Christmas Peace & Goodwill

It’s been a while since my last entry, but that doesn’t mean I’ve not been writing. Far from it, as you can see from the Comments section beneath the previous post. A massive thank-you to Phil H, whoever you are! I have no idea how on earth you stumbled across my blog, but I am truly grateful for the highly detailed technical knowledge you have brought to the discourse.

“It takes two to tango”, and it takes two to have a debate. One of the recurring themes of the blog is the importance of Hegelian Dialectic (thesis-antithesis-synthesis) as a tool for arriving at the truth: opposing opinions being graded against each other until a best-fit, win-win synthesis can be reached that factors in the salient points from both thesis and antithesis.

I’ve been frustrated at the lack of credible antithesis to my initial thesis, precisely because of my sincere belief in the power of Dialectic, the understanding that there must be more to reality than simply our kneejerk reactions to what we experience. I’ve known (and articulated) all along that my negative reactions are merely the first steps on my journey towards the truth. Not that I’m wrong, but that in order for wind turbines to spring up on a hilltop, there MUST be people angling for their construction, people with the opposing opinion to mine, people who have a positive opinion of wind turbines.

I’ve simply tried to challenge those who support wind turbines to speak up. and consistently received in return a total lack of meaningful response. More than that, I’d noticed an external locus of control that seemed to characterise all wind energy schemes, with responsibility always passed to mysterious third-parties rather than anyone standing up and taking ownership of the issues flagged.

Bravo Phil for standing up and making the case for wind power, and congratulations also for the critical thinking you’ve displayed in not just evangelising about “clean, green energy”, but also taking on board the very real negatives associated with wind blight. In return, I’ve dropped some of my own irrelevant claims against wind energy (eg any unfounded claims that the turbine capacity statements are fraudulent). Dropping unhelpful arguments from my campaigning doesn’t suddenly make me a fan of wind power, it just helps me refine my opinion and filter out any misstatements that don’t make logical sense.

The synthesis always comes back to “doing wind well”, and agreeing that if we must have wind energy, it should maintain the highest standards of probity at all times. Maybe that’s all that’s needed, and maybe it’s the egregious examples of wind done badly (particularly around the South Pennines and Southern Scotland, that I’ve experienced anyway) that give the entire industry a bad name. Any honest wind farmers out there would do well to understand it’s the rogue traders who are sullying the entire industry, and they should turf them out on their ear.

Maybe it’s something else that is behind all the problems I’ve encountered, eg crony capitalism or flawed planning policies. Wind is just the scapegoat; maybe I’d be equally unhappy with fracking at the same locations, so I should separate out my complaints about bad planning decisions from my blanket criticism of wind energy per se.

I’ve considered this, but as wind is strongest on the hilltops, as a source of electrical energy it’s intrinsically a threat to the integrity of the UK’s peaks, more than almost any other source of energy. As a Protector of the Peaks I will always be averse to wind blight at these special high-altitude places. Offshore wind may be a solution, but then it screws up our beach resorts. It’s hard to think of the right locations for wind power, other than those areas already industrialised.

Phil asks what my solution is, if not wind energy, and my answer is simply to represent the voice of nature-lovers in terms of improving the environmental impact of ALL energy forms, and to ensure that whatever method we choose is compliant with the fundamentals of conservation. It just so happens that wind power has crossed my path significantly more destructively than any other form of energy generation, and it’s wind turbines that have invaded the landscapes that energise me most as a person. Wind energy has therefore de-energised me, and thousands like me, more than any other form of power generation. That’s the story I’ve needed to share.

As well as my debating partner Phil, I’d also like to thank the UK Government. You don’t hear people say that very often! But I have received a very nice message assuring me that the relevant people in Government are aware of my blog, my videos and my training materials for the Planning Inspectorate. Whether they take my opinions on board remains to be seen, but it feels good knowing that at least the message has got through.

pilo.png

I hope this inspires people to reach out to politicians – give them a chance! If you are aware of an issue that you think should be dealt with, gather your evidence, build a case and present your findings to the authorities. Be prepared to listen to and engage with opposing opinions, drop those elements of your case that don’t stand up to cross-examination, whilst holding onto your core beliefs. In this case, dropping my false accusations about “capacity factor” fraud doesn’t impact on my core belief that too many of our hills have been degraded for insufficient benefit.

