Opinion: Rosie Boycott on Wiveliscombe's potential wind farm

Rosie Boycott.

Rosie Boycott.

First published in News

AFTER a public consultation on plans to build wind turbines in Wiveliscombe, Brendon Energy claims more than half of people support the idea.

Former Fleet Street journalist and recent arrival to the town ROSIE BOYCOTT explains why there’s more than meets the eye and says such proposals would kill the countryside.

“THE recent survey on renewable energy (County Gazette, June 11*) has provoked strong reaction in Wiveliscombe and surrounding parishes.

Some have said the survey, sponsored as it was by would-be wind turbine developers Brendon Energy, was guilty of bias and was designed to lead respondents to a ‘pro-wind’ conclusion.
I would agree with that view.

Be that as it may, only half of the 400 respondents – in itself a tiny proportion of the community – expressed enthusiasm for wind turbines.

The developer’s post-survey PR omitted to mention that strong opponents outnumbered strong supporters.

By no stretch of the imagination could the views of 200 people be described as a ringing endorsement of wind turbines.

No surprise, you might say, given the threat of 75m (20-storey), gyrating, man-made, shining metallic structures in prominent positions in our otherwise unspoilt and tranquil landscape.

A few weeks ago in Scotland, 40 birdwatchers dashed to the Hebrides to glimpse the white-throated needletail, which has only been sighted eight times in the UK since 1846.

Imagine their horror when the blue and brown bird they had come so far to see flew into a turbine and was literally shredded in front of their eyes.

This, you may say, is also a biased view of wind turbines, but there is NO doubt that they drastically affect the wildlife where they are built.

You can accuse me of being a NIMBY, but over this issue we should ALL be NIMBYs.

Of course, I believe in renewable energy, but not at the expense of the environment alternative sources are in the business of protecting.

There ARE other solutions, For instance, mid-size solar photo-voltaics, installed on structures such as industrial units and farm buildings, are effective and almost entirely uncontentious.

The truth is that the main harvest from wind farms comes in the subsidy payments to their operators and the landlords on whose fields and hills they are built.

The Environment Secretary himself recently said in an unguarded moment that “wind farms are a complete scam”.

I’m a recent arrival in Wiveliscombe, I love this area greatly and I’m very far from alone in opposing this scheme.

There are now so many of us that we have established Friends of the Hills (FOTH) as a community forum that will enable concerned residents to co-ordinate responses and organise resistance to what they see as inappropriate development.

FOTH, which is adding numbers by the day, is at pains to emphasise that it is not a simple protest group.

It believes strongly in the important contribution of renewable energy to our environment, but argues that wind turbines on the scale envisaged by Brendon Energy risk killing the patient rather than curing it.

So, along with fellow FOTH members I urgently want to hear from Brendon Energy that it will leave our wonderful landscape unmolested by these machines, which have been described by Simon Jenkins, chairman of the National Trust, as the single greatest threat to our countryside.

In the meantime, FOTH continues to muster its troops – you can contact them at fothgroup@gmail.com – and is prepared to demonstrate that medium- and large-scale wind turbines are an intrusion this community will not tolerate.”

*THE County Gazette ran an article last week where the developers claimed 51% of people in Wiveliscombe supported wind power.

Comments (8)

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9:53am Sat 20 Jul 13

Rusty Hinge says...

So we have the black arts of Fleet Street propaganda directed at wind farms, instead of their just targets, for example our corrupt leaders and the injustices perpetrated on ordinary people each day by faceless officialdom. One bird - supposedly - dies accdentally in a turbine, millions die each day at the hands of "sporting" shooting parties. If we shopuld all be NIMBYS - as this article states - we need to say NO to Hinckley Point, not the renewables.
So we have the black arts of Fleet Street propaganda directed at wind farms, instead of their just targets, for example our corrupt leaders and the injustices perpetrated on ordinary people each day by faceless officialdom. One bird - supposedly - dies accdentally in a turbine, millions die each day at the hands of "sporting" shooting parties. If we shopuld all be NIMBYS - as this article states - we need to say NO to Hinckley Point, not the renewables. Rusty Hinge
  • Score: 0

11:11am Sat 20 Jul 13

FreeSpeech? says...

