April 01, 2005
The Great Wind Farm Debate
The New Scotsman recently had an article (actually two) about the pros and cons of windfarms. Unfortunately, with all my moving around, I have lost the URLs which would have linked to these, but I shall try to summarise here. The first item is the anti- view posted by David Bellamy, a very well respected ecologist. The pro- version is by the CEO of Friends of the Earth, one David MacLaren.
Surprisingly, for me at least, David Bellamy was very much against the wind turbines. He cited, among many things, their noise, the fact that they chop up birds, particularly birds of prey which are becoming very rare, and the fact that you need to pour in huge amounts of concrete to anchor the damned things to the ground. Their output is far from reliable, and it is certainly not cheap or economical to produce. David MacLaren, perhaps predictably, stated that the turbines were "Eco-friendly", more reliable than nuclear power (I'm not sure how he gets to that one!) and much less damaging than those plants running on fossil fuel. Again, predictably, he has a rose-tinted view of their ugliness along a skyline, the access tracks cut into hillsides and landscapes, and their failure to generate enough electricity at a sufficiently constant rate to permit the complete decommissioning of even one fossil fuel station.
There are many arguments for and against the windfarms, but I remain convinced that this is an expensive blind alley - one we will have to back out of pretty soon, or run out of power in the next few years. Even that arch idiot, Blair, has admitted in parliament in a paper they slipped out on a "good day for burying bad news", that it would be necessary to build some more nuclear power stations in order to meet the demand for power and the targets the moron signed up to in Kyoto! I can't wait to hear the howls of anguish from Friends of the Earth and their fellow loonies over that one!
In the meantime, the French, who get over 80% of their power from Nuclear stations are laughing all the way to the bank as more and more of the power for the South East in particular, is drawn not from the expensive and useless windfarm follies Blair and his cretins have spent vast amounts of public money on, but from French Nuclear power! Mind you, for the Scottish Nationalist Chair of the Friends of the Earth, that's OK, because it puts England at the mercy of the "Auld Ally" and the nuclear power station isn't in Scotland.
Ah well, let's hope that the election - whenever Blair has the courage to call it - will bring a government more open to sense and science than loonies and tree hugging. Mind you, anyone checked the temperature in Hell lately? A freeze there might mean a breath of common sense in the halls of Westminster!
Posted by The Gray Monk at April 1, 2005 11:02 AM
Ya know, nuclear power has its pitfalls. I'm well aware of that. But here in Northern Alabama, we get about half of our power from a nuclear power plant just up the river (the other half comes mostly from hydroelectric dams). And all I really have to say is this:
When California was experiencing rolling blackouts a few years ago, we had an energy surplus.
Posted by: Russell Newquist at March 23, 2005 04:30 PM
Almost 60% of the electricity in the South East of the UK comes from French nuclear stations. It's OK - as long as its someone elses and you can criticise their "green" credentials!
Posted by: The Gray Monk at March 24, 2005 09:24 AM
Windpower isn't all that bad, farmers have been using it for years to pump water for cattle. Windpower has a niche, it's just not powering a city.
Posted by: skipjack at March 24, 2005 10:28 AM