Posts Tagged ‘turbines’


09
JUN

Erik Blakeley says:
The Nocebo Effect & Wind Turbines


Category: Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


The Nocebo Effect & Wind Turbines

I’ve been trying to track down the Australian stuff re wind turbine syndrome and the nocebo effect and found this quote

The 2009 American Wind Energy Association and Canadian Wind Energy Association study investigated the nocebo affect concluding that: “the large volume of media coverage devoted to alleged adverse health effects of wind turbines understandably creates an anticipatory fear in some that they will experience adverse effects from wind turbines. Every person is suggestible to some degree. The resulting stress, fear, and hyper‐vigilance may exacerbate or even create problems which would not otherwise exist. In this way, anti‐wind farm activists may be creating with their publicity some of the problems that they describe.”

I enclose the paper I found with further refs:

Wind Turbine Sound Fact Sheet – wind_turbine_sound_FactSheet


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Further to the above I have now found coverage of the Australian study I was thinking of that showed much better links between “wind turbine syndrome” and the activities of anti groups than with wind turbines themselves. As well as this further indication of the dangers of the nocebo effect and the irresponsibility of anti-wind farm scaremongering I think it is worth taking notice of the story of the gentleman given at the end who was suffering badly. His house was within 3.5km of 17 turbines that were part of a 160 turbine scheme. Now I would suggest that his symptoms were still the result of the nocebo effect but this does not mean that he was not suffering. Furthermore it is not reasonable to expect people to be happy about that sort of concentration of turbines near their homes and it is terrible that his plight is made worse by the activities of those pretending to be his friends in the anti-camp. It is only by accepting small wind farms of less than 10 turbines in lots of places so that everyone has a few close to them if they are lucky enough to live in a rural area with a good wind resource that we can ensure that people are not subjected to these mega farms except in places like the wildest parts of Scotland where there are no communities to be bothered by them. It is the actions of the antis, once more, in hijacking the planning process, that make it uneconomic to apply for just a few turbines so increasing the likelihood that turbines will be built instead by the score in mega farms. Here’s the link to the article reporting the research http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/15/windfarm-sickness-spread-word-australia "
    July 8, 2014 a 10:39 am


05
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Investment opportunity at Slyers Lane


Category: Community Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , , , ,


Community Investment opportunity at Slyers Lane

Slyers Lane proposed Wind Turbine project and Broadview Energy are offering local residents within the area, great opportunities to invest in the Wind Turbine project. This new form of Community engagement is a wonderful chance for people to invest in their home area with long- term advantages over leaving money in bank savings accounts.

Equally the project will realise a community fund for spending on local projects that should be agreed by the people for the people.

I stress this point because whilst you argue yes or no to the project the real opportunity for you to have a real say in what’s going to happen passes you by. Councils, “do good`s” and the like will take over how the community funding is spent. This doesn’t mean it will all be wrong but my point is be a part of the process, engage now with the issues and decide for yourselves what is the right decision to be made.

Dorset Energized can help you with detailed questions and answers about Wind Energy, totally free from any vested interest. If there are any other points that nag away at your mind then raise them under comments and let’s see if we can get a factual response from people with experience who know what they are talking about.

Listen to all the arguments, ignore signs saying one thing or the other, it’s the future for us, our kids and their children that we are talking about right now.


12Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton_Green comments:
    "Thanks Michael for continuing with what is probably one of the most important debates of our time.
    Use of the word misery indicates a pampered existence to date. Loss of a loved one or a job causes misery not the imposition of a changed view of a landscape. You are forgetting that 1000 MW power stations are either nuclear – taking 15 years to be very expensively built by the French or the Chinese – or they are fueled by fossil fuels that are fast running out and becoming more expensive. 11% of the electricity can be lost down the grid from a large distant power station to remote Dorset.
    The point of wind turbines is that they use the natural resource we have in Dorset delivering low and stable cost electricity efficiently to adjacent consumers with no ongoing fuel costs.
    When I moved to North Dorset from Bournemouth 25 years ago, my new neighbours made it clear any opinion I might have regarding expansion of an agricultural contractor to the back of our property would be disregarded. Fair enough because local jobs related to the main activity in the area were needed. There probably are people who don’t think 16 years is long enough a residency to have a valid opinion on major local infrastructural change unless you have had a significant role in the local economy.
    At a recent event where wind turbines were debated two speakers mentioned desecration of Hardy’s Dorset. On the off chance that they read this I’d like to say that anyone who want to live in Hardy’s Dorset should stop driving their car, stop using electricity and revert to horse and cart and smelly polluting coal fires. Then they should try convincing the rest of Dorset to do the same. Obviously people would think they are mad. It also seems mad not to embrace modern methods of electricity generation. "