I’ll hand the rest of this entry over to the vast amount of links that I’ve encountered over the last couple of weeks.

PEACE & GOODWILL TO ALL READERS!

(Phil, check this link… what’s your verdict?) https://www.masterresource.org/false-claims/windpowers-homes-served-misdirection-media-beware/

https://www.thegwpf.com/britain-starts-dismantling-wind-farms-after-successful-lake-district-campaign/?utm_source=CCNet+Newsletter&utm_campaign=aa1b32e593-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_07&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fe4b2f45ef-aa1b32e593-36418213

https://stopthesethings.com/2017/12/14/germanys-green-dream-turns-nightmare-merkels-plans-for-wind-powered-future-in-tatters/

http://www.fennonen.fi/en/article-page/german-energiewende-turned-into-a-dead-end.html#.Wi5UGwlHb_I.facebook

https://www.technocracy.news/index.php/2017/06/29/solar-energy-produces-300-times-toxic-waste-nuclear-power/

http://www.windconcernsontario.ca/real-world-evidence-shows-wind-power-is-expensive/

http://www.windconcernsontario.ca/ontario-government-failed-to-respond-to-wind-turbine-noise-reports-documents-show/

http://calgaryherald.com/news/politics/province-downplays-bird-death-issue-as-it-expands-wind-power

https://abcbirds.org/top-10-myths-wind-energy-birds/

https://america.cgtn.com/2017/12/09/windmills-golden-eagles-america-wyoming-turbines

https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2017/12/13/wind-turbine-issue-should-be-priority/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

https://stopthesethings.com/2017/12/09/australian-court-finds-wind-turbine-noise-exposure-a-pathway-to-disease-waubra-foundation-vindicated/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/almost-150-businesses-without-power-in-the-adelaide-cbd-during-the-second-black-out-in-a-week/news-story/82042e02b13473cf6157a857f1213df9?nk=c18e55fc3611ca5b8091bf258c7f953b-1513258722

https://stopthesethings.com/2017/12/08/scots-win-court-battle-to-stop-wind-farm-proposal-poisoning-water-supply/

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/another-windfarm-lined-up-glenkens-11661429

http://idiocyofrenewables.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/so-many-offshore-wind-turbines-you-cant.html

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/coal-and-gas-working-flat-out-to-keep-uk-grid-going-on-coldest-night-of-year/

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11 thoughts on “Christmas Peace & Goodwill”

  1. Offshore wind may be a solution, but then it screws up our beach resorts

    Only if they’re installed close to the shore. I’ve visited a few:

    At Skegness, I think the contiguous Lynn, Inner Dowsing & Lincs offshore arrays are too close to the shore (about 3 miles), given their total width.

    However, I visited Rhyl/Prestatyn years ago to see the pioneering North Hoyle offshore array, which is about 4 miles offshore, and standing on the beach I had to use binoculars to tell if the rotors were turning, so I thought that was a reasonable set back distance.

    Visiting Llandudno recently, where the Rhyl Flats & Gwynt y Mor arrays are 4 & 7 miles offshore, I thought their visual intrusiveness on the natural landscape & seascape was a lot less than that of the pier, which seems to have become accepted over the years.

    Visiting Brighton a few weeks before that, where the Rampion array is 6 miles offshore, again I had to use binoculars, and found their visual intrusiveness less than the rusting ruins of the West Pier which has Grade 1 listed status, and of the monstrous i360 tower which has actually been built on the promenade in the nicest part of the town!

    The offshore windfarms that are in the construction pipeline are much further offshore, eg, the East Anglia arrays are to be 20-30 miles. At this kind of distance, much or all of the turbines will be below the horizon for people standing on the beach. Another good reason for preferring offshore wind.

