May 19, 2011
Letters, Wales

Harm from turbines 19 May 2011

Nigel Baker (Letters, May 9) is wrong when he writes that “renewables are harmless”.

Maybe he gets his information from the same source as the previous Minister for the Environment, Jane Davidson, who famously said that wind turbines make no noise.

The report of the 2011 International Conference on Wind Turbine Noise in Rome says that swish, and its related thump, are the remaining problems in wind turbine noise and the main effect of daytime wind turbine noise is annoyance: at night it is sleep disturbance.

Locally in Gwyddgrug, last week was one of the worst on record for sleep disturbance from the turbines misleadingly known as Alltwalis Windfarm. Those turbines are not working this week.

Many more giant wind turbines are proposed for the countryside of Wales, including the Cambrian Mountains and Forestry Commission land. The seriousness of the effects of noise on some turbine neighbours leaves no room in this letter to do more than mention other harm from industrial wind turbines, from the exposure of peat and release of captured carbon, the loss of habitat and biodiversity, the division of communities, the impact on user groups, tourism and local businesses, to the effects abroad of rare-metal extraction for the turbine industry.

Wind turbines are not delaying climate change or halting the deployment of nuclear power. Through Renewables Obligation Certificates paid for by a hidden levy in our bills they put up the price of everyone’s electricity, at a time when fuel costs and poverty are already increasing.

Some sources of renewable energy don’t need infrastructure as costly in so many ways as that needed by wind power. Surely we can make better and more effective contributions to meeting the need to reduce harmful emissions, than by more industrial wind turbines.

Pencader, Carmarthenshire

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