and traffic noise. The simple answer is to trial new style generators in remote areas, inviting people concerned at plans for them to be sited in their areas to visit the trial sites, ignoring their objections if they fail to do so. I live in a small, attractive Wiltshire village, and would be very happy indeed to have a wind farm nearby. There can be no better use for the redundant military bases in this area, and I would gladly see Salisbury Plain reclaimed from the military, and put to this peaceful and productive use. It would certainly be quieter!
Individual generators occupy very little space, and there is virtually no loss of land, as around and beneath them can be farmed. Off shore wind farms should become no fishing areas. In New Zealand, when such zones were originally proposed, although there was initial opposition from fishermen, they very soon reversed their opposition when they found that these protected nursery zones quickly replenished depleting fish stocks. A win-win situation all round.
The claim that wind generators have a limited life span of about 25 years is also deliberately misleading. Yes, some moving components wear out, as with all electrical generators, but these components represent a tiny fraction of the overall cost. The main expense is the infrastructure, which, once in place, requires minimal maintenance. And the energy source, unlike fossil or nuclear fuels, is virtually inexhaustible, and of course, transports itself to the site!
Fossil fuels have caused many fatalities and massive pollution over the years. If nuclear energy has so far caused fewer fatalities, it has certainly created horrific pollution, with both Chernobyl and Fukushima rendering huge land areas unusable for generations to come, and forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes and communities. And the main reason we focussed on Uranium rather than Thorium as a fuel source is because it provides weapons grade material with which to kill millions. If we build in the fatalities at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear actually has a very high fatality rate. And our continued reliance on diminishing resources is already causing 'international tensions,' (a euphemism for war, and the deaths of many people), which will inevitably escalate very soon.
Bird kill may be an issue with wind farms, although I am not convinced of this, and motor vehicles account for many thousands of times any bird fatalities which wind farms may cause. And the quantity of wildlife and abandoned farm animals and pets around Chernobyl and Fukushima massively outweighs wind farm bird kill, with huge numbers of creatures suffering horrific and lingering deaths in these deserted areas.
There is also a ludicrous claim that renewable energy sources cannot totally replace other forms of power generation. I use the word ludicrous, because nobody has ever claimed that it can. But it can certainly reduce our dependence on other sources, very significantly if the will is there, and the anti lobby stops its nonsensical whinging.
So please can we have a little common sense and honesty in this debate. In fact, can we end the debate as soon as possible, and get on with the business of extending our renewable energy sources whilst we still have time. (If indeed there is still time).
Oh dear oh dear Lynn, how funny because we play a game too with you lot. We just continue to ask sensible questions and you continue to be unable to answer them. We just wait til your cage is really rattled and you get totally verbally abusive, accusing us more and more of being a NIMBY. Funny that too, just a few posts back you were bemoaning the terrible battle you had with your particular NIMBYS who apparently bullied you to death and here you are trying to do exactly the same to us. Clearly, you gave them some run for their money!
We are not trying to shout anyone down, merely put over a different opinion from you and clearly we are privvy to a different set of facts too. It is now you who are trying to shout us down and this is something I continually notice with the so-called greens. You are stupid, ignorant or whatever if you do not agree with your ideas. And why would we admit to being wrong? Our ideas/facts are based on basic physics. You want Britain to make some progress apparently - our view is that you are trying to take us back to some airy fairy pre-industrial times when wind was ditched for more reliable energy sources and you want to do this at a time when the population is growing and we are becoming steadily more demanding in our use of energy. Crazy to many, sorry!
As for Jane and Julian Davis - you have effectively declared them liars and insane, as no sane person would put themselves through what they did. As said previously, the noise from industrial wind turbines does not affect everyone, how do you know for example that their in-laws were not affected so severely or could simply not afford to move out? We do know that their child was affected severely. And, as said before, they did not object to the wind farm, mistakeningly believing it to be "green". We would be very very interested to know where you got that information about them from since as the case reached the High Court, everything should have been confidential. So, after trashing their lives, personalities and integrity you still have not explained why Australia has imposed a setback distance and taken seriously complaints from residents, sorry NIMBYS? Also, did you know that the Danes are compensated for living near a wind farm so at least they can afford to move out and sell their homes to wind farm lovers like you.
We are really impressed though - you say "In terms of acoustics, wind turbines are relatively simple. At 300 metres, they are no louder than a domestic fridge" We know people who have studied ETSU-R-97, the government's noise recommendations which maybe even you can admit are seriously out of date for today's sized turbines, for years + noise from turbines and you have summed it all up in one sentence, well done!Just wonder why all those people/NIMBYS on the internet keep moaning on and on about adverse health effects then when clearly, from your extensive research, based on one sentence, there really is no problem. Wonder why the government even bothers to have any regulations at all?
