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Not so cheap and not so green  

We have had many articles on the pros and cons of wind turbines, however, I feel that it is paramount we educate ourselves before jumping the gun and using these gigantic industrial monsters as an ‘excuse’ to reduce global warming and create so called ‘green energy’.There have been several reports confirming that many parts of the UK, including the South West, are unsuitable for wind farms, as these areas are just not windy enough. In addition, the wind is often gusty rather than a constant desirable wind speed.

When monitoring the Forest Moor turbines, it is obvious they are frequently turning at very different speeds when all turbines are relatively close together. Furthermore, when Bradworthy was subject to a power cut, all three turbines stopped for many hours despite the wind. This surely tells us that their usefulness needs to be questioned?

We do not even want to talk about the danger to birds, bats, other wildlife and the protected barn owls residing in many areas. Some people even think the increasing number of wind farms will be good for tourism, however, do these people not realise that visitors come to the Westcountry to see the beautiful and unspoilt countryside and beaches?

It is very clear to me that the only reason we are losing our beautiful countryside is the financial gain of very few, ie the manufacturers, the installers and in the case of Wheelers Cross one or two selfish and greedy farmer(s). Some people are privileged to have the opportunity to look after this beautiful land and unfortunately, some people are just not worthy and all I can say is ‘shame on you’.

The representatives of this government seem to insist on wasting millions of pounds on inefficient and destructive technology, while they should be supporting other more useful means of generating energy. After all, we have got until 2010 to find better solutions and we are very lucky to be surrounded by water, which could possibly provide a more reliable and constant source of energy. Why not even wait until the new wave power system off the coast of Cornwall has been tested? It may well be the answer to a lot of questions and I certainly do not think the littering of our countryside with inefficient wind turbines is the answer to our energy crisis.

Why not make solar power more affordable? After all, it has already been reported that there are not enough grants available.

The excuse that the energy is ‘green’ is also questionable, as even just the installation of four of these turbines will require approximately 80 loads of concrete, being delivered by 80 exhaust fume spewing trucks and the loss of the equivalent amount of rich topsoil.We also need to spend vital resources on making these massive structures and has anybody thought of the disposal process yet? Looking at the Wheelers Cross wind farm planned by Coronation Power, I wonder what the impact would be on parts of Sutcombe, which are already prone to flooding.

Furthermore, who is to say that these companies will still be around in 20 to 25 years’ time to put the ground back to its original state and do the farmers care? Some installers are already claiming that it is easier to leave the foundations after decommissioning.

For anybody who wishes to get more information on the subject, please visit www.geocities.com/nigbarnes, which I found very useful.


West Putford.


29 March 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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