Jane Davidson has taken up the mantle of Minister for Sustainability and Rural Development, but rather than defending our precious Welsh countryside, she seems unwilling to check the growing wind turbine threat.
She has refused to be drawn into any criticism of the Tan 8 renewable energy planning document which, let’s face it, is what is causing the problem by designating areas in which the inhabitants believe they have no say in the planning process for windpower.
Mrs Davidson told the WAG: “I spent seven years saying that I was an evidence-based minister for education and I intend to bring that element over strongly to my new portfolio.”
We are building wind farms because of the need, as Mrs Davidson said, “to address climate change,” and she believes windmills will alter the weather by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However, if we examine the Department for Trade and Industry’s web page it admits that the renewables target, by 2010, will save only 9.2 million tonnes of CO2 per year (the majority given by wind)
This amount of CO2 is less than four ten-thousandths (0.0004) of global total CO2 emissions and it stands no chance of measurably altering atmospheric CO2 concentration, still less of deflecting climate change.
The Welsh contribution to that target is four terawatt hours per year of windpower – just a 10th of the UK renewable electricity total.
So in exchange for a one 10th share of not “deflecting climate change” we are sacrificing the Welsh landscape, a potential tourism income which far exceeds the value of wind electricity, and are risking property values and the happiness and health of Welsh people.
11 July 2007
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