Our conclusion is that you "greens" actually care little about your environment as even you could not say that industrial wind turbines cause no harm. The end continually justifies the means it would seem. Instead you live in fear of being caught in a flood or whatever is the latest theory of what will happen with impending climate change. You are all very worried about yourselves, certainly not worried about those poor old sea eagles are we? Sorry Lynn, your cage got rattled quite soon but better luck next time.
Herbert Eppel commented
Jazz, with regard to your comment on "greenies (read, wet behind the ears) want to take the UK back to pre-industrial days", which I received my e-mail but which doesn't appear to have made it onto the website yet (or perhaps you saw sense and deleted it?), see http://prowa.org.uk/files/Mercury_FirstPerson_HE_6March09.jpg
Wendé Anne Maunder commented
I'm very for this already and I agree absolutely and completely with Lynn Davies and all the negative comments, quite frankly, shock me.
Jessy - I used to play a game, timing every anti-windfarm idiot I talked to to see how long they could go without mentioning Jane and Julian Davis. I also kept a tally of anti-windfarm frauds who claimed to have been to the Davises' place at Deeping St Nicholas and to have "heard" the turbines, when they quite clearly hadn't. So, for the record - the Davises claimed to have heard the turbines when they weren't even operational. They claimed to have heard them when they were more than five miles away. They claimed to have been forced to leave their home - while their in-laws remained living in the same property. Their local council sent acoustic engineers and noise officers to spend upwards of three weeks at the Davis property, night and day, during which time they were completely unable to hear, trace or record any sound from the turbines. Are you surprised that the Davises settled out-of-court? If they'd had a strong enough case, they'd have won.
In terms of acoustics, wind turbines are relatively simple. At 300 metres, they are no louder than a domestic fridge. So stop trying to spread your brainless scare stories. Do some proper research. Or failing that, why don't you just stay in the echo-chamber with your fellow fanatics and stop trying to brainwash those of us who know a damn sight better. Why do you NIMBYs believe that you have the right to try and shout down people who actually have a conscience? Is it because you're terrified that, without your incessant flood of false facts and misinformation, Britain might actually make some progress? Or are you simply incapable of admitting that you are wrong?
Dear Anonymous - if that is the level of your knowledge on the subject, god help us.
Wind energy can NEVER replace, coal, gas or nuclear. As for Japan, the tsunami killed
a lot of people. However, the old nuclear station killed none, despite its age
I would rather have wind or solar than nuclear, those against wind need to look at what happened in Japan last year.
Hazel Buswell commented
I am in favour of wind farms, all proposed wind farms and this campaign.
Lynn - have checked out your Shropshire "wind farm" - 2 x 73m turbines. First of all, I wouldn't think those particular turbines will matter much soon, against the string of giant pylons planned to bring the (small amount) of electricity produced by many planned wind farms in Wales over to England (via Shropshire) - thousands of "NIMBYS" in Wales are demonstrating about the devastation to landscape and environment there. Secondly, most "NIMBYS" are concerned with the big wind farms - over 126.5m turbines. Have you heard of The Isles project? 45 huge turbines up in County Durham, which by the way, is no longer called the Land of the Bishops but the Land of the Turbines. Guess they won't be noisy either?
Oh and Lynn, it is reported in the Times today that by 2020 the government will be handing over £100 million a year in rent to landowners (mostly the aristocracy) including David Cameron's father-in-law) simply for the right to put wind turbines on their turf. Do the peasants/NIMBYS I should say not have the right to object?
I have noticed that mostly you do not answer any questions I ask and then just call me a NIMBY again! First of all did you check out about the sea eagles? Did you answer how at present we are going to export wind energy?
Our "Byzantine" planning process has been the envy of the world but if this government continue then that is set to change so you will be happy with that. We have managed to protect the countryside to some degree so far. Perhaps you would like the diplomacy of China or somewhere similar where local people have no say whatsover and, to be fair, are too busy trying to survive each day to care.
Really, I am not talking here about community owned wind farms - they may have a small place (by the way how big were these turbines?) and are still heavily subsidised and only work when the wind blows etc etc. I am talking about the foreign owned multinational companies who are out to make profit only. They are the ones going door to door asking farmers and landowners to sign contracts ("grab and hold" land). They are, I have to say, getting desperate as all the more windy places have gone so now they are concentrating on the not so windy areas as it really doesn't matter to them, the subsidies are still there.