    July 11, 2014 a 11:42 pm

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Obviously much of the disagreement in the last couple of posts comes down to personal opinion. However, there are several very important issues I would point to. Firstly Mr Byrne doesn’t say overtly which sort of large centralized generation he favours (he does imply gas and nuclear at one point). Coal is the dirtiest around and would be very expensive to add CCS to. It would also require either the reopening of uneconomic coal mines in this country or the import of large amounts of foreign coal which is wasteful and although cheap at the moment, the price is depressed by relatively short term effects associated with the Americans dumping coal to support their mines after the sudden switch to fracking gas.
    Nuclear (our government’s favourite)still hasn’t answered the questions regarding fail safe (which Chernobyl and Fukushima have proved it is not), waste storage/disposal and decommissioning. If we factor these back in to the costings rather than hiding them through government subsidies such at the £120Bn earmarked to decommissioning through the NDA, nuclear becomes one of the most expensive options not a cheap one as sometimes claimed. What’s more, were we to suffer a Chernobyl type accident in our small country we could see a significant fraction of it rendered uninhabitable including a big chunk of the SW if it was Hinkley Point. Proponents ask rhetorically “What are the chances of a Chernobyl happening here?” hoping that we will assume the answer “very little” but if you actually think about the answer then you realize that “quite high really” is closer to the mark because there are not that many nuclear power stations in the world and therefore 2 major accidents and half a dozen or so near misses is, in truth, a statistically significant worry. Large scale combined cycle gas turbine generation is a risky approach because the international price of gas is so volatile. Europe currently has a large number of CCGT gas plants in mothballs because gas prices are high and coal prices are low and the volatility makes business planning over the lifetime of a centralized generation plant risky. This in turn means that banks will probably ask high interest rates for loan capital pushing up costs or necessitating government subsidy. This covers the problems with the centralized plant itself but, unlike wind all these technologies require sourcing and supply of fuel and disposal of residues which are often not so centralized. Dorset is a prime fracking area so CCGT generation plant will increase the likelihood of many villages in Dorset having to cope with dispersed drill rigs and well heads. Sellafield is literally overflowing with the waste from just the nuclear plant we have. New facilities will need to be built and Dorset, with its chalk geology low population density, access to sea transport and history of involvement with the nuclear industry (Winfrith)could well be a prime candidate for nuclear waste processing and storage.
    As I said at the start much of what Mr Byrne says is purely a question of personal opinion but I would suggest that his use of words like “misery” and “contraptions from Hell” is so over the top as to undermine respect for his opinion and not backed up by the vast majority of people’s experiences living in places like Cornwall where they are doing their bit towards renewable energy capacity building and still have a wonderful place to live in without inflicting all the downsides on someone else. The small minority who are having difficulty might be argued to have more reason to blame the misinformation of the anti campaigns than wind turbines or any other renewable energy technology as discussed in another posting on this site. Finally, the elephant in the room always remains climate change. Although other technologies may develop and overtake onshore wind, this technology is at present the cleanest, safest, cheapest form of genuinely low carbon electricity generation. the two downsides are visual impact and, as Mr Byrne points out, the fact that we need lots of them. Not impossibly large numbers as far as the technology and economics are concerned but enough to mean that most people who have a location suited to them will have to share their good fortune with a small number of turbines in farms like Slyers Lane or Blandford Hill. I do not accept (my personal opinion)that this is such a terrible imposition. I would much rather have that than a nuclear facility or a gas facility near me (and there would need to be many of them if you include the ancillary sites discussed above). Although Mr Bryne states otherwise I doubt he would find many who share his opinion amongst those whose community is earmarked for fracking or nuclear expansion and frankly I suspect that he would change his mind if his area was nominated for one of these alternatives and its no good hiding behind the “inappropriate location” cop out – there will be people who argue that any location is inappropriate and frankly sites next to Dorchester or alongside major roads like the A352/A37/A35 don’t really have such a strong case for special dispensation as rural idylls even though they are very nice now and more importantly would still be very nice with a small number of turbines added. The other point about this is that one of the many advantages of wind turbines is that decommissioning is so easy compared especially with cleaning up after coal or nuclear and so, if better technology does come through in the next 20 years (lifetime of a turbine),then they can be removed and the land returned to a state indistinguishable from what it was before the turbines were built. He talks about our misery if turbines are not built. I feel frustration that progress is not being made but no misery. However there is already misery for many (such as those whose houses have been flood damaged for months and are now almost unsalable in Somerset or the families who have actually had people killed by extreme weather conditions) and similar misery around the corner for millions if runaway climate change kicks in and once more I come back to the opinion (albeit now backed up by more and more respected analyses) that onshore wind is the cheapest and cleanest form of low carbon electricity and an indispensable cornerstone of a mixed technology sustainable economy for the 21st Century. "

