Posts Tagged ‘wind turbines’


08
JUL

Vince Adams says:
BATS – Conflicting Information


Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Wildlife & Nature, Wind Power
Tags: ,


The latest reports from the USA highlights that bats are being killed by wind turbines is great numbers. However with small adjustments to the revolution speed we can hugely reduce the number of deaths and cause very little reduction in energy output.

The last report I saw from the UK was by RSPB and indicated that WT’s did not cause anything but minor mortality to bats.

I don’t know which is right or wrong and how much the technology is different say from the States to European models. But its clear we do need to look out for our little friends and rather like Bees understand and rejoice in the work they do for us in reducing insect populations and their effects on crops.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bat-killings-by-wind-energy-turbines-continue/?WT.mc_id=SA_ENGYSUS_20160616

We at LGE would welcome more information and input from anyone or any source that might throw more light on this hugely important matter.



13
JUL

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Wind Turbines in Dorset? Planning Committee says NO


Category: Community Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Uncategorized, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Wind Turbines in Dorset? Planning Committee says NO

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I recently attended a wind turbine planning determination in a crowded village hall when the planning committee (well 6 of the 11 members attended) decided the fate of an application for 4 large wind turbines. We all listened to officers of the council and AONB explain the landscape and heritage sensitivities (the turbines would be seen in the setting of listed buildings and the beautiful Dorset landscape) followed by numerous speakers against and for the application.

Those opposed to the application made the point that our landscape must be preserved, that the turbines would be seen from village houses and gardens and even that wind turbines damage people’s health. The CPRE claimed that renewable energy targets in Dorset had been exceeded so no new installations were needed. Each speaker received rapturous applause.

I have witnessed a few campaigns to oppose wind turbine applications in Somerset and Dorset. There is usually assistance from outside organisations. Meetings, leaflets and doorstep petitions are arranged. The purpose – of course – is to raise anxiety levels. Misinformation is spread such as; bird and bat populations are put at risk; infra sound prevents people sleeping and gives them headaches; house prices will fall and tourists will stay away. Wind turbines are inefficient and generate hardly anything. Sometimes photographs that exaggerate the scale are published.

In reality, the choice to approve or not – as the officers and members present acknowledged –is justified on the basis of a subjective view of landscape and visual aesthetics.

About seven of us spoke up in favour of the application. It was explained that climate change is an issue that needs to be dealt with so urgently we need to move to 100% of our electricity from renewables ASAP, that wind turbines are the cheapest technology but that there are very sites suitable for their installation in Dorset.

When I spoke, looking out onto the big audience of grey haired baby boomers while younger people were at work, I realised just where the divide in opinion lay. The majority of the audience – many retired to timeless Hardy’s Dorset – would not sacrifice their views from around the village to give the younger generation a better future. Yet just think what the generation before the baby boomers sacrificed in the 30s, 40s and 50s!

Anyone wanting to live in Hardy’s Dorset should stop using electricity, swap their car for a horse and cart, live in a very small draughty house and campaign to take out pylons and large roads. If we walk backwards into the future, we will suffer because we can’t see where we are going.

I spoke up for farmers. They may be sitting on land and property worth millions with large sums flowing through their business but their disposable income can be modest. They work very long hours as standard and consider themselves guardians of the land (and landscape) which they expect to pass on to their children rather than realize paper wealth.

I was once told by a farmer – only half-jokingly – that I shouldn’t expect him to take my opinions on local matters seriously because my family had not been in Dorset since Saxon times. Despite that comment, farmers are usually quiet, self-effacing, not prone to voicing their opinions and actually can be intimidated.

Wind turbines make sense to farmers because they give resource efficient future financial security. The opposing camp are very ably led by people some of which, have moved into the area to retire. They put high value on the landscape the farming community have created and look after, but look to the past rather than the constant change and planning for the future they may have experienced in their own working lives.

The media are underestimating the connection between peoples voting intentions and their views on climate change. The Green surge is largely due to younger people with a strong sense of injustice against their generation. Baby boomers have had it good with their jetting around the world on holiday, big cars and houses by mortgaging their children’s and grandchildren’s futures (the deficit.) This put the carbon in the atmosphere that puts future generations in jeopardy.



05
JUN

Vince Adams says:
New Spanish Blameless Wind Turbines


Category: Uncategorized, Wind Power, Wind Power
Tags: ,


New Spanish Blameless Wind Turbines

Big news from Spain, the launch of bladeless wind turbine’s indeed.

50% less cost, even better rates of energy generation they also have less impact on the landscape, people and wildlife.
Wow with all those plus’s can we assume that all the Anti’s will now give up on their opposition and get fully behind the Countries move towards fossil free energy generation.

The wind has been our friend since the beginning of time with transport, food production and even drying our clothes before tumble dryers were even invented. So lets embrace its force and use it for the common good.

If you would like to comment on this or any other subject please go to our blog comment page or the comment section below this article.

For more information go to :
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jun/01/can-bladeless-wind-turbines-mute-opposition?CMP=new_1194&CMP=



04
FEB

Erik Blakeley says:
Reaction to January`s Wind Figures


Category: Renewable Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , ,


Reaction to January`s Wind Figures

Another record month for wind but one with a couple of holes in it. The real achievement of wind power in supplying a new record share of our electrical energy needs in January was of course played down by opponents of renewables pointing to intermittency in the output. If you look at the monthly data from the Grid http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ you do indeed see a couple of days (c. 19th and 21st Jan) that were especially quiet and a couple more that weren’t great. However the striking thing about the graph is actually how steady at between 3 and 5 GW the wind output was for at least 20 of the days in January. If you now look at the data for the other technologies you will see that the slack at the low wind output times was taken up by CCGT or Combined Cycle Gas Turbine generation. This isn’t the inefficient Open Cycle Gas Turbines as is sometimes claimed by those that try to suggest that wind turbines don’t save carbon emissions as these days OCGT are used very rarely and then mostly to deal with the massive spikes in the demand curve or massive fall outs caused by a big failures in centralised coal or nuclear generation or grid problems. Modern CCGT generators are much more flexible than older kit and can deal with pretty much anything the intermittency of wind will throw at them.