How funny - after all your research, don't you know that noise from industrial wind farms is INCREDIBLY complicated? It really isn't as simple as standing beneath, or indeed inside one. It is known that some people will be unaffected by the noise but many are. The internet is littered with personal stories of complete distress - are they ALL liars/NIMBYS/backed by the oil/gas/nuclear industry?
Here is just one article for you http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/8901431/Switch-off-for-noisy-wind-farms.html
Similarly perhaps you could google Jane and Julian Davis who had to abandon their home because of noise. I am sure they would love to hear you say wind farms aren't noisy. They went to court and have settled out of court but silenced from talking about it. Interestingly, they did not complain about the wind farm initially - believing it to be "green".
And if noise isn't a problem please tell me what you deduce from your research regarding Australia? There, they ARE imposing minimal distances because of adverse health effects. Of course, Australia is a big country, unlike England and they can protect their residents (or should I call them NIMBYS?) unlike here which should show that rural England is totally unsuitable for huge wind farms.
As for the ASA - many groups HAVE taken out successful "claims" against wind farm companies.
I am not a landowner, I live in a small village. I do not have a view. To be honest, the view is the last of my worries. Perhaps I should remind you that the coutryside is for ALL of us, not just the ones who live in it. There are many people who live in cities who depend upon their visits to the countryside or the hills to recharge their batteries. Seeing 32,000 turbines plus pylons may upset them a bit too.
"It would be an act of national insanity to undermine this elegant, efficient, rational, attractive, safe, clean and economically competitive resource just because a few liars don't like them".
If you have done your research Lynn, you will surely know that every single adjective describing wind farms here can be disputed! Don't know where you get your research from - must be RenewableUK or WWF or Greenpeace etc etc!!!
As far as I know, the "rest of the world" are waking up big time to the ineffectiveness of wind energy at last and starting to turn their backs on it except Germany of course which is a different story. They are encountering their own problems.
As for your children and grandchildren, I would be more concerned about how they are going to be fed. Once those 32,000 turbines go up with their accompanying infrastructure, especially the concrete they stand on, the land is ruined and then designated brownfield. These turbines are going up on prime agricultural land often. Population growth is demanding more and more food and energy. Which one will win out I wonder?
Having had the misfortune of living through a NIMBY nightmare, I can assure you, Jessy, that the wind farm developers played by the rules throughout. A tiny cabal of locals (most of them newcomers to the village) decided however to oppose the plans. They published a whole pack of lies (which they called "FACTS") designed only to terrify their neighbours. They formed an noisy and aggressive mob which regularly and repeatedly disrupted parish council meetings, finally forcing one parish council to resign (this allowed them to pack it with their own NIMBY activists). Locals who disagreed with their tactics or claims were threatened and abused. One lifelong resident - a retired schoolteacher - complained to me that the NIMBYs had instigated "mob rule". They were, in her words, "rabid". They had harrassed and victimised her because she had visited several wind farms in France, spending time at each one to get the feel of the place, and came back with the news that wind farms are not "noisy" (and, indeed, they're not) and are actually quite pleasant places. Of course, no one was allowed to challenge the NIMBY lie machine in the village, and so she was made to pay for telling the truth.
And yes, our NIMBY group, having been caught out publishing lies, insisted that they had had a complaint against the developer upheld by the ASA. But they hadn't. They had complained about the cover image of a leaflet produced by the developer (which showed one of the wind farms in their fleet). There had been no attempt to mislead, and the case was thrown out. I daresay that this was one of those cases which your friends have told you about - but the complaint was not successful. Just another NIMBY lie, I'm afraid.
In France, by the way, they just build the wind farms, and the locals throw a party when it starts operating. Here, NIMBY groups take advantage of our Byzantine planning processes to mount campaigns based entirely on lies and intimidation.
An example: a community-owned "wind farm" of two turbines is currently being opposed by wealthy property-owners in Shropshire. They have claimed that it will "devastate" the local tourism industry. Ten miles down the road, the same group of protesters gave evidence at a planning inquiry that a nine-turbine wind farm would attract "thousands of tourists" to the area (this, they said, was based on the experiences of four other wind farms). So, their own research exposed the lie they'd been telling ten miles away! And yet, I'm sure you've heard nothing but silly stories about wind farms scaring away the tourists!