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    1. Hi Phil again hope you had a good Christmas. I’m off to Brighton tomorrow to see for myself as I have family in the area, so I will take a look and report back! Just a few pieces of news from the last couple of weeks. Firstly, look back at the previous entry, “Another Awkward Question Answered”, dated 20 November 2017. I have been informed by a local resident that the upper of the two wind turbines in the photo illustrating the entry has lost its blades in the 5 weeks since I took the pic (I will take some pictures on my return to the north). Bearing in mind I was stood next to another turbine that had also just lost its blades, that’s two in one village that have had blades fall off within 5 or 6 weeks of each other. I’ll do my best to find more information about the whys and wherefores of these two failures within the area under surveillance, and no it’s not me going up there yanking the blades off, before anyone accuses me!

      One turbine breaking could happen anywhere – but two in such a small area and such a short time becomes a worry and a very real “Quality Concern” (as we would call this if it happened at my workplace). Were they the same model turbine, installed at similar times, ie likely to fail at similar times, or were they separate models installed at separate times? Was it particularly windy or were there any other contributory factors? Whose responsibility is it to log and record these failures? This is what we see visually, with our laymens’ eyes: we see these unstable, dangerous looking turbines that due to their design are clearly vulnerable to being damaged by the very wind upon which they rely. It’s not even the first time the turbine in the photo has had its blades fly off, apparently. It was also without blades for a large part of 2016 having caught fire previously. Apparently the turbine maker has gone bust too. (The turbine is located at Marsden Gate, Calderdale (just), if you want to research it pending any further details I can provide). So this is just a case study of a real-life turbine failure within the area I happen to be monitoring!

      The second link that I have seen across my newsfeed is this: https://www.thegwpf.com/green-activists-withdraw-adverts-which-falsely-claim-price-of-wind-energy-has-fallen-by-50-per-cent/ No disrespect to Peter Capaldi’s acting skills, but he is clearly more adept at fiction than documentary! According to the article: “GWFP director Dr Benny Peiser said: ‘The claims in the Westminster offshore wind campaign are some of the most blatant distortions of the truth that I have seen in pro-wind advertising.’” This is the trust issue Phil – who are these lying liars and why are they always lying to me, just before wrecking yet another unspoilt green hill. How can we trust a word these people say? Why do wind operators continually have to lie and deceive and overexaggerate? I’ve said before – you simply would not catch motorway constructors lying in the same way, there is something very peculiar to wind operators that seems to make them singularly untrustworthy, and this is exemplified by the “twisted, warped” shape of the blades! “By their fruits, so shall you recognize them.”

      I know what it’s like to make an honest mistake, that’s fine. But this once again seems like a willful and deliberate attempt to make wind power seem like a better solution than it really is. It certainly tallies with my impression of Greenpeace as having a hidden agenda.

      Finally: https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/wind-farms-in-england-only-supply-2-of-power/ It says 2%. Is that fair and accurate? I’d say that’s not been worth the bother, absolutely.

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  2. I’d be interested to learn what you think about the Rampion array of offshore turbines in the light of my comments above – their visual obtrusiveness depends on how clear/murky the weather is. I got a free ‘flight’ on the i360 – it may or may be worth the £16 normal adult ticket price. It’s somewhat taller than a typical large turbine, for scale.

    Re: the Master Resource webpage – it is 9 yr old and relates to the US. However, it says much the same thing as I did: it calculates the homes equivalence correctly, and points out that its purpose is for illustration of a project’s scale using less-technical units, but should not be used to think that that number of homes will get their electricity exclusively from the turbine(s).

    Whose responsibility…failures The company expecting to receive the income stream from the electricity sales ought to be monitoring its output and need for maintenance & repairs, and holding the manufacturer to any warranty; I don’t know if it’s usual to have insurance against lightning strikes, etc. Endurance is the bankrupt manufacturer, and a quick Google shows at least one of their turbines in the area, but I can’t tell if they two failed turbines were the same model or even manufacturer.

    Re: the GWPF article, about them objecting to the advertising saying “The price paid for electricity from offshore wind farms has fallen by 50% over the last five years” To be strictly accurate, that sentence should read “The price to be paid for electricity from new offshore wind farms has fallen by 50% over the last five years”. I don’t know how much of the responsibility for the wording lay with the doubtless non-technical advertising agency copy-writers, whose job is to write the snappiest and most memorable wording for their clients. The inexactness of wording is minor compared with many of the distortions and rubbish written by the general press and anti-renewable energy commentators.

