The Herald of July 13 carries the story of the approval of the wind farm at Blue Horizon Bay together with an artist’s impression of what the planned R550-million wind farm will look like (“Wind energy project to take off”).
This artist’s impression is a view of this beautiful coastline from a plane and the wind turbines are hardly visible.
The wind farm developer, MetroWind, obviously commissioned this artist’s impression so that it illustrated very little visual impact, but the complainants are not the passing airline passengers and the citizens of Port Elizabeth are not fooled by this sleight of hand.
Wind farms seem to be a welcome development in mankind’s efforts to produce energy without atmospheric pollution, but they are not a welcome development for mankind, generations of whom then have to endure the awful visual pollution that wind farms create.
Anybody who has seen the visual impact on the once beautiful German countryside outside Hamburg would testify to how awful a forest of wind farms looks and would unanimously join the ranks of those protesting against the development of wind farms in scenic areas. Mankind cannot manufacture more scenic areas and they should all be protected for posterity.
The obvious solution is that the wind farm should be at an industrial area like Coega where a little more visual pollution will go relatively unnoticed, but the land rents on this industrial land would make it uneconomical and the developer has therefore leased the much cheaper agricultural land for its wind farm site.
Mankind’s management systems have failed us, and the powers that be do not have the leadership qualities to see this and to work around the systems when necessary.
Government, by a wave of its magic wand, got the some 2500ha of agricultural land in the Coega area rezoned industrial and its minions now want industrial rental returns on the land.
Government simply needs to buy another 1000ha of agricultural land alongside Coega and to rent this land to the wind farm developers at agricultural land value rates.
It would be an investment for government with a good return. Unfortunately though as soon as this were done, the minions who manage the government’s land would want industrial value rental returns on the land and so in the current system of things it will never happen.
Humanity needs leadership with vision and enterprise that can think out of the box and not be imprisoned by mankind’s management systems.
Generations of Eastern Cape residents would unanimously applaud leadership like this if it existed and resulted in the wind farm being where everyone wants it to be.
Andre Jensen, Mill Park, Port Elizabeth
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