So the next issue is whether CCGT necessarily means fossil fuel natural gas. Well no. If we were ever to be lucky enough to get to the point where our wind and other renewables capacity was so high that we had to curtail output because there wasn’t the immediate demand to use the power we could use surplus renewable energy to produce hydrogen and synthetic gaseous fuels. These could be mixed with the normal gas in the gas main to a percentage of in excess of 10% (which I understand would be the maximum percentage for pure hydrogen addition before there were technical issues with burners and other infrastructure). Furthermore stand-alone combinations of wind, solar, hydrogen, syngas and AD/biomass sourced gas feeding to some storage capacity and CCGT dispatchable generation could very conceivably be designed to cope with a much wider range of gas compositions making the use of pure natural gas a thing only of the most urgent crisis in supply.

Currently we are earmarking massive capital investment in Hinkley Point and look set to repeat this several times over in new generation nuclear reactors. If this sort of capital is available it could be being spent on a small number of massive pumped storage facilities on the scale of Dinorwig and a more significant number of small plants such as Glyn Rhonwy http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/09/the-time-is-right-for-small-pumped-storage-in-the-uk-developer-says . We do not need to wait for yet to be developed battery storage or smart grid solutions (which do seem set to materialise pretty soon nonetheless) to be increasing our ability to tackle intermittency with storage.

Next is the assumption that Renewables means wind. Wind has to be a major player in any current significant renewable portfolio but, by mixing in a number of smaller players we both increase capacity and reduce overall intermittency. Solar, hydro (not pumped storage), wave and tidal are either already available to deploy in larger amounts or are requiring only limited further development to make them economically viable. Such technological diversity reduces the chances of total renewables unavailability to practically zero even without storage solutions and certainly will reduce the periods of very limited supply to such short timescales that our technological fixes can cope with it.

Next is the Question of better grid links to the Continent. Weather systems track across the continent often West to East so if it is calm here one day it is still windy in Germany and will be calm in Germany tomorrow when it will be windy here. Better and more efficient long distance grid connections such as those based on new generation High Voltage Direct Current technology (HVDC) can make the swapping of surplus renewable energy between countries much easier. The best way forward on this is not entirely clear but “technically there is no big obstacle left to prevent the building of a supergrid. So when could it take place? Actually it is probably already happening. Several of the exisitng HVDC schemes could feasibly form part of a future European supergrid.” http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/print/volume-21/issue-6/special-focus-hvdc/how-close-are-we-to-realising-a-european-supergrid.html

Finally there is the question of what we have to do to make using fossil fuels OK to plug the gaps. Although fossil fuels are finite and will run out eventually it is clear that the pressing issue is Green House Gas Emissions so the answer is simple ie Carbon Capture and Storage http://www.ccsassociation.org/what-is-ccs/ . This has been talked about for generations now (ie more than 25 years) but development has been painfully slow because there has been no incentive on those making big money from fossil fuels to invest in it. If those people are made to see that they have to compete with renewables not only in terms of immediate financial cost but also on environmental standards I am pretty confident that they can make it work albeit at a cost and perhaps with limits on the rate of usage of fossil fuels to keep pace with the rate at which we can stuff the CO2 underground or elsewhere. This is fine if fossil fuels are part of a varied portfolio of energy sources including large amounts of renewables instead of being the monster supplier they are now.

Finally finally I must stress that although all these solutions to the intermittency problem are to some degree in the future so is the problem itself except in the minds of the renewables opponents. The variation in demand produced by us all wanting to drink tea during the same commercial break in our favourite soap or the fact that it is cold in winter and warm in summer means that the system will have to cope with intermittent demand whatever our generation strategy and even with a new record being set for wind generation for Jan 2015 we can add plenty more renewables capacity before a calm day will put the lights out!


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Jack Olver comments:
    "A NY Times article of Nov., 2014 points out that at that time wind and solar were cost competitive with fossil fuels in the US. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/24/business/energy-environment/solar-and-wind-energy-start-to-win-on-price-vs-conventional-fuels.html These cost estimates don’t take into consideration the world wide damage done by the extraction, transportation and burning of fossil fuels. The US Academy of Sciences put the cost fossil fuels added to America’s health care alone at $120 billion a year and that doesn’t count the cost of global warming, other untraceable pollution and damage to other parts of the world while extracting and transporting fossil fuels. Fossil fuel companies are currently not held accountable for these hidden costs of the energy they supply. If customers did have to pay those costs or if those costs were deducted from the profits of stockholders and employees renewable energy would seem cheap. "
    February 8, 2015 a 12:27 am


27
JAN

Guest Energizer says:
Wind Turbines in the landscape in Portugal


Category: Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Wind Turbines in the landscape in Portugal

I stood on a hill in the Eastern Algarve looking at the beautiful landscape towards Spain.

It was too early for Spring Flowers but nevertheless the views were breathtaking.

I could see a multitude of Wind Turbines glowing in the winter sunshine and all turning in the distance – were they in Spain or Portugal ?

Wind turbines in Portugal?

Wind turbines in Portugal?

It didn’t matter- they were a part of the total experience. I knew at once that they must have been creating pure, clean energy and it felt good.

