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The scandal in the wind

The recent decision of the Carmarthenshire Council planning committee to grant permission for 10 wind generators on land adjacent to Blaengwen Farm, Pencader, is both incomprehensible and shameful.

There is no technological, engineering or environmental sense for the provision of on-shore, sporadic, electrical wind generation in Wales.

Nor is there any sense for off-shore generation either.

Perhaps Carmarthenshire Council should get better acquainted with the facts surrounding wind power.

Wales currently generates a total of 33.5 terawatt hours (tWh) of electrical energy – of this total amount the principality consumes only 17.6Twh – the surplus (15.9tWh) is fed into the National Grid.

If those in Westminster and the Senedd feel Wales needs to generate even more power to feed the National Grid, then we have the answer in the proposed Pembroke 1 and 2 combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power stations. These two stations will have a total potential capacity of 4000MW and have the ability to generate 31.5tWh per annum – of which not 1 kWh is required currently by Wales. We would not only be exporting more electrical energy than we currently totally consume, but more than our current total production – now that is indeed generosity.

It should also be recognised Pembroke 1 and 2 are equivalent to almost two 8000 MW wind generators. I argue that the potential capacity of these two CCGT stations makes the decision for the provision of any wind dependent generator in Wales look rather foolish. Also, wind generators by their very nature are totally dependent on the vagaries of the wind and as such have load factors of 25 per cent and less. It is therefore important to note that with not enough or too much wind then there is no generation. The variable nature of their output can also cause difficulties with the grid – and for a guaranteed output conventional power stations are needed.

Informed people are fully aware that, for example, a thousand wind generators in and around Wales will have nil effect on climate change. To claim otherwise would demonstrate total ignorance of the global situation.

And finally, Wales relies heavily on tourism and the mindless and useless industrialisation by the construction of these ineffective monsters is a betrayal to the people of Wales and future generations.

So, what justification can there be for the Carmarthen planners to give the green light to the desecration of the beautiful Welsh countryside?

It would certainly be enlightening if they explained, via these pages, the reason for such an enigmatic decision.

Dave Haskell

Golygfa Frenni Fawr

Newchapel Road


2 May 2007