Yes to Hinckley and yes to Renewables we need all we can get for the National grid, what I cannot understand is why we don't export surplus electricity as many a time I've driven past redundant turbines on breezy days due consumtion being low.
No to Windbags from the cities.
Yes to Hinckley and yes to Renewables we need all we can get for the National grid, what I cannot understand is why we don't export surplus electricity as many a time I've driven past redundant turbines on breezy days due consumtion being low. No to Windbags from the cities. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: 0

8:29am Sun 21 Jul 13

save energy says...

Rosie
I know journalists don’t like facts to spoil a good story, but you have written an absolute lie -
“the blue and brown bird they had come so far to see flew into a turbine and was literally shredded in front of their eyes.”

The bird was hit & killed, was intact when it hit the ground, see -
http://www.dailymail
.co.uk/news/article-
2350267/Rare-bird-wh
ite-throated-needlet
ail-killed-wind-turb
ine-crowd-twitchers.
html
& is now undergoing taxidermy for display.

You also state
“For instance, mid-size solar photo-voltaics, installed on structures such as industrial units and farm buildings, are effective and almost entirely uncontentious.”

Again you fail to do any research; if you had you would have discovered they are ineffective as useful grid power generators, uncontentious ? go to Cornwall & see square miles of productive farm land being used for subsidy farming not food.

According to the following info taken from the
Department of Energy & Climate Change ( DECC ) & Grid figs
( Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics ( DUKES)
http://tinyurl.com/n
4k7n8 )

See Pages 121, 140, 144, 160, 186

UK annual Capacity or Production factors-
(the % of possible output, that is actually produced)

Coal = 42 %,
Gas = 62 %,
Hydro = 35 %,
Nuclear =61 %,
Pumped storage = 14 %,

Solar = 8 %,

Wind = 27 %,

Please get your facts right BEFORE going into print, you are acting like politicians, scam mongers & wind developers.
You need to do some basic research.

These sites are where you should get your data from – (put into favorites & check regularly)
They tell a different story from the politicians & windfarmers !!
See –
1 - This site gives Live UK Grid status - demand & generation by all fuels.….. now + Day, Wk, Mth, Yr, history.
Caution *, the scales are all different so don’t compare at first glance !! Look at the figures !!
http://www.gridwatch
.templar.co.uk/
(Nb; for a % - it’s the fuel output x 100 / demand.
Eg; wind 0.4GW, demand 38.26 GW, so wind % = 1% )

2 - Interactive switch-able graph showing Live UK Grid status - demand & generation by all fuels. (top line = demand, bottom green line = wind )
http://www.ukpowerge
neration.info/

3 - Map of Europe showing RWE’s ‘green’ plants – live production data –
– nb capacity in MW but output looks more in kW
http://www.rwe.com/w
eb/cms/en/206488/rwe
-innogy/sites/produc
tion-data-live/rwe-r
enewable-energy-live
/

Currently we have approx 4,500 turbines (July 2013) that provide on average just 5% of demand, at a cost of £billions / yr to the UK people.
As I write this, the UKs entire 4,844 wind turbine fleet is producing-
just … 1.5 % of demand –that’s a pathetic 6% production/capacity factor.
(Sewage gas is producing 4x as much !!)

BUT making loads of cash for wind developers (mainly foreign), & prices are set to rise yet again to pay for it all.
UK governments new strike prices (£/MWh) for 2014 – June 27, 2013
£155/MWh for offshore wind, £100/MWh Onshore wind
yet Av wholesale price last 12 mth = £47
http://tinyurl.com/q
z3b6qm"
WE pay the £100 difference !!!

Wind Turbines -
Do they cost us money -YES
Are the subsidies a scam – YES
Are they a good investment for the developer – YES
Do they cut CO2 – NO
Do they give reliable energy - NO
Do they give energy security - NO
Are they fit for purpose - NO
Should we build more – NO