Wind Turbines in Spain?

Wind Turbines in Spain?

No intrusion of the view just enhancing !!

This is a guest post by Lin Adams – while holidaying in Portugal


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Kathryn Flint comments:
    "I agree, wind turbines are aesthetically pleasing and they don’t take up much room compared to a solar farm producing the same amount of energy. I was on Hambledon Hill very recently and the solar farm really is an eye-saw which detracts from the typical English beauty of its surroundings. "
    May 15, 2015 a 9:57 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "Dorset artist says yes to Wind Turbines they even enhance the landscape and are so important for our future on this planet "
    January 27, 2015 a 10:01 am


19
NOV

Lets Get Energized says:
West Dorset Pro Wind – New Website


Category: Uncategorized, Wind Power
Tags: , , , ,


West Dorset Pro Wind Group website now live!

You can find this group at www.westdorsetprowind.org.uk as well on Facebook : West Dorset Pro Wind Group

Find out what is happening with Blandford Hill Wind Farm at Winterbourne Whitechurch, West Dorset Wind Farm near Tolpuddle and Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm between Charminster, Charlton Down and Stinsford all of which have submitted planning applications.

There is also information on how you can contact us and how you can help lend your support.

Two things are going on right now

Parish Council Survey on Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm Charminster and Charlton Down residents only.

Public Consultation on Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm Important part of the planning process. Expected to start in the coming week or so

A LOCAL CAMPAIGN BY LOCAL PEOPLE FOR WIND ENERGY IN DORSET

 

UPDATE: Slyer`s Lane public consultation has now started – View Here



08
OCT

Erik Blakeley says:
How Many Is Enough?


Category: Energy Efficiency, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


How Many Is Enough?

This article appeared in the Daily Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/renewableenergy/11125908/Thousand-more-wind-turbines-than-UK-needs.html.

And here is a response:

Where do you start? It is total nonsense!

What is worse is some of the total C**P in the comments after the article.

The first point is that, on current planning application process times, all they are saying is that wind power might reach its share of the 2020 target in time although this actually seems unlikely as some applications take as much as 10 years to reach fruition. I suspect that other forms of renewables will be way behind target given the slower than expected technological development in things like wave power and the persistently high LCOE figures for offshore renewables and nuclear (far higher than the relatively low cost of onshore wind) which are likely to make it difficult to have such technologies take up their projected share of the burden without causing unsustainable price rises for the consumer.

Secondly, and I keep stressing this and suggest that everyone else does so too, 2020 is not the end of the process! David Cameron himself recently stressed the importance of the 2050 target for 80% decarbonisation which is the only one that actually makes a difference when we consider the risks of run away climate change because the 2020 target of 15%, if it is achieved and then no more progress is made, will merely mildly delay the point at which we reach a significant tipping point and the driving force of climate change stops being human activity directly and starts being more related to factors such as the lack of albedo effect once the ice caps have gone or the mass evolution of methane from the oceans and melting tundra.

If, and it is still a big if, we can build a bit more onshore wind than the 2020 targets suggest now it is a good thing in that it helps us have a better chance of making the 2050 target. In the comments following the article we get the same old rubbish about wind farms being too intermittent, they don’t save any carbon emissions because fossil fuel capacity is on spinning reserve, its all about subsidies for greedy land owners and developers. All of these are just lies. The variation in demand is far greater than the variation in wind power so the need for spinning reserves is going to be there regardless of whether we have wind power or not. Much of the reason why peaking and balancing generation (the spinning reserves) is so less efficient than baseload generation is because much of our peaking and balancing currently comes from low efficiency open cycle gas turbines (OCGT`s). This need not be the case in the future. Pumped hydro and electrochemical storage technologies both have the response characteristics to perform peaking and balancing. Efficient new generation combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant is also much quicker to react than the older CCGT and they could be run more and more on Anaerobic Digester gas and hydrogen derived from surplus wind or other renewables.

We need to get rid of the out of date OCGT technology not the wind turbines! Even with the old OCGTs causing minor issues the effect of renewables in general and wind in particular is now proven in the National Grid and DECC figures that show reductions in coal consumption and consequent CO2 reductions clearly linked to renewable generation so the positive effect of renewables isn’t even a theoretical effect in the future, it is already making a significant contribution despite the relatively low share of overall capacity – lesson learned build more of what is working not less!

I heard an article on the radio recently that was very interesting. I have thought for some time that we are in the same position regarding climate change and renewable energy that we were in regarding lung cancer and smoking in the 1970s and 80s in that people with scientific knowledge (I won’t call them scientists because their lack of respect for scientific truth debars them from that title in my opinion) are being employed by those with huge financial interests in stopping the development of renewables to generate spurious but believable “evidence” against renewables. The radio piece I heard actually suggested that not only were the big fossil fuel firms using the same tactics as the tobacco firms they were actually employing the same people!


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "The new EU targets that the Govt has agreed may or may not be good news as far as reaching the ultimate targets of full decarbonisation but they certainly require a near doubling of the renewable energy contribution between 2020 and 2030. Given that the amount of renewables we will have by 2020 will have been put in place over several decades this will mean a scaling up of the rate of delivery of renewables. This means that any suggestions that we have enough are just stupid. "
    October 24, 2014 a 12:19 pm

  • vince adams comments:
    "Well said now lets move on and focus on how to maintain, strengthen and ultimately turn our energy supply into 80% renewable by 2030
    Cancel Hinkley Nuclear Power and make the possible Possible "

    October 8, 2014 a 6:06 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.