    July 11, 2014 a 10:43 am

  • Michael Byrne comments:
    "Keith, thank you for your answer but in terms of an industrial activity 12 to 18 MW is extremely small compared to a 1000MW gas or nuclear power station. On these figures you would need to have between 333 and 500 turbines or between 55 and 83 “small” windfarms to produce 1000MW which is plain daft. It must surely be better to have just one power station sited in a suitable location than that many turbines which by their very nature must be in prominent positions and upsetting and dividing that many communities?
    No, it’s not hard at all for me to understand that some people like to see these turbines; I spoken to some. Equally, you must accept that some of us think they are contraptions from hell. The point I was making in my last post is that some people will suffer misery if these things are built and it’s simply not worth it for the small output. I’m sure that the misery endured by some of the population if they are built will far exceed the misery of like minded people like you if they are not. I have no objections to living near a conventional gas or nuclear power station if it was to be appropriately sited. But I would object to one on the Slyers Lane site for the same reasons I object to the turbines; that it is not a suitable place for an industrial building.
    I have lived in Dorset for 16 years. Is that enough and how is that relevant anyway? I still care for where I live even if you don’t. "

    July 10, 2014 a 4:52 pm

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "An individual’s opinion of having to look at a turbine is subjective. It may be hard for Michael to understand but some of us in the “local population” would actually like to see turbines, even from our garden or bedroom window. We don’t consider it “desecration” or consider the landscape must remain the same. The landscape always changes over time. In Dorset it is entirely man made. Generations of farmers have been guardians of the landscape and farmers still are. I’ve noticed that objectors are usually relitavely recent residents of Dorset without a genuine connection to the land other than viewing it with picture post card eyes.
    All electricity generation is intermittent, even nuclear. What matters is how much is generated in the course of a year. 18 MW of wind turbine with 25% capacity factor amounts to around 40,000 MWh/yr which is equivalent to around 8200 West Dorset households (DECC 2011 data)Considering Dorchester has 8996 households you cannot descibe the generation from Slyers lane as “small amounts” How would you feel about a proposal to site a 1000 MW gas or nuclear power station at the Slyers lane site or anywhere else around Dorchester? How do you think anyone living near one feels. We all use electricity. We shouldn’r expect others to shoulder all the burden of the electricity into our homes that we now see as a right. "

    July 10, 2014 a 2:37 pm

  • Michael Byrne comments:
    "I would like a response to this personal opinion please. I believe that however well intentioned, the misery inflicted on a large proportion of the local population by the siting of these huge turbines and the desecration of our precious countryside cannot be justified by the small amounts of intermittent electricity that they produce. The Slyers Lane proposal is for 6 turbines producing at best 12 to 18 MW in total. This compared with a conventional power station producing 1000 MW plus.
    Thanks "

    July 9, 2014 a 5:04 pm

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "I would like to thank Mr Byme for his comments that have encouraged a debate on these pages and would urge others of like mind to also make their comments on this site. As a supporter of large wind turbines, I believe we need to answer in detail the concerns their detractors have. "
    July 9, 2014 a 10:19 am