They are the wrong technology for the job, chosen by ill-informed politicians, not engineers.
Rosie I know journalists don’t like facts to spoil a good story, but you have written an absolute lie - “the blue and brown bird they had come so far to see flew into a turbine and was literally shredded in front of their eyes.” The bird was hit & killed, was intact when it hit the ground, see - http://www.dailymail .co.uk/news/article- 2350267/Rare-bird-wh ite-throated-needlet ail-killed-wind-turb ine-crowd-twitchers. html & is now undergoing taxidermy for display. You also state “For instance, mid-size solar photo-voltaics, installed on structures such as industrial units and farm buildings, are effective and almost entirely uncontentious.” Again you fail to do any research; if you had you would have discovered they are ineffective as useful grid power generators, uncontentious ? go to Cornwall & see square miles of productive farm land being used for subsidy farming not food. According to the following info taken from the Department of Energy & Climate Change ( DECC ) & Grid figs ( Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics ( DUKES) http://tinyurl.com/n 4k7n8 ) See Pages 121, 140, 144, 160, 186 UK annual Capacity or Production factors- (the % of possible output, that is actually produced) Coal = 42 %, Gas = 62 %, Hydro = 35 %, Nuclear =61 %, Pumped storage = 14 %, Solar = 8 %, Wind = 27 %, Please get your facts right BEFORE going into print, you are acting like politicians, scam mongers & wind developers. You need to do some basic research. These sites are where you should get your data from – (put into favorites & check regularly) They tell a different story from the politicians & windfarmers !! See – 1 - This site gives Live UK Grid status - demand & generation by all fuels.….. now + Day, Wk, Mth, Yr, history. Caution *, the scales are all different so don’t compare at first glance !! Look at the figures !! http://www.gridwatch .templar.co.uk/ (Nb; for a % - it’s the fuel output x 100 / demand. Eg; wind 0.4GW, demand 38.26 GW, so wind % = 1% ) 2 - Interactive switch-able graph showing Live UK Grid status - demand & generation by all fuels. (top line = demand, bottom green line = wind ) http://www.ukpowerge neration.info/ 3 - Map of Europe showing RWE’s ‘green’ plants – live production data – [It’s a manual refresh] – nb capacity in MW but output looks more in kW http://www.rwe.com/w eb/cms/en/206488/rwe -innogy/sites/produc tion-data-live/rwe-r enewable-energy-live / Currently we have approx 4,500 turbines (July 2013) that provide on average just 5% of demand, at a cost of £billions / yr to the UK people. As I write this, the UKs entire 4,844 wind turbine fleet is producing- just … 1.5 % of demand –that’s a pathetic 6% production/capacity factor. (Sewage gas is producing 4x as much !!) BUT making loads of cash for wind developers (mainly foreign), & prices are set to rise yet again to pay for it all. UK governments new strike prices (£/MWh) for 2014 – June 27, 2013 £155/MWh for offshore wind, £100/MWh Onshore wind yet Av wholesale price last 12 mth = £47 http://tinyurl.com/q z3b6qm" WE pay the £100 difference !!! Wind Turbines - Do they cost us money -YES Are the subsidies a scam – YES Are they a good investment for the developer – YES Do they cut CO2 – NO Do they give reliable energy - NO Do they give energy security - NO Are they fit for purpose - NO Should we build more – NO They are the wrong technology for the job, chosen by ill-informed politicians, not engineers. save energy
  • Score: 0

8:31am Sun 21 Jul 13

save energy says...

FreeSpeech? says...

( ”Yes to Hinckley and yes to Renewables we need all we can get for the National grid, what I cannot understand is why we don't export surplus electricity as many a time I've driven past redundant turbines on breezy days due consumtion being low.” )

We don’t have surplus electricity,
UK is a net importer (from France Holland & Ireland)

See –
1 - This site gives Live UK Grid status - demand & generation by all fuels.….. now + Day, Wk, Mth, Yr, history.
Caution *, the scales are all different so don’t compare at first glance !! Look at the figures !!
http://www.gridwatch
.templar.co.uk/
(Nb; for a % - it’s the fuel output x 100 / demand.
Eg; wind 0.4GW, demand 38.26 GW, so wind % = 1% )
FreeSpeech? says... ( ”Yes to Hinckley and yes to Renewables we need all we can get for the National grid, what I cannot understand is why we don't export surplus electricity as many a time I've driven past redundant turbines on breezy days due consumtion being low.” ) We don’t have surplus electricity, UK is a net importer (from France Holland & Ireland) See – 1 - This site gives Live UK Grid status - demand & generation by all fuels.….. now + Day, Wk, Mth, Yr, history. Caution *, the scales are all different so don’t compare at first glance !! Look at the figures !! http://www.gridwatch .templar.co.uk/ (Nb; for a % - it’s the fuel output x 100 / demand. Eg; wind 0.4GW, demand 38.26 GW, so wind % = 1% ) save energy
  • Score: 0

9:53am Sun 21 Jul 13

FreeSpeech? says...

save energy wrote:
FreeSpeech? says...