2Comments | Post your own comment


15
SEP

Lets Get Energized says:
Slyers Lane Wind Farm Proposal – Public Exhibition 22nd September


Category: Community Energy, Energy Events in Dorset, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , ,


Slyers Lane Wind Farm Proposal – Public Exhibition 22nd September

The Planning Application for a Wind Farm at Slyer’s Lane, nr Charminster, is going to planning in 1-2 weeks so public consultation will be starting around end of September.

The developer, Broadview, are holding their Final Public Exhibitions next Monday 22nd September at:

Charminster Village Hall: 1.00 – 3:30  DT2 9QL
Herrison Hall , Charlton Down: 5.30 – 8.00  DT2 9UA

They are going to have the visualisations (photomontages) plus their latest images showing what the wind farm will look like from several different sites.

Broadview are also bringing along documents and reports that are be submitted with their application for people to look at. Good chance to know what their final plans really are and a last chance to ask questions.

About the visualisations:

Everyone,whether for, against or undecided, realises that the wind turbines will be seen from some places. Broadview, to satisfy planning requirements for Landscape Assessments, have had to follow strict protocols in producing the visualisations and they have followed the Scottish Natural Heritage guidance. Thus coming to the exhibition is a chance to  get as accurate an idea of what the proposed Wind Turbines will look like in the landscape as can be produced professionally for the planners.

Broadview Energy`s online information (including visualisations) regarding Slyers Lane, can be found – Here


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "We are now nearing the end of the consultation process and its time for everyone who has a interest to go along to the exhibition, see what is being said and get the facts. I believe that for centuries we have used the wind for our food and for travel and it a natural resource that can bring so much good clean energy to our region. What we have to find is how to bring harmony to local communities for the good of all with WT projects. That’s what Keith and I shall be doing a few miles down the road in Pymore on the someday at 7.30pm where we shall be showing local residents what might be possible with a potential hydro project.
    We want to listen to everyones views and see if there is a consensus to moving forward. We don’t have all the answers, the project is embryonic but with good will and a desire we can achieve success. Why not try going to the Exhibition and Pymore for a truly Renewable evening experience. "

    September 15, 2014 a 9:48 am


27
AUG

Erik Blakeley says:
Yes to Slyers Lane Wind Farm


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


Yes to Slyers Lane Wind Farm

I was very interested to see that the No to Slyers lane site features a link to another anti wind turbine site trying to make big news out of the dismantling of the Addingham wind farm just up the valley from Ilkley in Yorkshire http://noslyerslaneturbines.co.uk/weve-got-our-view-back/ .

Now it just so happens that I lived in Ilkley about the time that these wind turbines were in the prime of their lives. They didn’t ruin the Yorkshire countryside in any way shape or form. I walked and drove around the area frequently and the only way they impinged on me was as a pleasant reminder that I was near home (a really wonderful home, wind turbines and all) as I drove back from the West past the reservoir. It appears that they have reached the end of their expected life span and have been taken down (we’ve never said that they can last forever – what can?).

What does this actually mean? Well first and foremost it proves our point that wind turbines do not permanently affect the landscape. It is easy to take them down, recycle much of the materials in them and return the landscape to the form it was in before they were built so the idea that wind turbines permanently despoil the landscape is rubbish. Secondly the site concerned tries to make out that they hardly ever ran and didn’t produce much energy etc etc. I don’t have the performance figures for these particular turbines but great advances have occurred in the technology over the 2 decades that they have been running, so using any performance figures for them, good or bad, doesn’t make any sense in evaluating modern turbines except to say that these old stalwarts did their bit to prove and improve the technology.

However the same people trying to tell you that wind turbines never work and are useless except as subsidy farming money makers for the greedy industrialists who build them are also the same people who have recently tried to tell you that we don’t need any more renewable energy to meet out 2020 decarbonisation targets because renewables have now topped 15% of electricity generation http://www.viewfrompublishing.co.uk/news_view/32595/15/1/dorchester-does-dorchester-care-about-turbine (“In a statement issued by the No Slyers Lane Turbines group they claim that the UK has already reached its EU-set target for renewable energy.”). There are two points here. The first is the obvious one that they must be deceiving you with one of these arguments as they are mutually contradictory. The second is that either they know little or nothing about the decarbonisation targets for the UK or they are happy to mislead you!

Oh how I wish that we had enough Renewable energy to meet the EU target! The EU target isn’t for 15% of electricity generation from renewables it’s for 15% of the energy use of the whole economy from renewables of which electricity generation is only one part (“Even though we are starting from a low level, the UK can meet the target to deliver 15% of the UK’s energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.” –  renewable roadmap document from UK Gov: here)

Electricity is perhaps the easiest sector to decarbonise and will need to carry slower moving parts such as the road transport network. What is more, the answer for road transport will involve switching from petrol and diesel to electricity in a big way and the answer for home heating is likely to involve much more use of electric heat pumps so our electricity generation capacity will have to expand rapidly to provide for increasing demand from 80GW at present to around 120GW over the next couple of decade,s even if we improve energy efficiency meaning that we still need lots more electricity from renewables!

Anti-renewables campaigners will continue to use misinformation and false claims to try to convince you that wind farms or solar parks are dreadful because they cannot rely on their only real argument which is that these technologies are visible from some distance away and they don’t want anything in their back yards to change ever, however much we need to solve the bigger problems in life.