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Well I do regard a relevant post graduate qualification from a well recognized UK university as giving some authority to my comments. Does Mr Byrne now propose to undermine our world renowned higher education system that brings in millions of pounds of foreign student fees and research funding as well as our emerging renewables industry? I notice in all these criticisms he doesn’t favour us with any outline of his reason to claim to be the font of all knowledge on the matter. Perhaps he would like to read the Regen SW progress report that includes the statement: “This year onshore wind has installed 23 MW and we predict with approved schemes and known sites this level of deployment could be maintained to 2020. However, the Conservative Party proposals to stop onshore wind put this at risk – and, by stopping the cheapest technology, would inevitably increase the cost of energy.” The main message is that overall the SW is doing well in comparison with other regions but failing to stay on course for the 2020 targets. Dorset is failing to do its share and the major reason for that is that it is not installing any of the cheapest form of renewable energy ie onshore wind. Thus the report contradicts at least 1 of Mr Byrne’s unsupported assertions – ie that onshore wind puts unnecessary burdens on tax payers and consumers. "
    July 9, 2014 a 10:05 am

  • Michael Byrne comments:
    "Great. 2 years experience and an expert then. "
    July 8, 2014 a 7:53 pm

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "On shore wind is one of the least subsidized forms of electricity generation on offer at the moment. The strike price, length of contracts and government funded promises on decommissioning and waste disposal mean that Hinkley Point C is much more expensive than onshore wind. We are still paying out billions for the environmental and human costs of coal mining and that’s even before we try to factor in any externalized costs to the wider environment. We have repeatedly spent huge amounts on military operations in areas affected by oil politics. None of this really matters however because climate change means that business as usual is not an option whatever the cost. We have to do something different and all the new and alternative technologies need some form of subsidy to get them off the ground. Currently onshore wind is the cheapest of them that can generate significant output and so, if you are really bothered about the poor taxpayer and the consumer in fuel poverty, you should be a strong supporter of onshore wind! By the way my claim to know what I am talking about is the fact that I have spent the last two years doing an MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Engineering in which I have thus far achieved good to excellent results in every module assessment. "
    July 7, 2014 a 2:36 pm

  • Michael Byrne comments:
    "Vince, thanks for your explanation but at the end of the day you are not qualified nor authorised to give investment advice however well intentioned it may be and I would urge caution for any would be investor especially when these industrial monstrosities would not exist were it not for taxpayer funded subsidies. In other words taking from often poor taxpayers in heating poverty to further the wealth of people who can afford investments. Surely its bad enough to feed the greed of the landowners and developers without trying to spread the greed to others. "
    July 6, 2014 a 6:33 pm

  • vince Adams comments:
    "I read a comment from Michael Byrne asking what my qualifications were for me to be able to comment on the investment opportunities that can happen with the Slyer’s Lane Wind Turbine project.
    First I do not profess to be a financial expert but have had 40 years creating and running a highly successful Company.
    Second this gives me a background where I can see an opportunity to both benefit and do good and I think more people should begin to explore the facts.
    Three I have become Chairman of an Industrial Provident Society in the Blackmore Vale where we hope to benefit local people and create solar, hydro and even Wind Turbine projects for local communities and the environment. This has done a great deal to increase my knowledge and opened my eyes to how we can tackle some of the problems of the environment, energy costs for us all, pollution and drive forward new technology for the benefit of all.
    Finally I am only doing my best to point out the opportunities and it inherent for anyone wishing to go further to carefully understand the offer and make their own final decisions.
    I really hope that my points help Michael to understand my position and we want people with all the professional expertise and disciplines to join us and improve everything we do. "

    June 21, 2014 a 8:26 am

  • Michael Byrne comments:
    "Is Vince Adams authorised by the Financial Services Authority to comment on the “long term advantages over leaving money in bank accounts”? "
    June 18, 2014 a 8:52 am


15
MAY

Guest Energizer says:
Birds & Wind Farms


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


Birds & Wind Farms

Below is a brief article written by an American friend of Dorset Energized – we have published it as it addresses issues and concerns relevant to the UK and of course Dorset.