    Regarding who is lying to you and why, you always have to ask what is the agenda of people telling you things: Nigel Lawson is the driving force behind the GWPF, which despite its name is a pressure group against doing anything about global-warming. When he was on Radio 4’s Today program recently he made statements that many people pointed out were plain wrong, but he went unchallenged on the broadcast, though he admitted the errors later ( http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nigel-lawson-climate-change-sceptics-global-temperatures-fall-false-claim-warming-gwpf-bbc-radio-4-a7894686.html ). So this is a case of pot and kettle.

    you simply would not catch motorway constructors lying in the same way I’m sure there have been roads built in the UK as well as elsewhere on the basis of exaggerated claims for need – just look at the near-deserted M45.

    Greenpeace…having a hidden agenda I would have thought their agenda is quite plain: get rid of nuclear power (and weapons) and fossil fuels, and replace them with renewables. I can’t see what else there is that is not obvious.

    Re: the Not A Lot Of People Know That link. This is a renewable energy sceptic website that has selectively used statistics to further its agenda. England is the constituent country of the UK with by far the largest population (and thus energy consumption), densest population (and thus the hardest to find sites that are suitable for onshore wind) and the least good wind resource. England has 83% of the UK’s population, but only 25% of its onshore wind capacity (though 83% of its offshore capacity). So its 2800 MW of onshore turbines did produce only 2.4% of its electricity last year (which was the least windy year for some time). Though is the article talking about the electricity generated in England or consumed in England (the difference being the net imports from other countries of the UK & its neighbours)? A less arbitrarily isolationist approach would be to look at the island of Great Britain as a whole, with its unified electricity system – in 2016 its 8800 MW of onshore wind generated 6.2% of its electricity, and its 5100 MW of offshore generated 4.9%, for a total of 11%. The article’s headline is “Wind Farms In England Only Supply 2% Of Power” – again the ASA should make them be more accurate: “Onshore Wind Farms In England Only Supplied 2.4% Of Power in the low-wind year of 2016“. I also think ‘England’ includes its territorial waters, and so the article should include its offshore generation too, which would boost the figure to about 8% in 2016, 9% in 2017, and probably 10% in 2018 and 12% by 2023.

    As a devil’s advocate, I can play a similar game with nuclear: Most of England’s population is in the south-east, and most of that is in London and its contiguous conurbation. Nuclear generated precisely 0% of the power generated in the London conurbation, so Londoners should forget all about nuclear as it’s obviously utterly useless.

    Finally, the 2800 MW of England’s current onshore capacity could be replaced by about 2000 MW of offshore, which is 5 times Rampion’s capacity – this may help inform your opinion in Brighton. Have a Happy New Year there!

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  3. PS to the Not A Lot Of People Know That link comment. Taking the fairly arbitrary official statistical region of England of Yorkshire & the Humber, it has 1083 MW of onshore wind that generated 2.9 TWh in 2016, and 654 MW of offshore wind making landfall on its coasts that generated 1.3 TWh in 2016. Its population of 5.5 million used about 28 TWh in 2016, if pro rata to the UK, so its turbines provided 10% + 5% = 15% of its electricity. Does that selection of statistics make your local turbines appear more reasonable and acceptable than Paul Homewood’s selection?

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  4. Regarding the advert, yes I accept the point that the GWPF has an agenda of its own, but that doesn’t mean the Greenpeace crew weren’t caught lying – they were. Regardless of whose to blame, the bad PR from being caught in a lie doesn’t reflect well on the intentions of those involved. If it was an honest mistake fair enough, but judging from readers’ reactions in this article, people are very very skeptical. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5213733/Activists-withdraw-advert-making-false-claim-wind-farms.html#comments So yes the GWPF might be the pot calling the kettle black, but all that means is they are equally dishonest, not that the Greenpeace guys aren’t! The net result is more bad PR for renewables, more people turned off and alienated by those who would impose wind turbines on them against their will.