1Comments | Post your own comment


28
JUL

Lets Get Energized says:
Blandford Hill Wind Farm Proposal – Planning Application Submission


Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Blandford Hill Wind Farm- Planning Application Submission

The Planning Application for the Blandford Hill Wind Farm (near Winterborne Whitechurch) has been submitted by the developers REG, and the consultation process has begun. If you would like to participate and support the proposal we have further information below:

Application Number: 2/2014/0768/PAEIA

Case Officer: Stephen Clark

Tel: 01258 454111

Planning application & supporting document – Click Here

or http://planning.north-dorset.gov.uk/online-applications/   – (and search for the application number)

To comment online: click here

To post: Stephen Clark, Case Officer, Development Services, North Dorset District Council, Nordon, Salisbury Road, Blandford Forum DT11 7LL

To contact your local councillor & others

Tel 01258 454111 or visit: https://www.dorsetforyou.com/councillors/north

Abbey Ward(Blandford Hill’s) District Councillors:
Jane Somper: janesomper@hotmail.com
Emma Parker: emmaparker77@hotmail.com

North Dorset MP Bob Walters robert.walters.mp@parliament.uk

Constituency Office: The Stables, WhiteCliff Gardens, Blandford Forum, DT11 7BU

Tips on writing letters or online comments

1. Remember to include planning application reference number and your address

2. Pass this on to people you know and have supporters in your household have their say separately. Same email address /envelope is fine.

3. Look at the planning application and supporting documents-at the link above or council offices

4. Include factors the planners will take into account beside the Local Plan- national policies, other local plans, evidence or research, evidence of public’s views. Called “material considerations”

5. Refer to the public interest

6. Point out that this is a temporary planning application for the 25 year lifetime of the wind turbines.

7. SAVE what you write and use it to contact your local councillor, the Abbey Ward councillors, the MP…..

8. Do It – better a quick comment than none at all. Public consultation is on til mid-August but late
submissions are likely to be accepted for a while.

Info planners are guided by:

The Draft North Dorset Local Plan 2011-2026

National Planning Guidance on renewable and low carbon energy

A Pro Forma letter in support of the application can be downloaded here: BH Pro-forma letter


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "I’ve just heard that Eric Pickles has been made faith minister. This could explain a lot. Is he expecting a miracle to sort out climate change and energy security and to whisk away nuclear waste? "
    August 8, 2014 a 9:19 am


15
JUL

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Discounted electric bills if you live near a Wind Farm


Category: Energy Deals & Offers, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Discounted electric bills if you live near a Wind Farm

Already happening in Scotland: http://www.nextgenmedia.co.uk/news/1313-new-onshore-wind-farm-generates-discounted-bills-for-local-residents

This is probably the best use of the community benefit fund. My suggestion would be 80% discount for those living within 4 km and 50% discount for those living within the next band up to 8 km. I’d be interested to see how much this would cost in the case of the three proposed wind projects in Dorset. If this is of interest to the companies involved, we could do the calculations for them based on number of households and average Dorset electricity consumption. I suspect there would still be a lot of money left over in the community fund.



08
JUL

Erik Blakeley says:
Fracking or Wind Turbines


Category: Fracking, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Fracking or wind turbines?

Which would you choose?

I oppose fracking. My main reason for doing so is that I fear that fracking is being used as the means to put off developing our plentiful and clean renewable potential simply because it makes it easier for the Chancellor to generate a boom and bust economic recovery that will get him re-elected next year and perhaps in another 5 years time at the expense of a sustainable recovery and meaningful reductions in green house gas emissions. This is enough to make me oppose fracking. However there are lots of other reasons suggested for opposing fracking. Lots of frightening stories are out there on the internet. The problem is how to assess which risks are significant enough to be worth considering which is even harder than sorting the facts from the falsehoods. As a campaigner for renewables and therefore against fracking it is tempting to point out that some of the chemicals used in fracking in America are carcinogens and can have other toxic effects and fracking has been accused of causing earthquakes or of releasing natural gas into water supplies to the extent that gas escaping from domestic taps can be lit with a cigarette lighter. However it is not clear how comparable the fracking process in Britain would be to that use in America and, cynic though I am, I do still suspect that any use of the technique would be better regulated here than in the cowboy environment of the fracking industry of America. So it is hard to tell just how bad fracking would be for its potential neighbours in Britain. If you want to see the worst case scenario for fracking see this site: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/14/fracking-hell-live-next-shale-gas-well-texas-us

Perhaps a better approach is to ask ourselves how is it likely to compare with the alternatives? We do need to do something. Our energy infrastructure is wearing out and will not meet the needs of the 21st Century. If we ignore the ethical element we might get away with being NIMBYs and expect others to put up with things that we want the benefits from but don’t want to see near us but we cannot be BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody). The obvious alternative is wind turbines. Scare stories abound about noise and flicker and the amounts of concrete used in their foundation and of course there is the subjective aesthetic question of visual amenity. Now I have done much more research into the realities of the issues relating to wind turbines than I have into fracking and my conclusion is that every issue except the subjective question of visual impact is either grossly over stated by the antis or even absolutely untrue and that, when you are talking about small wind farms of less than ten turbines sited 500m or more from the nearest houses the visual impact is very much dependent on how much of a Victor Meldrew you let yourself become by staring at the turbines and winding yourself up into a froth about them. I truly believe that you have every reason to ignore them because they won’t do you any harm. It would be unfair of me therefore to suggest that you believe all the very worst stories about fracking and reject all the ones about wind turbines even though I believe that there is much more truth behind the fracking stories than the turbine myths (can you detect my bias there??!).