 

There has been a considerable amount of publicity recently about wind farms killing birds. While it is important that new industries do everything possible to keep their footprints small wind farm impact should be considered in comparison to other human impacts. The paragraph below gives some numbers.

Estimates (of wind farm kills) range as high as 880,000, Hutchins said. The number of deaths related to wind farms might seem insignificant when compared with U.S. Fish and Wildlife estimates of other sources of bird mortality. Collisions with buildings might kill 97 million to 976 million birds annually, and collisions with vehicles 60 million, according to the federal agency. As many as 72 million birds might die of pesticide and other poisoning annually, and cats are fierce predators of songbirds, killing an estimated 39 million birds annually in Wisconsin alone, according to one study.

Here’s an article about a new lawsuit against wind farms.

http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2014/05/14/wind-energy-projects-must-nagivate-rules-protect-birds/9070505/

Habitat destruction is also a major concern for birds was well as other animals. Here’s an article from Cornell U. about the threat to 3 billion birds due to development of North America’s boreal forests.

http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2014/05/threats-seen-3-billion-birds-vast-canadian-forest

The lawsuit in the first article is being filed because the birds named are golden eagles, an iconic species. But other birds are just as deserving of consideration. I see no lawsuits about finding some way to protect birds from flying into buildings or from well fed fat domestic cats allowed to roam free by thoughtless owners, etc. It is important to hold new industries to strong standards but it would also be nice to see this amount of attention being paid to the many ways we kill far more birds.

John W. Olver


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "The elephant in the room is the effect of Climate Change. Whilst human activity such as wind turbines, oil spills, cat ownership or the use of pesticides all pose direct threats to birds and wind turbines are minor offenders compared with the above examples and many others we could cite, migratory birds are extremely endangered by Climate Change as they depend on not just the climate of one environment remaining steady but on two or more sometimes thousands of miles apart. Furthermore the timings of their migrations are finely tuned to the climate dependent emergence of seasonal food sources such as caterpillars. If you fly all the way from Africa to Britain to find that the caterpillars you depend on to feed your chicks have all either been eaten by winter residents or have turned into butterflies you’re a bit stuffed. Whilst most of the other direct threats to birds either have no effect on Climate Change or make it worse like the use of oil, wind turbines are part of the solution to Climate Change and so save lots of bird lives. "
    May 23, 2014 a 11:25 am

  • Anna comments:
    "Something that put my mind at rest about this issue is that the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) actually support wind power and have invested in it at their own HQ, and surely no one cares more about birds than they do? Read my post on it here for more info: http://www.dorsetenergized.co.uk/archives/2012/04/21/rspb-announces-plans-for-a-wind-turbine-at-its-hq "
    May 15, 2014 a 3:12 pm


12
MAY

Erik Blakeley says:
Visit to Oakdale Wind Farm


Category: Wind Power
Tags: , , , ,


Visit to Oakdale Wind farm 10th May 2014

Residents of Winterborne Whitechurch and other interested people were invited on a coach trip to visit the Oakdale Wind Farm near Caerphilly in Wales on the 10th May. Despite over 40 people expressing an interest in coming barely a dozen appeared on the grey morning at 8.30 for the trip to begin. At least the forecast was helpful. There would be little point in showing people a wind farm during a calm day when many of those with concerns are particularly worried about the noise of the turbines running at high load factor. We expected blustery showers – exactly the sort of weather to maximise the noise from the turbines.

Oakdale Wind Farm 1.8MW turbine

After a long drive we finally arrived and the weather did not disappoint. Wind speeds at 7 feet above ground level were 8m/s with gusts into double figures. As we were 100m below the hub height, we could be pretty confident that the turbines were seeing the 13m/s or more needed to generate full 100% capacity factor peak output and the gusty conditions would be testing the gearboxes in such a way that they should be generating as much noise as they ever would. The coach was parked 400-500m from the turbines and the driver turned off the engine. We got out. What could we hear? Well, wind and that was about it. No deafening whooshing sound or explosive thumps just wind noise. The ground did not shake with scary infrasound vibrations and no one swooned with nausea or dizziness. We walked closer and by 300m from the turbines we could just about pick out a slight rythmic undertone to the wind noise but you had to know what you were listening to to know it was there. A skylark took off from the grassland surrounding the turbines and started to sing. It was clearly audible and a pleasure to see even if it failed to ascend much in the high wind.

