Last week the Times & Star featured two stories on wind farms, one describing the blighting of one man’s life by a wind farm and the other dealing with people’s reactions to another proposed wind farm.
Ron Williams of Bothel describes the effects on his health of the noise level and flicker from the Wharrels Hill turbines.
Most of us who pass the site are appalled by the sheer ugliness of the turbines in an otherwise visually attractive area of countryside, but for Ron the problems are inescapable and persistent.
Did nobody, particularly the government inspector who gave final permission, foresee the problems?
Then we have the spokesman for Novera Energy defending the proposed wind farm at Fleeter Wood. He says: “I don’t even think that the turbines will have a negative effect on the countryside. I think they look elegant and graceful.”
So, because this gentleman – someone with a vested interest – either feigns to admire the aesthetics of turbines or is totally lacking in taste we must all be capable of accepting them as having no effect on the scenery.
What arrogant nonsense. He trots out the usual well rehearsed data. One would have thought the spokesman of a high technology company would be capable of giving data without making a schoolboy gaffe.
He says the wind farm will (surely he means, would) produce enough electricity to power 5,500 homes for a year.
Only for a year. Not much of a return from the 20 years it is supposed to operate! Which year does he have in mind?
Or does he mean 275 homes for 20 years? He goes on to estimate a saving of 9,700 tonnes a year of carbon emissions.
That is a meaningless statistic unless all the assumptions used in the calculation are stated. A saving compared with what?
There would be virtually no saving over nuclear energy. How significant is 9,700 tonnes in global or even national terms? If each of us took one less bath a month the saving would make this figure pale into insignificance.
And the downsizing of our ablutions wouldn’t have the slightest effect on the countryside.
When will the supporters of wind farms wake up to the fact that the Government has decreed a presumption in favour of them regardless of their effects on the countryside or local residents?
9 March 2008
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