    Greenpeace’s true intentions? Who knows? The guy who invented them certainly isn’t impressed… https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/mar/29/lovelock-wind

    I take on board your point about the misuse of statistics relating to the “2%” figure, but the idea of blaming a “low-wind year” for below-par performance seems a bit poor really, Phil, a bit “trains delayed due to the wrong type of leaves on the line” – how can the wind ever be truly sustainable as a source of energy (ie at a constant, forecastable rate)??? I thought before wind farms were built there are supposed to be forecasts made about the amount of wind that can be expected. Are low-wind years not factored in to these forecasts? What makes a year low-wind? How often do we have low-wind years? Do we also have corresponding high-wind years? Surely we can’t be taken by surprise when the wind doesn’t blow on demand for us? The reliable course of action is surely to assume that the wind will start and stop whenever it feels like it, therefore wind power can only ever be reactive to the weather, we can never rely on it all the time. Just when we need it most, it will let us down!

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  5. And the M45, yes I know it! A great April Fool’s Joke once claimed it had been turned into a Heritage Motorway, with only vintage cars allowed to drive it. Of course it’s a quiet, deserted motorway now, but it was one of the first ever built, as a spur off the M1 to link with Coventry, originally the main signed route to Birmingham and the West Midlands. I’m not sure if when it was built the route of the M6 had been decided, but when it was constructed a few years later it took the brunt of the traffic and left the M45 almost deserted. The “wind turbine” equivalent (well, according to my hypothesis…no doubt you take the opposing view!) would be if the M45 had been built entirely for profit for the constructors, with the full knowledge that the M6 was on its way about to make it largely redundant, but authorized anyway! I am actually intrigued now: when the M45 was constructed did they know that the M6 was coming and about to supersede it?

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  6. Our energy system is somewhat weather-dependent already: if it’s windy, which is because of fronts coming in from the Atlantic which are relatively mild, our demand for gas for space heating and electricity for top-up heating falls; and if it’s overcast our demand for electricity for lighting rises.

    The official National Grid position on renewable energy (RE) is that they can handle any amount, since the predictability of its generation, thanks to sufficiently accurate weather forecasting, is such that it can be managed in the system that schedules the other generation to match the demand which is forcastable only on similar timescales.

    The wind is indeed not constant, but neither is electricity demand – GB’s varies between 18 GW and about 55 GW – so large amounts of constant generation, ie nuclear, similarly require extra effort & resources to make use of.

    Weather varies from day to day, month to month and year to year. The economics of an RE project will be made based on the long-term average of recent years, and over the multi-decade operations of the facility it should be achieved. In a given year the wind depends on the number of Atlantic fronts that come through and the number of high-pressure systems that sit over NW Europe blocking them, both of which are probably largely dependent on the variable position of the jet stream. 2016 was a low-wind year for the UK, and also a low-rainfall year for hydro. 2017 has been a high-wind year, with UK wind farms producing about 50% more output than 2016, with only a 15% increase in capacity.

    Yes, there will be times when wind and solar production will be negligible, so enough stored electricity and ‘dispatchable’ generation capacity needs to be available to cover demand at such times, after mitigating the situation with demand management. The wind and solar can thus be viewed as reducing the need to burn fossil fuel, which is CO2-emitting and will be increasingly scarce and expensive (and needs to be imported). Fuel for such occasions is also proposed to be made artificially at times of excess RE generation. The details of this and the pro & con arguments would take another whole blog.

    Endurance were manufacturers of small to medium turbines, not operators of them, and seem to have gone bust as a result of too-sudden changes to the wind support schemes by the government in 2015 causing their sales to drop faster than they could manage.

    I love the M45 and put up with the A45 round Coventry before it when I drive to north London, rather than using the M6, just for that experience of what roads were like in the past. The bliss evaporates when joining the M1 of course.

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  7. (1) “The wind and solar can thus be viewed as reducing the need to burn fossil fuel, which is CO2-emitting and will be increasingly scarce and expensive (and needs to be imported).”