We reached the turbine base and started to discuss what we could see. No one was shouting and what noise there was, was still as much due to the natural sound of the wind as the turbines. The heavens opened and we all made a run for it back to the coach well soaked for our pains.

Oakdale Wind Farm - up close

So 4 hours in the coach to get there and a damp 4 hours in prospect to get back after 15 minutes on site. What did we learn? Well, I think it was fair to say that many were surprised as to just how quiet the turbines were including myself. I have visited a few wind farms but this was my windiest trip to date and the quietness exceeded even my hopes. Many expressed an admiration of the engineering and architectural qualities of the turbines. Noone seemed to think they were an eyesore in themselves. So everyone was now keen to have wind turbines at Winterborne Whitechurch? Well no. There were two main worries. The most important can be summed up as “Why do they need to be so big?” Some people said they appreciated all the reasons why we needed renewable energy in general and wouldn’t object to hosting wind turbines if only they were say half the size. So why can’t we build them half the size? A suspicion seemed to be lurking beneath the surface of the conversation that this was just about big business maximizing its profits. Unfortunately it is really about the inescapable laws of physics. If you halve the size of a turbine you don’t just halve its output and you certainly don’t halve the costs to build and run it. Because the amount of wind pushing on the turbine depends on the area of the circle traced out by the blades halving the size will quarter the output if this were the only relevant consideration. Unfortunately we are far from finished.

As you go further up from the ground the wind speed (velocity V) increases. This is called wind shear. The amount of power in the wind that the turbine can use is dependent not on the speed of the wind or even the square of the speed of the wind. It is dependent of the cube of the speed of the wind because the energy of any sample of air is equal to ½ mV2 as many might remember from school Physics and the amount of air passing the turbine is dependent on the speed of the air passing so these considerations combined makes the Power dependent on the cube of the speed. Once the mast data from Blandford Hill is available we can work out an equation to model the precise rate at which wind speed varies with height but just for the sake of argument let’s assume that a turbine half the height of those suggested still sees wind speeds three quarters of the speed seen by the full size version. This means that the power available to the small turbine is (0.75)3 times the power of the big one or 0.422 times its value. Therefore overall we can expect the output of a turbine half the size of the one suggested to be about 10.5% of that from the large one or put it another way we will need 10 times as many turbines to produce the same results. Now we know for sure that building and running a half sized turbine (with all the additional costs of cabling, transformers etc) will cost at least half as much as running the big one and will probably cost much more than that but assuming we lose no net cost benefits of scale this still means that the electricity from the small turbine could cost 5 times that from the big one. I suggested to some of my fellow visitors that this might be the case and some seemed sceptical and others said they wouldn’t mind paying more for their electricity if it meant we could make do with smaller turbines. But five times the cost? And the countryside covered in 10 times the number of turbines? It doesn’t make sense to me. I really don’t find the prospect of being able to see say 4-6 large turbines from my house unacceptable and would welcome them but 40-60? Even I would join the ranks of the NIMBYs at that. If there is a big business conspiracy at work in the energy debate today it is the big multinational oil and gas firms desperate to squeeze the last drops of profit out of their diminishing resources even if it means bankrupting our fuel impoverished economy and wrecking the environment in the process not the relatively tiny firms like REG or Good Energy trying to introduce new sustainable technology and challenge the effective cartel of the big energy companies.

