Posts Tagged ‘Navitus Bay’


24
OCT

Erik Blakeley says:
Challenge Navitus – the movie


Category: Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Wind Power
Tags: , , , ,


Challenge Navitus – the movie

I thought I would have a look at the Challenge Navitus site today and noticed that they have some animations of views from various places of the proposed offshore wind farm Navitus Bay http://www.challengenavitus.org.uk/windfarm-animations.html . Now I have been telling people that the view of the farm would merely be one of a collection of sticks on the horizon with the blades practically invisible and that even those sticks would be invisible in any but ideal viewing conditions.

I expected the Challenge Navitus site to be trying to scare people with distorted views etc but what did I see – EXACTLY what I have been telling people – a collection of sticks on the horizon so far off shore that even the slightest sea mist would obscure them entirely! Yet this will ruin the Jurassic Coast and cost Bournemouth £100M in lost annual revenue according to the antis.

When you consider the huge amount of low carbon electricity that the farm will generate, the short term boost to the economy of the area from the building work and the long term presence of jobs in maintenance and operation tasks, I cannot see that this is anything but a no brainer. Put them another 5km off shore say the antis so that they disappear entirely. It is true that they are so far offshore that they are almost invisible but another 5km means deeper water, longer cables, more loss of energy, longer round trips for maintenance boats and generally significantly more expensive electricity.

The cost of offshore wind and the dangers faced by those working on it are the two most important issues with this otherwise great form of energy and these would be made more of an issue by abandoning this optimized choice of site just because, if you look very carefully you can see a few sticks on the horizon whilst you sit on the beach. This is the purest form of selfish, whingeing NIMBYism I think I have ever come across.

There is nothing wrong with the views that Challenge Navitus present. It won’t ruin anyone’s holiday unlike the increasing and already fatal collapses of the Jurassic  Coast linked to the extreme weather conditions we have seen over the last few years and, whilst one or two extremes cannot be conclusively linked to Global Warming, the pattern of recurring extreme events has long since passed the point where we have to accept that the “normal” climate is changing.

The biggest threat to the tourist industry besides justifiable worries about collapsing cliffs and disappearing footpaths is the negative propaganda by those telling people that holidays in Dorset will be ruined by something as trivial as the views of Navitus as shown in the animations. It doesn’t say much for what Dorset has to offer if Navitus could have a serious detrimental effect. It suggests that sitting zombie-like on the beach staring obsessively out to sea (presumably wishing you were somewhere else – anywhere else) is what holidays in Dorset are all about! Dorset has so much more to offer than this and much of what it does offer is based on the sort of fragile ecosystems and geology that will be badly effected by climate change.

Dorset should be offering eco-friendly holidays powered by clean electricity generated in and around Dorset not forming the King Canute Re-enactment Society!


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  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "The Daily Echo recently ran a piece http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/yoursay/letterstotheeditor/11547376.Navitus_opposition_seems_to_be_missing_the_point/ in which a writer says that discussions of the visual impact of Navitus are missing the point and what matters is the need for “100% guaranteed electricity supply” implying that a this is impossible with wind power in the mix and b it is possible without wind. No system offers a 100% guarantee. The anti-renewables lobby try to make out that the combined behaviour of thousands of wind turbines and millions of PV panels not to mention dozens of large hydro plants and hundreds of micro hydro schemes is the same a a single wind turbine. Combined they become much more predictable. Their combined variability is much less than that seen in the demand curve and even that produced by failures in large centralised plant as recently seen in both nuclear shut downs and the fire at a large gas powered generator. The antis then make out that back up for renewables must be provided by fossil fuels and imply that no back up is needed for fossil fuels or nuclear. Storage and the manufacture of synthetic fuels and hydrogen using excess renewable capacity at times of low demand, which can be used in the same sort of CCGT gas plant that is used with natural gas, can provide back up and balancing meaning that carbon neutral renewables can be the back up for renewables. If we go down a route dominated by massive nuclear plants we have to provide enough back up to cope with several of them going offline at the same time. Recent history has shown us that the volatility of the gas price leads to wasted effort as a dash for gas means lots of gas plant being built that may then be mothballed because of a rise in the price of gas. Renewables do generate issues but so do all forms of generation and looked at fairly, including issues such as climate change, pollution, nuclear terrorism etc etc renewables deserve to be technologies of choice for this new century. "
    October 27, 2014 a 10:10 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "I really like this, the shots that confirm how unobtrusive Wind Turbines are when properly sited……its amazing how beautiful they can look.
    Plus the idea of attracting tourist is a reality in my view rather than being offset people generally will take very little real notice but when prompted say how wonderful they are. "

    October 26, 2014 a 2:33 pm


24
SEP

Erik Blakeley says:
How much is enough?