( ”Yes to Hinckley and yes to Renewables we need all we can get for the National grid, what I cannot understand is why we don't export surplus electricity as many a time I've driven past redundant turbines on breezy days due consumtion being low.” )

We don’t have surplus electricity,
UK is a net importer (from France Holland & Ireland)

See –
1 - This site gives Live UK Grid status - demand & generation by all fuels.….. now + Day, Wk, Mth, Yr, history.
Caution *, the scales are all different so don’t compare at first glance !! Look at the figures !!
http://www.gridwatch

.templar.co.uk/
(Nb; for a % - it’s the fuel output x 100 / demand.
Eg; wind 0.4GW, demand 38.26 GW, so wind % = 1% )
Why then are large areas of turbines shut down during off peak periods?
[quote][p][bold]save energy[/bold] wrote: FreeSpeech? says... ( ”Yes to Hinckley and yes to Renewables we need all we can get for the National grid, what I cannot understand is why we don't export surplus electricity as many a time I've driven past redundant turbines on breezy days due consumtion being low.” ) We don’t have surplus electricity, UK is a net importer (from France Holland & Ireland) See – 1 - This site gives Live UK Grid status - demand & generation by all fuels.….. now + Day, Wk, Mth, Yr, history. Caution *, the scales are all different so don’t compare at first glance !! Look at the figures !! http://www.gridwatch .templar.co.uk/ (Nb; for a % - it’s the fuel output x 100 / demand. Eg; wind 0.4GW, demand 38.26 GW, so wind % = 1% )[/p][/quote]Why then are large areas of turbines shut down during off peak periods? FreeSpeech?
  • Score: 0

11:02am Sun 21 Jul 13

jamestaunton says...

May I suggest that there should be a responce opinion article published on the gazette to give the other side of the argument surrounding wind farms to readers? It seems a bit biased of the gazette to publish only the opposition to wind farms on an issue which even Rosie Boycott concedes divides the c
May I suggest that there should be a responce opinion article published on the gazette to give the other side of the argument surrounding wind farms to readers? It seems a bit biased of the gazette to publish only the opposition to wind farms on an issue which even Rosie Boycott concedes divides the c jamestaunton
  • Score: 0

11:03am Sun 21 Jul 13

jamestaunton says...

...divides the community around 50/50.
...divides the community around 50/50. jamestaunton
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Sun 21 Jul 13

save energy says...

FreeSpeech? says.
“Why then are large areas of turbines shut down during off peak periods?”

A multitude of possibilities

Wind – too slow, too fast, too gusty.
Windfarm system failure.
Maintenance – depending on what’s being done, a complete windfarm may be shut down for Health & Safety reasons,(often for days, sometimes for weeks).
Work at a substation
A Grid failure,
Etc etc….

Are they connected to one of the11 kV, 33 kV, or 66 kV, local transmission Grids or direct to a HV substation ??

Normally wind farms are worked whenever possible, BUT they are an intermittent unreliable source that can drop off without warning, that’s why they need backup with hot spinning reserve (usually CCGT running inefficiently at light loads ready to pick up).
FreeSpeech? says. “Why then are large areas of turbines shut down during off peak periods?” A multitude of possibilities Wind – too slow, too fast, too gusty. Windfarm system failure. Maintenance – depending on what’s being done, a complete windfarm may be shut down for Health & Safety reasons,(often for days, sometimes for weeks). Work at a substation A Grid failure, Etc etc…. Are they connected to one of the11 kV, 33 kV, or 66 kV, local transmission Grids or direct to a HV substation ?? Normally wind farms are worked whenever possible, BUT they are an intermittent unreliable source that can drop off without warning, that’s why they need backup with hot spinning reserve (usually CCGT running inefficiently at light loads ready to pick up). save energy
  • Score: 0

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