So what can we say for certain. Developing a fracking field involved months of heavy industrial work during which a great deal of noise and dust is created and millions of gallons of fracturing fluid will need to be tankered in or made up on site using local water resources and more concentrated chemicals which may or may not be a significant risk to you but certainly would not be something you would like to see spilled into your local stream if one of the many tankers was to have a crash. Most of the fracking fluid will come back to the surface via the bore hole and will need to be stored onsite until it can be tankered out again for safe disposal or reprocessing/recycling at another well. Part of the job of the fluid is to corrosively attack the rock the stop the cracks closing up again. This means that the fluid will return to the surface loaded with dissolved minerals. Now this might well not be the sort of thing you would bottle and sell as a health tonic as it is likely to include heavy metals in much the same way as the acid mine water does that has sterilized many a stream in Yorkshire or Wales. With the best will in the world I do believe that losses from storage lagoons and tanks will occur and sure, the firms will be fined by the Environment Agency etc, but only after the event when your environment is polluted.

Once the well heads are in place there will probably still need to be storage tanks on site and there may well be the requirement for periodic refracturing when the whole fluid insertion and pressurisation process will need to be repeated.

In comparison the building of a wind farm of 6 turbines is a minor inconvenience. Each turbine requires a concrete foundation equivalent to about 6 modern family homes and once they are in place the structure of the turbine itself can be erected in a single day especially if road links to the site are reasonable and it can be brought in largely prefabricated. Power electronics for the farm about the size of a single lorry container gather the electricity from the individual turbines and feed it into underground cables that connect into the 11kV mains at the sort of transformer station that you will already have in your village or community. Thereafter they run extremely quietly and require relatively low levels of maintenance for years of clean electricity generation.

In conclusion my main objection to fracking is because of the implications for the long term energy policies of our country but I am also in no doubt whatsoever, 100% certain etc etc that I would choose a wind farm in my back yard over a fracking site any day of the year but will I get the chance to choose? Of course I won’t. As long as the government thinks it can make a quick buck to boost GDP and it calculates that the anti-wind turbine campaigners are active in more marginal rural constituencies than the anti-fracking campaigners are they will push ahead with fracking in just the same way as 12 new nuclear power plants will be pushed through because it is a flaw in the democratic system that the unreasonable objections of 100 constituencies to wind turbines outvote the reasonable objections of 12 constituencies to nuclear expansion.

Localism is all very well but is must go hand in hand with a sense of the bigger picture. We can all share in the benefits of dispersed generation by renewables but we must all accept a little of something in our back yard unless we want to take our chances in the fracking and nuclear lotteries and condemn our grandchildren to suffer the longer term consequences.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "I was going to suggest that you also put your blog on the DART websie but on investigation discover that they have no blog section! Presumably they don’t want to encourage discussion but simply appear as the font of all knowledge. "
    July 10, 2014 a 2:04 pm


06
JUL

Lets Get Energized says:
Meeting in Support of Blandford Hill Wind Farm Proposal


Category: Energy Events in Dorset
Tags: , ,


Meeting in Support of Blandford Hill Wind Farm Proposal

On Wednesday the 9th July at 7 pm there is going to be a meeting at the Woodhouse Pavilion in Blandford in support of the proposed 3 turbine wind farm at Blandford Hill (site proposed 1km from Winterborne Whitechurch).

West Dorset Pro Wind group will be attending to share their experience – in supporting through letters of support to the planning committee and so forth.

The poster for the meeting can be viewed by clicking the link below:

Poster for 9th July meeting



15
OCT

Vince Adams says:
Our friend the Wind


Category: Climate Change, Wind Power
Tags:


photo2

wind-vince

Natural threshing of corn,
Drying clothes,
Travel in sailing boats,
Windmills to grind our corn.

Unlike the Sun, it goes almost un-heralded
and by many derided as something cold, mean and menacing.

So now is the time to face up and give our thanks and to support the new technology that turns wind into energy and count our blessings.

Like so many things, because it is free we don’t really value it…

These photos are from my travels to Sweden where mills are at the heart of the community even in small hamlets – old mills used for food and new windmills (wind turbines) used for energy – showing that wind power can span the centuries to gather natural carbon-less wind.

So let’s embrace wind turbines in some way and harness the power of the wind for everyone.

Find out more about wind power here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wind-power


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Chris Wharton comments:
    "I am chair of a community project set up to create community-owned clean energy for the benefit of the community. We are convinced that wind power is a vital bridge, enabling us to act now to reduce carbon emissions with suitable urgency, but when new tidal power comes online in about 20 years, the wind turbines can be recycled and the land returned to nature. So we have applied for a small community-owned turbine. Please support it at Cornwall Council’s planning portal: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=15927 – Please reference ‘PA13/06802 – Endurance turbine community owned’. For more information go to: http://www.FREEFowey.org.uk THANKS! "
    October 16, 2013 a 1:12 pm


12
DEC

Theresa McManus says:
Navitus Bay Wind Farm Proposals in Poole Bay Scaled Back


Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power
Tags: , ,


The BCC have reported that Navitus Bay Development Ltd has announced a “significant reduction” to its proposed wind park in Poole Bay, between Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

In my opinion, it is a sad day for our civilisation when the short-sighted and subjective conservative desires of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

How many of those vociferous few who have forced the plans for Navitus Bay to be scaled down have been taking action to reduce their energy demand so that we can do without these additional renewable resources?

For the full BBC article go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20682124

To take positive steps to reduce your own energy demand, see the Dorset Energized page on Energy Efficiency here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/energy-efficiency and for more information on Wind Power click here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wind-power


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "I agree the reduction in size is disappointing but at least there is still a project to be had; and hopefully the voices from the community will feel that they have been listened to and raise no further objections. "
    December 17, 2012 a 11:58 am


12
OCT

Lets Get Energized says:
Dorset energy company supporting controversial Silton turbines as ‘logical answer’


Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Wendy Pillar and Erik Blakeley from Energize Stur Valley, a local community group and partners of Dorset Energized, have outlined the benefits of wind power and why the controversial Silton turbines should be built, in a letter to The Blackmore Vale Magazine which was published today and highlighted as the top news item in thisisdorset.co.uk.