The other objection was that it would change the Dorset countryside. Unfortunately the Dorset Countryside has changed, is changing and will continue to change regardless of whether or not we have wind turbines. It is only a few years since our countryside started turning bright yellow every late spring with oil seed rape. This changed the look of the countryside and caused real health worries for allergy sufferers. But oil seed rape seems to be an indispensable part of our modern food economy and also our emerging biofuel economy so we put up with it and, now we are used to it, hardly notice it except for those like myself who curse when we see the bright flash of yellow from our car because we know it will be rapidly followed by a tightening of the chest and a spluttering coughing session (I recognise that my degree of suffering from hay fever is trivial compared to many for whom it is much more of an issue). I tried to point out that even our beloved hedgerows are recent additions to the countryside in many areas and were understandably greeted with loathing by many who lived there because they destroyed the quasi democratic system of three field agriculture and handed the best land to the richest and most powerful land owners. Many suffered real poverty because of them. I was derided for trying to equate a huge industrial object like a wind turbine with lovely natural things like hedgerows. However I say there are parallels. Hedged fields are not natural – acres of monoculture surrounded by bushes forced to lie flat and trimmed to a standardized height? They provide protection for the displaced and threatened nature that colonises them and wind turbines are part of what we must do to protect threatened nature from the effects of climate change and by so doing protect the species we rely on for our food, our natural building materials and the biofuel to cheer our winter grate.

Oakdale Wind Farm -750m away

Finally one of our group mentioned the fact that the wind turbines are a very similar height to Salisbury Cathedral although I think the person was trying to wind me up a bit at that point. This fact is a recurrent favourite of the anti-wind turbine protestors and was mentioned by just about every one of that opinion at the planning meeting I attended a few months ago regarding Silton. I fail to see the relevance of this information as a point against wind turbines unless there is some suggestion that by building something the same height as the cathedral we are committing sacrilege and risk the Wrath of God. Now I know that Dorset can be a bit behind the times but surely this is too medieval even for here. On the other hand what this fact says to me is that for nearly a thousand years we have been prepared to build structures in the Dorset landscape of this size if it is over a matter that is of sufficient importance. I truly believe that Climate Change and our need for sustainable clean energy are two of the most important issues we face as we enter the 21st Century and that although they will bring changes, wind turbines will not ruin the countryside, nature or people’s lives but they will give us a fighting chance of doing something about these important issues whilst there is still time.

If you have read this you might be interested in this item on the Good Energy Blog – someone`s firsthand experience of living next to a wind farm – http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/blog/living-next-to-a-wind-farm-a-personal-experience


3Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Hi Sally again, Sorry for the confusion. Of course I got Slyers Lane mixed up with Tolpuddle. However I have just checked the map for Slyers Lane and as it is next to the A35 my comments about infrasound and noise from road traffic still apply. Although road noise may be annoying neither the vibrations from the road nor any that might come from the wind turbines (and they will be far less if you are equidistant from the road and the farm) are going to harm you but you are at risk from those who would frighten you with false claims of health risks. The placebo effect is very powerful whether used for good or bad. Being vulnerable to it isn’t a matter of low intelligence or anything negative about the person. In fact it perhaps suggests a good imagination but whether the cause is the imagination or not the effects can be very real which is why I get so angry about those who go around frightening people about wind turbines just because they know that saying that they just don’t like the look of them in their neighbourhood isn’t such a good argument. "
    May 13, 2014 a 9:33 am

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Hi Sally. I hope you enjoy Delabole. Have you seen the piece from the gentleman living near Delabole? The link is at the bottom of my piece. If you live in Tolpuddle then I think it is worth pointing out that any noise or subsonic vibration from the wind farm at Slyers Lane will be dwarfed by those from the road between the farm and the village. Infrasound isn’t unique to wind turbines. It comes from traffic and household appliances. The degree to which people are annoyed by anything is heavily influenced by their mental attitude to the thing. I honestly do not believe there is a plausible scientific reason why vibrations from wind farms pose any significant medical threat to people except through negative suggestion and placebo caused by the scare stories put about by opponents of renewable energy. "
    May 12, 2014 a 5:18 pm

  • Sally Cooke comments:
    "Thanks Erik for sharing your experience. It’s good to know it was so positive. I am very interested to find out more about how people experience turbines, incl. whether there are individual differences between people, and also design factors that are crucial in avoiding problems with noise / subsonic vibration etc. Off to Delabole on Saturday to learn more for myself (I live near the proposed Slyers Lane turbines). "
    May 12, 2014 a 1:42 pm


Lets Get Energized with Renewable Energy!

Lets Get Energized is your online guide to renewable energy and sustainable living with the latest news, views and tips plus exclusive special offers to help you save energy and money, beat rising energy prices, combat climate change and be more self sufficient – right now, and for your future...

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