You only have to examine the letters pages of this newspaper to appreciate that the wind farm issue is one that will run and run.
Both sides in the debate are firmly entrenched in their positions. But, while they continue lobbing verbal hand grenades at each other, bit by bit, wind farms are starting to sprout like mushrooms across West Wales.
Mushrooms is probably an ill-considered word to use; there is nothing organic about wind farms. They do not blend into the countryside. Rather, they stand there stark against the hillsides, defiant to any local opposition.
We are told hundreds of 400ft metal and concrete towers will provide Wales with renewable energy. Dissenters are accused of not wanting to save the planet.
We are presented with the picture of evil nuclear or fossil-fuelled energy on the one hand and cute windmill-like wind power on the other. Oh, that it was that simple.
Wind turbines are not cute: they are monstrous and noisy. Sometimes, as in the case of Llanmiloe, Pendine, bits fall off.
They do not provide enough energy to slow down global warming and the energy they provide costs more per unit. Great for the energy company shareholders. Not so great for the rest of us.
And there is a fatal flaw in wind turbines – when the wind stops, they stop. In other words, every wind farm needs some sort of back-up.
If there is a message being carried on this (ill) wind, it is that a new Assembly (after the elections) must reconsider how it is to meet Government renewable energy targets.
4 April 2007
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