Those who oppose wind power cite two key reasons: turbines are spoiling our most scenic landscapes and that their contribution to the National Grid is tiny.
That is certainly the view of Michael Skuse of Llangynhafal in Denbighshire, active member of the county’s Ramblers and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales. “Out of our sitting room window I can see the Tir Mostyn wind farm on the other side of the valley, that’s 26 turbines and I will be able to see all 32 of the Clocaenog forest ones if they come,” he says. “I think any interrupted horizon is undesirable, it trivialises horizons.
“I will oppose wind farms anywhere, there is a circle of steel right now around the Lake District. I opposed that wholeheartedly. I am by no means convinced about whether global warming is caused by CO2 emissions. All people younger than 60 are convinced because they are told to be convinced by the Government and the Press.
“But even if I am wrong about that, what I am totally convinced about is that the tiny, stupid little contribution towards reducing CO2 by wind turbines in the UK is so totally infinitesimally small, it can’t possibly make the slightest bit of difference to global emissions.
“Everybody knows that wind energy comes and goes and you can’t rely on it and because of that, every bit of electricity produced by a wind farm onshore or offshore has to be backed up with a more sensible form of producing – with generation which can be relied on – that comes to fossil fuels or nuclear.”
Councillor Paul Marfleet of Nantglyn, Denbighshire, points out how wind turbines have become much bigger.
“The first wind farms that came to this area were at Tir Mostyn. They were only 75 metres (246ft) compared to the 130m-140m now (430-460ft).
“One of my big gripes about it is that the planning guidance hasn’t changed as they have grown bigger, so for example there is still planning guidance that says that turbines should be a minimum of 500 metres from the nearest house. But that came in when turbines were just 40metres tall, now they are 140m. I am not opposed to renewable energy – I have a ground source heat pump, rain water harvesting, LED lighting systems, solar PV panels.
“I really do believe in energy conservation, but my big gripe all along has been that wind turbines are so heavily subsidised and they don’t work.”
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