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 https://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.