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THE BIG DEBATE: Should Lincolnshire have more wind farms?

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

Wind farm
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Few issues in Lincolnshire are more divisive – here, campaigners make their cases...


YES

James Pocklington, a member of the Lincolnshire Pro Wind Alliance

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The answer will be influenced by your views on two issues: global warming and energy security.

Global warming is happening and it is being driven predominantly by the way in which the world economies emit large quantities of carbon dioxide. The consequences of allowing the planet to heat up are severe for all life on earth.

Nationally, we face an energy crisis, brought about by an increased reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Wind turbines are a proven and efficient technology that can play a part in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and make us less vulnerable to a disruption in the supply of fossil fuel. So why do some people seem intent on stopping their deployment?

There is the fact that they are a visual intrusion. There is no denying the scale of them and if you believe that they are as “useless” as some people are saying, then I guess you could be forgiven for opposing their construction.

However, the truth is that wind turbines are doing the important job of significantly reducing the amount of fossil fuels we burn in a year.

If the facts about wind turbines were as widely circulated in the media as the falsehoods are, then I doubt the debate on wind would be this polarised.

Understanding the vital importance of wind turbines to our future is the key to accepting their presence within our landscapes.

It should be understood that wind turbines are not a complete substitute for the fantastically powerful fossil fuels that the world has come to rely on, but they are at the vanguard of a new range of electricity generators that will transform the energy supply of this country.

Due to increased economic viability, onshore wind turbines now receive the lowest payment/unit generated of all renewable energy generators.

The Government constantly monitor the assistance provided to our fledging renewable energy generators, ensuring that developing technology such as wave and tidal (up to 30MW) now receive 5 times the payment/unit of on shore wind.

Every renewable technology has an important part to play; we have reacted too slowly to a growing crisis to have the luxury of choice.

Equally important in the future energy consumption of our country is on the demand side.

We have shocking levels of energy wastage throughout our society and pressure could be taken off the challenge to meet demand if we all did more to reduce consumption through improved management.

However, onshore wind is a technology that we have readily available, right now. We live in the windiest country in Europe, in a county that has the open space to make the most of this free resource.

We should judge every wind farm application on merit and ensure that developers follow the procedures for minimising impact on local communities, but we should remain determined to do what we can to support the change to renewable energy generation in the UK.


NO

Melvin Grosvenor, campaigner against wind farms

I and a growing number of Lincolnshire people, have become increasingly concerned over the apparent “free for all”, with speculative wind turbine developers, aggressively targeting every part of Lincolnshire’s countryside, threatening to invade the county with huge industrial turbines, up to 127m high, with vast spinning blades up to 46m long.

It appears nowhere is sacrosanct – even the cherished Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Lincolnshire’s sparsely populated historical countryside, in which the stunning Lincolnshire Wolds AONB acts as magnet for tourists and tranquilly, is the backdrop of many of our long views across the landscape to and from the Wolds, with Lincoln Cathedral standing majestic over the centuries watching over the landscape.

We do appreciate that Lincolnshire is renowned for its big skies, defining feature of the county.

Responding to this and the drive from Government targets for renewable energy, Lincolnshire County Council has carried out a survey to consult everyone in the county on a wind farm policy.

The justification for this has been made by the majority of respondents who were in favour of the lead the county council has taken.

Indeed, 75 per cent have also indicated that all Lincolnshire’s district councils, responsible for planning decisions, should embrace this policy and adopt it into their local development plans.

The many local residents groups I work with are at the forefront of this wind turbine invasion. If all planning applications succeed they would have turbines towering over their local communities, with residents only 534 metres from turbines as at Croft, with their known problems of low frequency noise and shadow flicker.

Nearly 7,000 residents have already registered their concerns to East Lindsey District Council. This is a serious issue which needs to be addressed.

John Hayes, MP for Spalding working within the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has stated “enough is enough”, as the key target for 13GW of renewable energy has already been met and yet we are facing a feeding frenzy of developers, harvesting the renewable energy subsidies, which wind turbines attract, increasing our energy bills and adding to fuel poverty.

The county council has highlighted this issue.

Lincolnshire has played an active role the generation of renewable energy, through wind turbines and other less invasive technology. Huge arrays of offshore turbines, are also impacting on the low lying fen and coastal marsh landscapes and are visible from within the Wolds.

I sincerely support the need for the development of less invasive and new, diverse renewable energy technology, creating investment and long-lasting employment. These developers are mainly non-UK and import their turbines.

In closing, I refer to a statement by James Lovelock: “I am James Lovelock, scientist and author, known as the originator of Gaia theory, a view of the Earth that sees it as a self-regulating entity that keeps the surface environment always fit for life…I am an environmentalist and founder member of the Greens, but I bow my head in shame at the thought that our original good intentions should have been so misunderstood and misapplied.

“We never intended a fundamentalist Green movement that rejected all energy sources other than renewable, nor did we expect the Greens to cast aside our priceless ecological heritage, because of their failure to understand that the needs of the Earth are not separable from human needs.

“We need take care that the spinning windmills do not become like the statues on Easter Island, monuments of a failed civilisation.”

