Archive for April, 2013

SOUND BYTE:

April 7, 2013

TURBINE TURNAROUND

 

 

There’s an article in the March 8th edition of THE CUMBERLAND NEWS 2013 regarding an application to build a wind turbine at Oughterby in Cumbria England. The 114 foot (34 metre) turbine had initially been refused by Allerdale Council but the decision was revoked on appeal. An appeal decision document states that “environmental, economic and energy benefits should be given considerable weight.” Also, “The turbine will not harm the character or the appearance of the landscape or living conditions of residence.”

 

CHECK POINTS:

 

a) The energy benefit:

The energy benefit of the turbine will be  nil. There will be no less coal used by coal fired power stations, Or less gallons of oil consumed by oil fired power stations. Nor will the control rods of nuclear power stations be lowered a fraction to slow them down. Also the microvolt increase in supply voltage will hardly be noticed.

 

b) The economic benefit:

There may be some short term economic benefit to the area if local labour is used plus a small increase in trade. Once the turbine is built this benefit will cease and may go negative. The wider impact on tourism of the structure could soon outweigh the initial benefits.

 

c) “The turbine will not harm the character or the appearance of the landscape or living conditions of residence.”

How was this conclusion arrived at? Had the panel canvassed every resident? If this wasn’t the case there may be grounds for legal redress.

 

d) The environmental benefit:

It takes hundreds of wind turbines to replace a single conventional power station. The reduction in carbon emissions resulting from a single turbine is negligible if not zero. When the construction and erection is taken into consideration the equation may be negative.

 

To gain a significant environmental benefit an absurd number of turbines must be built: But where should they be placed? Offshore – PERHAPS. In idyllic countryside – NO. Its time for a re-think.

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