    This of course is the entire raison d’etre of wind farms, to contribute to lower CO2 emissions. How have they got on? Do we have any quantifiable evidence yet of how much less CO2 we are now emitting as a result of wind energy? BTW I think it’s very important not to conflate wind energy with all renewables, which also include biomass and solar, don’t they? A lot of the positive press seems to be about “renewables” as a single entity, often illustrated with a wind turbine, without specifying which type of renewable energy they are referring to.

    There is a difference between renewable and sustainable too, which often seems to get mixed up. Of course wind energy is renewable energy, but the point I have made (borne out by 2016 being a “low-wind year) is that wind cannot be truly described as sustainable energy because the wind itself is not sustained (ie maintained at a constant rate or level).

    (2) “Endurance were manufacturers of small to medium turbines, not operators of them, and seem to have gone bust as a result of too-sudden changes to the wind support schemes by the government in 2015 causing their sales to drop faster than they could manage.”

    OK, now we’re cooking with gas (or rather, cooking with wind….ahem) Wind support schemes. Subsidies. Another huge bone of contention and controversy. You can see why this blog is the gift that keeps giving, and why, when looked at closely, wind power is such a fascinating, multilayered topic. I’m actually surprised not more people have studied it. We now come onto the political/economic dimension. What changes were made in 2015, with what effect on sales?

    As far as I’m aware, the main change in 2015 was a change in planning policy, with the Planning Inspectorate having less power to overturn local community decisions. To a certain extent, this is the outcome I wanted all along, just an investigation into the appeal process because it seemed to be hurting a lot of people, and almost all of the most offensively situated wind turbines are ones that were rejected locally, for very good reasons. Carsington Pastures and Crook Hill Wind Farms are two in particular that have screwed up the White Peak and the Dark Peak respectively. Nobody round these parts wants them, as I have documented in my official letters (do some research and you’ll find out the verdict of local communities on these two schemes). They are strikingly at odds with the values of the National Parks, as I expressed to the Planning Inspectorate.

    So what else changed in 2015 that caused a turbine manufacturer to lose sales? Did this affect other turbine businesses, or just Endurance? How come their business model wasn’t, erm, “sustainable”?!

    (3) A few miles north of the M45 lies the M6(Toll), and this might be a better analogy for a wind farm, as it is a privately operated motorway, run for profit. Therefore in terms of the original mention of motorways – I asked if motorway constructors act as dishonestly as some wind farm constructors, referring to the “astroturfing” of support and the misrepresentation of stats, albeit accidentally (giving them the benefit of the doubt) – the M6(Toll) gives us some insight into what happens when private companies take over essential public services. This was the concern of the Green Party candidate I corresponded with, he was totally pro-wind power in terms of science, but he shared my concerns about the corporatisation of open access common land, preferring that wind farms were owned and operated by the public sector.

    Subsidies are all part of the debate here – is it morally right that a private company receives subsidies from the government? At what point should a product stand on its own two feet without the need of assistance?

    Presumably the M6(Toll) makes enough profit to survive without assistance now, but if say 2017 was a “low-traffic year” and the motorway didn’t generate enough tolls, would it be right to ask the government to bail it out?

    I note too that the motorway had its fair share of eco-protestors. I’ve never been wound up by road developments myself, even good old Brighton has an excellently landscaped bypass that, at the time of building, I was dead worried would screw up the Downs. But it’s a job well done. I have mixed feelings for the anti-roads protests. I respect and admire the protestors for being passionate and motivated and standing up for nature. But in most cases I would make the case that the new road is beneficial to the environment in terms of how it helps the old roads being bypassed. Allowing cars to bypass a town in a couple of minutes at 50mph or 60mph is surely better for the environment than making them crawl along urban streets at 20 or 30mph?

    If we spend too long debating roads and transport we’ll be here forever (a whole other debate). so to keep it on-topic, the M6(Toll) is an example of a road run by a private company, the way wind farms are run. Is it the best model for wind farms, or are there other ways of financing and operating them that would be better for society?

    (4) Finally, I didn’t get to see Rampion as it was dark by the time I arrived at Seaford, however my friends live on the coast and can see the workings on the horizon. Believe it or not, I don’t rant on about wind power in “real life” (it’s a topic I keep strictly limited to those interested in a serious discourse about it), so I just said I’m interested to know if it affects them in any way over the upcoming months.

