Wind turbines 'are an eyesore'
Last updated at 12:50, Thursday, 12 July 2012
SIR – I am writing to request that Copeland Planning Committee reject the proposal to build a wind farm at Langthwaites Farm near Millom.
Not only are wind turbines an eyesore, they are an inefficient means of producing electricity. In gales, wind turbines have to be shut for safety reasons. Then the National Grid is forced to increase output from gas and coal fired stations. Firing these stations up and down actually emits more carbon dioxide than leaving them running constantly.
Between Christmas Eve and January 4 2012, the National Grid gave windfarm operators £1 million in “constraint payments”, while the turbines were turned off due to gale-force winds. The cost ultimately will be passed on to bill payers.
Dr Lee Moroney, the planning director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, says: “As we all know, wind is fickle, and balancing electricity supply and demand when there is too much or too little wind power is proving expensive. The costs, which are ultimately borne by consumers, will inevitably increase as more windfarms are built. It is estimated that the total cost of solving the difficulties of integrating wind power will cost £5billion a year on top of renewable subsidies in 2020 if current EU targets are met.”
Often during periods when the wind is strong but less gusty, operators are asked to turn off the turbines because they flood the network. The lack of storage facility means turbines have to be turned off at times when there is not so much demand from the grid. Renewables are pretty useless without a proper storage infrastructure. None of these are included in the overall planning infrastructure. In fact there is only one in the UK, based in Wales, where water is pumped up a mountain during good wind production times and then hydro-electric power is generated from water running back down to power water-driven turbines.
There may be a case for wind farms, owned by local shareholders in appropriate places. The energy would go directly into the community and reduce bills. However, companies coming in from outside will feed energy into the grid, so local people will not benefit and people will carry the cost in their bills when the turbines cannot be operated.
Additionally wind farms would only serve a purpose as part of a mixed energy production if an overall planning infrastructure incorporates storage facilities. As it stands, windfarms are about a cheap, temporary quick fix to a pending energy deficit, which will occur as current nuclear and fossil fuel plants become obsolete.
I am not saying that there is no place at all for windfarms, but I am concerned that – because Millom, Haverigg and Kirksanton are outside the National Park – we will end up being swamped by them and out beautiful landscape will be ruined.
There is a strong case for locally owned windfarms. It makes sense to have one at HMP Haverigg, as this will reduce the cost of the prison’s upkeep to the taxpayer. However enough is enough.
Our coastline is already blighted by wind farms out at sea. This development at Langthwaites will spoil the scenery around Black Combe and will be visible from too many angles in the Millom area. Our scenery is our most marketable commodity, the loss of which can only be detrimental to tourism and local businesses. The negligible economic benefit to the area is most certainly outweighed by the carbuncle it will create on our much loved landscape.
Churchill Drive, Millom
SIR – I lived in Whitehaven until last year and even applied to be a magistrate but was turned down, and when I read this issue I wonder what planet your magistrates are living on.
A man driving a car smoking and a dog on his lap is fined £75 – luckily he did not hit anyone.
A man caught with drugs is fined £110.
Two men caught weeing in the street are fined £120 and £135.
Come on and get real – which of these are the greatest crimes?
Old Hall, Warrington
SIR – I read with interest the letter entitled ‘EU Referendum’ (The Whitehaven News, letters, July 5).
My parents’ generation voted to remain a part of a common market which they believed to be a free trade agreement that would not impinge on our rights of self-government. We were conned in 1975 and we must not allow that to be repeated today.
Mr Cameron makes the argument that 3.5 million British jobs depend on us remaining part of the European Union. This comment always goes unchallenged. It is based on the number of jobs dependent on exports to the EU and assumes that leaving would mean no further business between us and the EU – a weak, illogical argument. In 2010, the EU sold us £50 billion worth of goods more than we sold them. In short, they need us more than we need them.
By leaving the EU we save over £45million a day plus £60billion a year due to EU trade barriers, business regulation, waste, fraud, administration costs and the destruction of our fishing industry.
The UK Independence Party alone holds that the rescue of the British people depends on withdrawal from the EU to regain our self-governing democracy so allowing the relief of business from crushing regulation, and the less well off from the burden of taxes.
Chairman, UKIP West Cumbria
First published at 11:08, Thursday, 12 July 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
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