Once again we see the rush to get on the bandwagon to receive all those nice, big government grants for putting up wind turbines, which never produce the energy the developers claim.
Goonhilly is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and also a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The area was so designated to give it special protection, and Outstanding Natural Beauty means just that, outstanding – a designation that is not given unless it is deserved.
It seems the rush to build wind turbines has been encouraged by the Government, a ‘target’ of 10% of our energy needs by 2010 will not be met unless more and more of these are to be built.
Other countries are not so blind, Denmark plans to withdraw subsidies from existing sites, Germany has reduced the tax benefits for windpower.
The Netherlands decommissioned a number of turbines, because they are not cost effective.
There are alternatives, wave power, for instance, where Cornwall should be a world leader.
A much cheaper alternative to wind turbines, and far less obtrusive, is for small communities to develop their own power, small wind turbines, solar power, geothermal pumps and their waste, compost and farm waste to be placed in a sealed airless biogester, where the methane produced could be used to generate electricity.
Indeed, the European Environment Agency showed in 2006 that the UK could produce up to one eighth of our current demand for heat energy.
How many wind turbines, at 30% efficiency would have to be built to provide that power?
Six tons of cow manure will provide heat and light for six homes, regardless of the state of the wind!
There is one other matter that concerns me. Should there be a change of government, or for whatever reason the subsidy is withdrawn, and they are no longer found to be economic, who will be responsible for reinstating the landscape back to its former condition?
Or will the developers just walk away from them, leaving them as a wonderful monument to man’s folly?
CPRE would like to work with communities who are interested in being self-sufficient in power and not having to pay vastly inflated ‘green’ tarriff electricity bills.
Chairman, Cornwall Branch of Campaign to Protect Rural England
13 December 2007
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