Category: Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , ,


How much is enough?

Anti- renewables campaigners have been making much of the suggestion that we have enough or nearly enough Renewable Energy capacity to meet the 2020 target in Dorset. I maintain that this is false on many levels.

To show why I think it is untrue we have to look at what lies behind this sudden shift of tack. After all it is only very recently that these same antis were saying that Renewables are a waste of time because they hardly ever generate much electricity, could never make a real difference and are only about fat cat industrialists milking subsidies. Now they want to make out that the small amounts of renewable capacity we see around our county is enough to meet our targets. It is true that renewables nationally are making a significant impact. With continuing rapid investment and capacity building we might make our targets.

Where is their data coming from? Some of the most comprehensive data they are using has recently been prepared by Dr Peacock of the Dorset CPRE. His data suggests that if 80% or more of the large scale field mounted PV projects in planning (including several in the most tentative early stages of planning) are approved and built before 2020 then we might reach the 2020 target as interpreted in the Dorset Renewable Energy Plan.

Firstly there is a world of difference between having planning applications in the system and having enough renewable energy capacity on the ground so currently we do not have enough capacity to meet any targets and any anti who claims otherwise is either mistaken or lying. Secondly the list of planning applications includes some very large schemes and some on very sensitive land including one of 220 acres and one 100 acre site not only in the AONB but also on an SSSI. It would seem very unlikely that the CPRE or other groups who have opposed renewables applications in the past would support anywhere near the 80% of the capacity mentioned in Dr Peacock’s submission. I’m not entirely convinced that such schemes are the best way forward and would look to see some pretty convincing Environmental Impact Assessments before giving them my automatic support.

Next is the all-important question of what the Dorset Renewable Energy Plan calls for. I have been critical of the plan since I first read it a couple of years ago. I do not believe that it goes anywhere near far enough in setting targets for renewable energy generation in Dorset. I went as far as to state my opinion at the time that is was more of a NIMBY’s charter than a plan for renewable energy! The way it is being used by anti-renewables groups has proved me right. What is wrong with it? It calls for Dorset to generate 7.5% of its primary energy excluding transport from renewable energy sources cited in Dorset by 2020. Not only is this only half of the 15% target set nationally for 2020 but the exclusion of transport makes it in effect even less than that. The authors of the report envisage the other 7.5% and all the corresponding savings in transport emissions to come from “national” measures. I interpret this as meaning “put it in someone else’s back yard” and would point to the antis’ attitude to the most important national measure in our area as evidence for this interpretation. The measure I refer to is Navitus Bay – the lowest impact scheme for Dorset possible who’s only downside is the same as all offshore schemes in that the cost of the electricity it produces is likely to be about the same as that of nuclear – ie fairly high. Even more important is the fact that the Dorset Renewable Energy Plan, like all the thinking of the antis, appears to regard 2020 as the end of the process. We have been hearing in the last few days about the climate marches and pressure on world leaders to set meaningful targets for carbon reduction not just for the next 6 years but for real progress towards proper sustainability and carbon neutrality by the middle of the century.2020 is only a way marker. If we exceed the target for that date, however it is calculated, then that is a good thing not a mistake. We are still taking the low hanging fruit. Any extra progress we make now will only help us keep up the momentum when things get harder in the next few decades. We certainly should not reject any projects just because we may or may not reach the 2020 target without them.

In conclusion, Renewable energy technologies have proved their potential and are making a real impact but we still have a long way to go. Dorset is trailing badly compared with other counties and needs to get on with building as large a capacity of a mixed bag of renewable technologies as possible. Far from being especially unsuitable for renewable energy generation Dorset has excellent resources and limited pressures on space and demand so we should be doing better than other places not worse.


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