Friday, 30 September 2011

A Wind Storm Is Brewing

Most of us interested in the renewable energy business are aware it doesn't come cheap. In fact renewable energy is expensive, very expensive here in Scotland.

Windfarms here pay £21.58 per kilowatt hour to put electricity on the grid, while a farm near London would receive a £6.90 per hour subsidy. Ofgem have investigated this alleged discrepancy and the reponse was - in a nutshell - 'tough'.

Near here there is a small community who have a few windmills set on a local hillside.  They've been there for a few years since the people were bated by the promise of subsidies, yet only now are the same people questioning the real impact of these massive structures which dominate their beautiful countryside. 'They only last 20 years at most. Who will remove them when their lifespan is finished?'  Just one question which should have been considered before assent was given.  But  windfarm developers are clever, they know the law inside out and they see the Scottish government's enthusiasm as a wonderful short-term opportunity to fill their coffers.

Many aren't happy with the present destruction of the Scottish countryside but fortunately a few from the south-west border area have decided to protest and in style. 

They're holding a wind turbine conference on the 11 November at the prestigious Ayr racecourse (parking available). It's only £26 a ticket, which should include eats and treats, so it should be a very interesting day out.  Unlike many of these conferences this one is open to all.  At present I'm unable to commit to attending but I do hope nearer the date I'll be able to be there to listen to the great and good preaching the benefits of wind power against those who have a much more practical and sensible view.


JRB said...

In the summer of 2010 when the warm trade winds blew across the Highlands and the daily temperatures were in the mid to high twenties and there was little or no demand for energy. Windfarm operators were paid handsomely NOT to produce electricity.

In the winter of 2010/11 when the air temperature across the Highlands fell to record lows of -20degC and below, demand for energy was at an all time high. Windfarm operators had to stand idly by as their turbines remained motionless in the frozen still air UNABLE to produce electricity.

The only thing windfarms are capable of generating is an income stream for a few opportunistic investors.

Wind turbines have proven to be inappropriate for their location; ineffective as an energy source which can meet consumer demand; and inefficient as a method of generating such energy.

Time we all, including the Scottish government, bit the bullet and admitted that windfarms have been an interesting experiment that simply hasn’t worked.

subrosa said...

I couldn't agree more JRB but we need a force to get through to politicians and this one is trying. Their programme and speakers are interesting too.

footdee said...

On shore windmills are an eyesore.

Offshore is a different matter.

There is a battle going on just now between Westminster and Holyrood about where the jobs from this massive industry will go.

Westminster prefers Teeside/Tyneside
Holyrood, Scotland at least the SNP does.

Dundee would be regenerated by this industry.

RMcGeddon said...

Unfortunately there's no mainstream political party willing to stop this windmill scam. Our 3,600 windmills produced no energy for many weeks during the last cold winter. Plenty of subsidies for farmers and rich landowners but no useful energy. The windmill companies no longer look at suitable sites for their white elephants but at suitable landlords instead. People willing to pocket £1,000 a day and put up with the blight on our landscape for money.
Things will get worse as we build offshore where costs are 4 times onshore. Plus shorter lifespan of windmills and horrendous maintenance costs. The SNP quickly backtracked on their threatened closure of Abertay when the people spoke. Unfortunately there's no strong voice to stop the windmill scam as well. I might visit that conference SR. £26 sounds like they're shooting themselves in the foot though. Especially with it being miles away from the central belt. Why not Perth ?

subrosa said...

The policy of windfarms is wrong footdee. Companies shouldn't be paid for not producing and subsidies should be greatly reduced or even done away with. The cost of this is too high to the average home owner.

Dundee slept when oil was discovered and missed out a great deal over the past 30 years. Such a shame because it could have had thriving oil related industries still going strong.

subrosa said...

I am reluctant to agree with you RM but unfortunately you're right about companies now targeting landowners rather than suitable sites. It's easier for them to get their plans through.

The SNP never did have any intention of closing Abertay. That place has had problems for years owning to poor management. It was no surprise to many Dundonians that a merger with Dundee Uni was mooted.

That conference is being put on by people from Dumfries and Galloway RM, so I suspect that's why they're having it in the west. Shame though, they'd get a much better attendance using Stirling or Perth - the race course in Perth would be a good venue.

I'd like to go too but will have to wait until nearer the date to see if I can manage. Ayr's about a two hour journey for me.

RMcGeddon said...

"It was no surprise to many Dundonians that a merger with Dundee Uni was mooted."

I can't say I agree SR. Shona Robison was doing photo ops at Abertay just before the recent election. Talking to the students president etc. There wasn't any hint of merger/ closure of Abertay then.

It's a pity about the windmill conference. A £26 day out at the 'prestigious' Ayr racecourse for talking heads in suits won't trouble the greenies.
It should be a free event in a big hall in Perth. With lots of adverts in the local papers.

subrosa said...

I think that's because Abertay was trying hard to promote their computer gaming courses RM, then perhaps it's just my cynicism showing.:)

I'd agree with you about the conference. Unfortunately big halls are expensive and I should think the £26 just covers venue hire and light refreshments.

RMcGeddon said...

SR. One of the photo ops was to celebrate the new extension to the nurse training course facilities and the second was with the students president celebrating the SNPs' policy of no student fees and how it was encouraging young people to attend Abertay.
On the windmill conference there are loads of venues that offer a free function room SR so it might have been better to do that. Most people who are on the fence on climate change won't travel so far or pay £26 to get the truth. They would have no problem buying a light snack and a pint and sitting in a large function suite. So I think the conference will be people talking to people who are already converted. And it wll be ignored by the MSM and most politicians.
It was heartbreaking seeing Alex welcoming Al Gore to Scotland. His latest 24hr Goreathon on climate change has already been debunked as fake by Anthony Watts on his website.

subrosa said...

I missed these photo opps RM and didn't realise there was a new nurse training wing at Abertay. Medicine has always been with DU in the past but I know it's stuck for space so it does seem sensible, if Abertay has the space, to use it.

The conference is about people from D & G protesting against windmills as far as I can make out.

Aye, I'm going to put the video up next week. Like you I found it sickening. Mind you, the MSM gave it no publicity really which shows the man's discredited.

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