    I also saw wind turbines at Polegate, and on the way back up north, at Ockendon in Essex. These in particular look horrible, impacting heavily on the Thames Chase Community Forest, an unbelievably tranquil green belt inbetween East London and the Thames Estuary in Essex. These horrific turbines are the last thing the area needs. Horrible!

    I saw a fair few “Devil’s Eyes” blinking red lights further into the Midlands. Again, horrible! I don’t think it’s morally right to inflict these bright flashing red lights on people living in the countryside, they look sinister and unnatural, and the whole point of my blog is that introducing sinister and unnatural elements into an area lowers the tone and worsens the mental health and wellbeing of those who would otherwise get refreshment and tranquillity from such areas.

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  8. I mentioned Polegate…the wind farm is called Shepham and further research reveals the same old, same old story. It seems to be absolutely typical of the wind farm experience in so many ways!

    (1) Divisiveness between Thesis (Pros) & Antithesis (Cons)
    Yet again there is a huge divide between those of the local population who are opposed and those in favour. My question, as always, is “Do they have an internal or external locus of control?” Ie is anyone pulling the strings behind-the-scenes? To be fair, in this case both of these look like genuine grass-roots movements. I’d be lying if I claimed residents were unanimously opposed. But many were.

    THESIS: SAY YES TO POLEGATE WIND FARM!!!
    https://yestopolegatewindfarm.wordpress.com/

    ANTITHESIS: STOP SHEPHAM WIND FARM!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/Stop-Shepham-Wind-Farm-358539707588888/about/

    (2) Corporate Not Community Locus Of Control
    I actually went for an interview with Galliford Try and winced as he told me about their wind turbine constructions! Maybe for the best I didn’t get the job…I was narrowly pipped to the post! Would I have even accepted? To be honest I just find the whole glossy brochure approach to the industrialisation of green fields makes me feel physically sick. All we need are children with gleaming white teeth frolicking around the turbine with ice creams and puppy dogs! Why does it have to be so corporate? It seems phoney and cringeworthy – ie BAD AESTHETICS! Again, unnatural and creepy, which has a negative impact on most right-thinking people’s mental health and well-being. The corporate nature changes the whole tone and impression of the scheme as purely and simply in the interests of the company’s shareholders, of no benefit whatsoever to the locals. I’m not totally anti-corporate, but nature and the countryside are supposed to be places where living creatures can escape the rat race. This is now one more area of the UK owned and dominated by a corporation with dangerous electrical equipment, one less area of public “safe space”.
    http://www.consense.co.uk/portfolios/galliford.aspx

    (3) Opposed Locally, Overturned On Appeal
    You couldn’t make it up Phil. Two hours ago I typed my first comment about how you can always tell when a wind farm was opposed locally and only approved on appeal. Well here we go again! I’d be fascinated to know if there are as many appeals pro rata when it comes to other development proposals.
    https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/news/controversial-wind-farm-given-green-light-in-polegate-1-6526151

    (4) Confusing Use Of Statistics
    “The proposed development would supply renewable electricity generation of up to 7.5 MW of installed capacity, sufficient to power up to 4,000 homes,and would achieve an annual saving of up to 8,475 tonnes of carbon.”

    Let me see if I’ve got this now… the 7.5 MW is the TOTAL capacity, but the 4,000 homes figure has factored in the capacity factor, likely to be around 20-30%. At no time will these 4.000 homes be solely powered by the wind farm, it’s merely an equivalent figure. I don’t know how the carbon figure was arrived at. Do they mean carbon or carbon dioxide? Are we CERTAIN that lowering CO2 emissions will stop the world’s temperature rising? What evidence is this based on? (Not that I don’t believe it, just interested to know what data was used to come to this calculation)
    https://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/shepham-wind-farm-gets-the-go-ahead-on-appeal-1-6517346

    So there we go, it’s a fairly typical case study that highlights some of the issues associated with wind farm construction. Is it worth it, that’s the question?!

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