We recommend you read the full article here and as always, we welcome your constructive comments: 
www.thisisdorset.co.uk/Dorset-energy-company-supporting-controversial/story-17072969-detail/story.html


4Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "I believe all renewable energy installations have value. However, the Silton turbines were not universally accepted because the project had not grown from the local community and the very substantial financial rewards would not have been spread locally beyond the landowner. "
    December 19, 2012 a 11:27 am

  • Wendy Pillar comments:
    "The result of the enquiry is disappointing as I believe it reflects a well-organised campaign more than the majority view. On-shore wind power remains a valuable part of the solution to the pending energy crisis, although projects are better organised from within the community. "
    December 19, 2012 a 11:26 am

  • Theresa comments:
    "The appeal against the Silton wind turbine proposal has sadly been lost.
    All the more reason for Dorset to focus on REDUCING ENERGY DEMAND, so that the regrettably small proportion of renewable energy we are generating will grow in comparison. More investment in energy efficiency and more investment in encouraging behavioural change are needed in order to help make a smooth transition to a low carbon economy. "

    November 17, 2012 a 1:27 pm

  • Martin Usherwood comments:
    "Re: Wendy and Erik’s article. How naive to make statements about wind power fulfilling our energy needs when it only works when the wind blows and it must be at the within tight strength tolerances. Conventional fossil fuel stations are needed as back-up for other times.
    These are not attractive windmills but large industrial machines. They may take up a small amount of land on the surface but what about the tons of concrete below the ground needed to stabilise the tower. A half ton of CO2 per ton of concrete is generated.
    These schemes are being promoted by get rich venture capitalist who are interested in tax and bill payers money from the traded ROC’s(£2billion last year)These people are not concerned with Green issues or saving the environment. As usual they are init for the money. Do not be fooled! "

    October 25, 2012 a 5:54 pm


02
OCT

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Have your say on renewables in Wiltshire (and the UK!)


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


Good Energy are calling on supporters to have your say on an important planning policy issue on our home turf and very close to us here in Dorset, which could affect the UK’s ability to achieve its renewable energy targets.

The week before last, Wiltshire Council launched a public consultation on a controversial last-minute amendment to its Core Strategy which, if adopted, would effectively cut off a major route for developing renewable energy in Wiltshire. The amendment would stop wind farms being built by stipulating minimum separation distances between homes and wind turbines, ostensibly on health and safety grounds.

Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said, “It’s right that Wiltshire residents are consulted about this amendment to planning policy – wind turbines are not dangerous and there’s no safety reason to stop them being built within three kilometres of any home. Instead of sneaking in last-minute caveats that will stop clean energy in its tracks, Wiltshire Council should be blazing a trail with its local plan – cutting emissions and creating hundreds of jobs.”

It’s not just a local issue – Swindon is now discussing making a similar amendment to its Core Strategy, and Lincolnshire has already introduced restrictions. There is clearly a danger of a national precedent being set. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen.

You don’t need to be a resident of Wiltshire to comment on the consultation – so please take a few moments to have your say.

As Dorset Energized blog authors have pointed out before – supporters of onshore wind tend to be the silent majority, but now is the time to make your voice heard.

The consultation ends on November 1st, so please take action quickly.

For more details and to take action visit: http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/blog/2012/09/27/have-your-say-planning-policy-for-renewables-in-wiltshire



02
OCT

Wendy Pillar says:
90% of North Dorset want to generate renewable energy


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


Energize Stur Valley recently carried out a survey of North Dorset residents on their views on renewable energy. Enthusiasts on the subject that we are, even we were surprised at just how positive they all are about renewable energy.

Some 90% of people questioned felt positive towards renewable energy projects, and 90% also felt that Dorset should generate more if its own electricity, since it currently generates a tiny 0.0001% of the electricity that it uses.

The most popular idea for generating renewable energy was photovoltaic panels on industrial and agricultural buildings, with 93% of those questioned in favour. These are frequently very suitable for PV owing to their large roof areas that are not overshadowed, as long as they face south.

Also extremely popular was the idea of putting PV panels on the roofs of public buildings, such as schools, with 90% in favour. Again, these buildings tend to have large, accessible roof areas. PV panels at ground level were far less popular, with only 52% in favour, it being often remarked that it is better to grow food in fields where possible.

The latest large wind turbines are by far the most efficient way to generate electricity in our climate. However, they do have a significant impact on the landscape, and not everyone considers them things of beauty. This was reflected in the survey, with 48% in favour of the large wind turbines and 59% in favour of the smaller 20-metre-high models.

Both hydropower and anaerobic digesters were highly popular, both with 86% in favour. Anaerobic digesters can be a good option on farms producing animal waste, such as indoor poultry and pig units. They can also use collected food waste from catering outlets and food processing businesses.

Finally, 65% of those questioned thought that it was a good idea to set up community investment funds, whereby local people can invest in local renewable energy projects with a relatively small investment, thereby keeping the income generated within the community. We have taken this on board, and are looking into how this can be done.

The survey gave a fascinating insight into what North Dorset people really think about renewable energy, and we plan to repeat it in the future to see how views change as renewable energy projects come into production. Watch this space!