Just so you know, I have been researching wind energy and keeping up to date with developments ever since my own community was wrecked, not by a wind farm, but by an evil, arrogant, selfish and fanatical cabal of NIMBYs. I've heard all the myths and I've researched the facts. I have yet to find a single NIMBY anti-wind farm story that stood up to scrutiny. Rather, I have found only evidence from all around the world that wind power is going to be one of the priincipal energy sources of the 21st Century. And I welcome that, because having visited many working wind farms, I have seen the positive effect they have on people - even those who were initially hostile to the idea. I have even stood inside a turbine mast - and they're not even noisy there!!!
It would be an act of national insanity to undermine this elegant, efficient, rational, attractive, safe, clean and economically competitive resource just because a few liars don't like them. I suppose you feel that the UK should allow the rest of the world to forge ahead with renewables, and wind power especially, while we sit around telling each other tall stories about them. But, you see, that's the difference between us. I'm thinking of the local, the national and the international interest - the planet and the future for my children and grandchildren. You, I suspect, are just thinking about the view.
I tell a lie! RSPB does sometimes research and object!
This is Norway but I guess even you might presume the same is happening in Denmark
This is the RSPB, I am very shocked by this as they wholeheartedly support wind farms most of the time (as long as they are sited appropriately) This means that birds have to be of international importance, all the other poor sods don't matter.
As I say, if you are ever lucky enough to see a sea eagle, take note as they will be gone before too long (guess that is scare-mongering though)
Bird deaths worldwide are being reported regularly due to onshore and offshore windfarms. Bird fatalities are supposed to be monitored by wind farm developers but they rarely do that, instead preferring to bury the birds at the site. Of course, you will say that is a lie generated by the oil/gas/nuclear lobby. Additionally, if you rely on the RSPB for your info then you won't hear much of that (they have something called RSPB energy (green, allegedly) so they won't say anything much against wind farms. I could direct you to an independent website for more info but it is pointless as you will say they are biased. I know nothing of the seals you mention but there were recent reports of cockles in Lincolnshire being affected by the offshore wind farms there (fishermen there already having difficulties because of EU quotas), but then again, like you say, anything could be killing them off so that is pointless too.
We cannot yet export wind-generated electricity because we don't have the super-grid (which i do know about from Herbert and my own research previously). This would be hugely expensive and is a long way off.
I do know that Germany is causing havoc with their neighbours' grids because of exporting their excess. Yes, Scotland - I believe a pipe or whatever is in the pipeline at great expense to ship their excess to England. What is never mentioned is that Scotland will be receiving energy from us when the wind doesn't blow or their other renewables just don't supply their needs.
Likewise Lynn, I am afraid that the wind farm companies too have frequently been taken to the ASA for publishing false information and misleading, unsubstantiated scare stories but mostly truly fudging photomontages - oh do you mean, by the way the problem with NOISE (check out the new Fullabrook wind farm in Devon, not yet commissioned and yet causing huge problems). If you think we are a minority, you clearly aren't reading all the press/media these days. But there again, guess you think they are all NIMBYS and biased too? As for unscupulous? You clearly have had nothing to do with wind farm companies yet...... give it time though, 32,000 turbines is a huge number. Before long you too may be that NIMBY (Next Idiot May Be You). Then you will discover the meaning of unscrupulous.
Re: your "reports" about sea-eagles off the Danish coast - I wonder if these are in any way similar to the reports that seals were dying because of the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm (when in fact the seals were dying before the windfarm was even built)? And why should you think that we can't export our wind-generated electricity? That's pretty much what we did when France had to shut down most of its nuclear fleet because of high summer-time temperatures, and Scotland fully expects to continue as a net exporter of electricity when it is 100% renewable from 2020 onwards. Besides, have you never heard of smart-grids, or the European super-grid? No, probably not. I'm afraid that you're too easily taken in by NIMBY propaganda of the sort which invariably does the rounds every time one of your "290" anti-windfarm groups gets up and running (and then gets criticised by the independent Advertising Standards Authority for publishing false information and misleading, unsubstantiated scare stories). They are still, however, a minority - albeit an extremely noisy and unscrupulous one.
Lord Lawson's "Global Warming Policy Foundation" has refused to reveal its sources of funding, but has been criticised for breaking the rules governing registered charities by openly campaigning on political issues. It is a climate change denial propaganda machine. None of its statements should be taken seriously, as it is really nothing much more than a front for the interests of Big Oil.
Hey you guys! Please comment on this up-to-date report from The Global Warming Policy Foundation report: Economic Analysis Reveals Wind Power 'Worse than a Mistake'
Guess these people are NIMBYS too or biased... though they receive no donations from ANY