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4 comments

  • winter37  |  February 21 2013, 10:20PM

    Just a quick reply to the comments of RIFFY1 and JobWanted.To RIFFY1 I fail to see the point of the first part of your comment,therefore I cannot give a reply.With reference to so called greenhouse(gh) gases,the atmosphere consists of 78%nitrogen,20%oxygen, and the remaining 2% we will call the gh gases.Of that 2%, water vapour,the most important gh gas is about 90%,and CO2 is about 4%.Of that 4%,let us assume that 3%CO2 is man made.Back of a fag packet calc. ,3% of 4% gives point 12 percent.So it is a trace gas,and any so called gh effect would be lost in the normal climate noise.Most certainly not worth the billions of pounds that our government is wasting on The Big Green Lie.There is so much good that could be done with that money,and I for one will never forgive them for their economic insanity. As regards ice caps,the north pole has lost ice before,usually at 70yr intervals.The antarctic has been gaining ice for the last 30 years. Global temps have not risen statistically for the last 16 years,thus the gh hypothesis has failed. As regards JobWanted comment:see above on gh gases.Your last sentence is quite correct when you say that coal and nuclear are more environmentally friendly.At last we agree. Oops,I forgot the temp graph.Had a look,nought point 75 deg. Celcius in 150 years,is what would be expected coming out of the Little Ice Age.or we would still be in it ,as they say. Sorry about the diversion.Will comment later on wind!!

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  • RIFFY1  |  February 07 2013, 3:52PM

    Buehler and his co-author, Zhao Qin, used computer simulations at the atomic level to evaluate the dynamics of ice strength in the presence of various concentrations of carbon dioxide. They found that the gas diminishes the strength of ice by interfering with the hydrogen bonds that hold together the water molecules in an ice crystal. Specifically, at the atomic level, the carbon dioxide competes with the bonded water molecules and, at high enough concentrations, displaces them from the bonds and takes their place. The carbon dioxide molecules start infiltrating a piece of ice at an outer edge, then slowly split it apart by migrating inward as a crack forms. In doing so, they also attract water molecules outward to the edge by forming bonds with the water molecules' hydrogen atoms, leaving broken bonds within the crystalline structure and decreasing the ice's strength overall. The simulations showed that ice that has been infiltrated with carbon dioxide to the point that the gas occupies two percent of its volume is roughly 38 percent less strong. Also Carbon stores and releases heat with much more abundance than other atmospheric gases. (there is proof, its called simple chemistry, but then Im sure the people who contradict this base arguments in chemistry knowledge and not just what the guardian has told them,....) Methane, even more so than co2 but still carbon none the less so yes, methane is a worse culprit, however the level of carbon in our atmosphere is directly down to us, predominantly through burning fossil fuels (check any tests done on this as there are many littered around the internet with conclusive results) Co2 effects our climate in many different ways. The way it works is that basically certain 'greenhouse gases' can't escape from our atmosphere because they get trapped. CO2 is what plants need to create oxygen etc. But when there is too much CO2 being admitted into our environment from burning fossil fuels, cars etc, and we are cutting down trees for paper - it is imbalanced and now it has started to catch up with us. a.k.a global warming. Because these gases are trapped in our atmosphere, they have more time to collect heat from our atmosphere and the sun - thus making our climate increase in heat. This then triggers ice caps to melt and floods to occur and then one day we will face a world with no more fresh water and many extinct animals who cannot survive in warm climates. Until someone offers an alternative then we need to make drastic changes, not for you, or me, but for the kids and the other animals. And actually global tempretures have increased dramatically as demonstrated here: http://tinyurl.com/2bm3vhl Please take a moment to look.

  • JobWanted  |  February 06 2013, 6:20AM

    Believe it or not WInter37, its not carbon dioxide which is the main constituent of global warming, its methane. Menthane produce by factories on four legs. Thos funny little things on the ground in the farmers paddocks. Wanna start throwing facts around, best you get 'em right first. If people don't want wind farms, nor do they want solar farms and/or furnaces, then perhaps we can go back to coal fired generation, or even nuclear. They are a lot more environmentally friendly, right??

  • winter37  |  February 05 2013, 6:38PM

    Global warming is not happening due to the use of fossil fuels.Carbon dioxide emissions are simply plant food,and have no effect on global temperatures.There is absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever that demonstrates this.Indeed,despite carbon dioxide emissions increasing,global temperatures have not risen for the last sixteen years,and thus the hypothesis is falsified.Windmills are therefore not necessary.The extortionate costs of wind are not sustainable,and have a negative effect on economic growth,while sucking money from every part of our society,except for the rich at the expense of the poor.In the present and becoming worse financial situation,wind power is not cost effective,and I accuse the government of economic and social vandalism.The degradation of our land and seascapes;physical and mental health problems;the killing of birds and bats;destruction of fishing beds;all this for a lie.You may hear the B.B.C. say that the science is settled,there is a consensus.Consensus is nothing to do with science;it is purely a political concept.The propaganda insists that most scientists agree with the carbon dioxide hypothesis.Not true.As I write,I have at my elbow a list of at least one thousand scientists who disagree with the hypothesis,and there are thousands more worldwide.The truth and real science is out there for you to find if you so wish.By the way,bats are killed when their lungs explode due to the pressure waves from the windmill blades.All this for the Big Green Lie.

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