No letter to the editor could be adequate to the outrageous decision to allow energy giant RWE to encircle the 12 noisy wind turbines above Gwyddgrug, Statkraft’s Alltwalis wind farm, with 28 bigger turbines in Brechfa Forest.
If wind turbines were the best, or even a sustainable, way of exploiting natural resources to make energy for human use, the decision, and the process by which it was made, would still be highly questionable.
As it is, while ancient pasture and forested hillsides are ripped apart to make big holes for short-lived turbines and long-lived concrete ballast, the world still needs more nuclear power stations, the UK still burns Vietnamese coal, and carbon emissions in Wales still increase.
The rationale for promoting wind turbine technology by differential pricing in the energy market changes over the years.
When the Statkraft turbines were proposed less than a decade ago, it was as a supposed alternative to nuclear power.
Nowadays damaging and divisive turbine deployments are glibly justified as the “only way to keep the lights on”.
If the Brechfa Forest turbines are ever built, which luckily is by no means certain, some of the electricity they sometimes generate will be used not only to keep lights and freezers going inappropriately, but also to sustain wasteful, unnecessary or damaging industrial processes.
Hours after the Brechfa Forest West decision was announced on March 12, RWE vulgarly boasted on websites about the vast “community benefits” they hope to pay for from excess profits made in Brechfa Forest.
Local people in Gwyddgrug and nearby hoped to challenge the decision, but we’ve had to concede to legal and financial imperatives.
Even with welcome outside help, a small village simply can’t afford to challenge two governments and a multi-national company.
To sell electricity made in the forest above Gwyddgrug into England, RWE requires a massive new grid connection from north Carmarthenshire to Swansea, over arguably the most beautiful and historically significant stretch of the Towy Valley.
This intended grid connection is subject to planning consent.
Jan Morgan Dubé
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding