Friday, July 17, 2009

Wind farms

There's been a lot in the press this week about wind farms. I'll try not to get into the political or technical debate, but it does annoy me when people say (as did one commentator in the Telegraph) that they look so splendid on the hillsides.

Well go and stand beneath them! Go take a look at the roads they carve out to service them - or the way they reshape the hillsides to allow for better wind flow. Go and see the trash that's left behind. Huge tracts of the Welsh countryside have been destroyed in the rush to grab cash subsidies and fulfill political targets - sadly, it appears more precious landscape will soon fall victim.

I hear that Wales is committed to significant reductions in carbon emissions, indeed Wales is one of the world's leading countries in making such commitments. It all sounds good; an assembly minister proudly boasted that only two percent of the Welsh landscape would be affected by wind farms. Except as my fourteen year old son pointed out, 'two percent; so that one turbine every fifty yards?'

Sorry, I said I'd try not to get political...

So returning to my theme, anyone who thinks wind farms are just turbines standing elegantly in the landscape is naive in the extreme. Sometimes you have to get up close and personal - and until you do, I say you can't properly judge.

One of the smaller new roads ploughing through the wild Cambrian landscape - actually much bigger than most roads in Wales


  1. You're right.

    Lets get some nice unobtrusive nuclear power stations there instead, much better.

    I live near a windfarm. I've been to the base of it. I'm not a city slicker but I still think it looks both beautiful and hopeful. So neh :)

  2. Guess we disagree on this one Dan, but interesting to note that James Lovelock - high priest of all things Gaia - is anti windfarms and pro nuclear. And though it's strong rhetoric, I'd say it's a false dilemma to present wind farms versus nuclear as binary choice.

    Bu at least you've been there to see (maybe the windfarms near you are better managed than in Wales) unlike those who claim to know what's best for our landscape from the comfort of their urban eco-houses.

  3. What is the carbon cost of building them? I keep thinking that when I see such huge turbines being erected. So much concrete needed. Off-shore ones are also enormously expensive to install. And for how long will they produce electricity? Long enough to pay for their own environmental impact? And what about the awful hum they produce too? I could go on. I think it's safe to assume I agree with you and James Lovelock on this one. I've campaigned against two windfarms in Pembrokeshire so far (Jordanston and Puncheston) and will continue to do so.

  4. I have to be honest, I don't know an awful lot about this topic but, from what I've read, it seems that because of windfarms no-one is looking into other alternative resources. I know there is clean coal and nuclear power but what happened to harnessing the power created by waves? I remember that being discussed a few years ago but don't know what, if anything, was done about it.

    *goes off to google*

    C x