There is still just about time to get new PV projects installed before the Feed in Tariff goes down in October 2012 – find out more on our webpage: http://www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/solar-energy


3Comments | Post your own comment

  • Caz comments:
    "Dont think the locals would complain if you put quiet, low PV panels in the Milborne area.
    What I want to know is if this is a survey of North Dorset residents where and how was it carried out because as a North Dorset resident no one has asked me to fill out a survey? And how many surveys were returned as unless you had a return rate of 75% of North Dorset residents it’s not a true reflection of the area! This site needs to clarify the data it uses! Otherwise its just a sales pitch. May be trading standards should look in to it! "

    October 13, 2012 a 11:19 am

  • Richard Howman comments:
    "Regarding the “Survey” of North Dorset Residents to which Ms Pillar refers, can she, in the interests of transparency, please advise:- a. The total sample size
    b. The sampling methodology (Nb ‘Internet’ is not a valid sampling technique)
    c. The sample demographic Thank you
    Richard Howman "

    October 12, 2012 a 6:39 pm

  • HJL comments:
    "There is no doubt that sources of renewable energy should be a primary consideration for all. But lessons should be learned about the impact of wind turbine sites from those areas with insight and knowledge. A review of the literature (and Court settlements) reveals that dwellings DO suffer noise disturbance (planning councils in Scotland are advised not to grant planning permission within 2 km of residential dwellings), ‘flicker’ causes distraction to drivers on nearby roads and tourism is detrimentally affected. These three issues convince me that the proposed Milborne Wind Farm (sited close to dwellings, adjacent to A35 and in an area where many residents run B&B businesses) must be strongly opposed. "
    October 2, 2012 a 9:05 pm


01
OCT

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Energise Stur Valley Comments on the Silton Wind Turbine Enquiry


Category: Wind Power
Tags: , , , , ,


I am posting as a member of Energise Stur Valley and following on from Vince’s blog post last week ‘Don’t be led by the small minority: the Anti Wind Turbine Brigade!’ about the Silton Wind Turbine Enquiry (you can read his post on http://www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/2012/09/25/silton-enquiry).

Energise Stur Valley (EVS) is a group of individuals favouring renewable energy generation installations. We believe we represent the majority of opinion in Dorset (as evidenced in all Dorset Citizen Panel questionnaire results that related to wind turbines).

Here are some key points about Wind Turbines that we want to highlight (some of which expand on Vince’s points already posted):

1. There is obviously polarisation of opinion about wind turbines in Dorset. Those with a history of activity in the local rural economy – sometimes going back generations – tend to understand the landscape as an active part of Dorset’s economy. Those with more recent interest in the Dorset landscape tend to have moved into the area to escape more densely populated areas of the country looking for their idealised rural idle. They are less likely to be working and are time rich.

2. The representations against the application are motivated by concerns about visual impact, which is inevitably a big issue for those living closest to the proposed turbines but it must be remembered that they are definitely a minority within the district and – we would argue – even within the locality of the proposed wind turbines. The majority in favour of the application tend to be less motivated to voice their opinion and in some cases feel bullied to remain silent such is the robustness by which every positive comment is countered.

3. There is much misinformation being repeated by objectors to the application and reported in the local media. Statements made about the proposed turbines being inefficient, Ecotricity being financially unstable, the concrete to be used affecting the water table and emitting more CO2 than the turbines save are not correct. A more dispassionate analysis is required for this application.

4. With 4000 turbine now installed it is possible for wind generation to stand out from the statistical noise. Hard data available now shows the skeptics to be wrong. A new wind generation record of 4,131 megawatts (10.6% of UK consumption) was set on 14th September 2012. The average for September has been 6% of daily national electricity requirement. National Grid data analysis over the last three months shows a clear correlation between windiness, reduction in gas fired generation and actual CO2 savings.

5. Even with 4 times the current number of wind turbines expected by 2020, National Grid have stated they will be able to handle the new generation without major additional investment in dirty open cycle gas back-up. Responding to sudden surges in demand for electricity during the X Factor ad breaks is more difficult to deal with than the intermittency of wind.

6. All surrounding counties (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire have multi MW turbines either already installed or with positive planning determinations.

7. The substantial wind resource in Dorset is not being utilised as described in the Dorset Renewable Energy Strategy.

8. Data from the CECC wind speed database shows the site to have viable wind speeds. Electrical loses through the grid will be low due to the close proximity of Gillingham which provides constant electrical demand.

9. There are no wind turbines larger than 20 kW currently installed in Dorset.

10. We want to see large wind turbines in Dorset. Their elegance, beauty and positive aesthetic are matched only by a building such as Salisbury Cathedral.


3Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "For informed unbiased comment on the relationship between wind power and the back-up generation required, have a look at the view from DECC at http://www.e2bpulse.com/Articles/329507/E2B/Pulse/Blogs/Members_Blogs/DECC_Blog/The_viability_of.aspx "
    October 16, 2012 a 10:49 am

  • Richard Howman comments:
    "Will Keith Wheaton-Green be apologising to all the Dorset residents he has so roundly and inaccurately patronised with his insulting comments? And would he also acknowledge the simple fact that the ‘Citizen Panel’ to which he refers, consists of 3000 people aged 16 or over, only, out of a Dorset Resident population (according to Council data) of 710,000, indicating that the Panel represents only 0.42% of Dorset residents. Even the clearly biased Mr Wheaton-Green will realise that this is hardly representative of majority opinion on any subject. Richard Howman "
    October 12, 2012 a 9:56 am

  • Wendy Pillar comments:
    "On Countryfile last night, the featured investigation was into how the new planning rules make approval of new open cast coal mines more or less automatic, and nothing the local community or planning can do. There are about a dozen of these in the pipeline, frequently very close to villages or environmentally sensitive areas – makes windmills seem rather benign doesn’t it? We have to face the fact that energy is going to have to come from somewhere – nuclear (here, not out of sight, out of mind), coal or wind and solar. The choice is ours, for the time being at least, until the government feels the need to make the choice for us. "
    October 1, 2012 a 2:00 pm


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