Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This could be a 'minority interest' post, but it should be significant for any Powys County Councillor who cares about our wondrous landscape. Regular readers will know of my scepticism about onshore wind as a renewable energy resource - particularly on a large scale. Unfortunately, the Assembly Government has decided to ignore my advice and has given a bright green light to the 'industrialisation' of much of the uplands of rural Wales. As a democrat, I accept this - even if I don't like it. But what I cannot accept is that it should proceed in a way which greatly increases the environmental desecration.

I'm referring to the haphazard granting of planning consents for wind farms, with no regard for how they are to be connected to the National Grid. This is ridiculous. "What about the bl***y pylons" has for so long been my plaintive cry. What happens at present is that a developer seeks planning consent for the wind farm, but makes a separate approach to a power supplier for a connection to the Grid - which the power company is statutorily obliged to provide. So when Celtpower Ltd seeks consent to triple the output from Llandinam wind farm in Montgomeryshire, Scottish Power are obliged to provide a 132 kv cable all the way to Welshpool, upsetting a lot of people living near the village of Kerry. The reason this is madness is that National Grid is going to build a 400 kv cable from Shropshire to a 'hub' somewhere in the Carno area (the horror of this makes me shake with despair) - which would be the natural connection point for the Llandinam wind farm, leaving Kerry out of the loop altogether. But this cable isn't going to be built until 2015.

But I have news for the developers. Last week, 'concerned of Kerry' objected to the Llandinam wind farm because of the impact of the cable. And the reply received from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was very interesting indeed. It read thus;

".......Should the relevant Planning Authority (RPA), Powys County Council object, then the Secretary of State will be obliged to call for a public inquiry to be held into the application......If the Secretary of State does call for a public inquiry to be held, he will issue in advance a statement of the matters which seem to him relevant to his consideration of the application. The views of those objecting will be taken into account, together with all relevant factors, in identifying these matters."

Now that makes sense. The public inquiry will be just the occasion to thrash out the madness that is being visited on the glorious uplands of Wales by these turbine inspired Philistines. Over to you County Councillors.


Anonymous said...

We need to have a public debate about this whole issue. I hope you are going to circulate this to all the county councillors.

P-Man said...

Isn't it true that the wind-power lobby were forced by the British advertising standards authority to stop overstating the amount of CO2 that wind-power is supposed to save?

I find it so strange that so called environmentalists preach wind power as some kind of non-polluting solution to power generation when there are few things as damaging to a beautiful landscape than miles of pylons and HUGE towers fitted with HUGE blades.

I can't help observing that many of the activists of this new religion of 'global warming' do and say the daftest things. Just the other day they were yapping on about taxing farmers for having cows. Forgetting that imposing such a stupid cost on farmers would feed right into the food chain and would inevitably impact on the poorest families in the community who spend a relatively greater portion of the weekly income on food to feed their families, many of whom can't afford cars and so are forced to shop in shops on estates that lack competitive prices.

How come? Well, a lot of these new fascists-proponents of global warming are themselves middle-class and for whom the issues of the working (and non-working) poor have no real meaning. So they come up with the daftest illogical unscientific clap-trap one can imagine. And to top it off, they rely on incorrect data. They often (even the Met) rely on data that they know to be untrue. Take the NASA weather ‘data’, a branch of NASA that is run by a global warming fanatic. This branch of NASA stated emphatically that 1998 was the warmest year on record when in fact 1934 was the warmest year. NASA has also been caught out not allowing for the times of day that readings were taken or the locations of the monitoring station. This curious oversight led to another incorrect NASA pronouncement. Interestingly, the fascist global warming alarmists have ignored the fact that 1938 was hotter than any year over the past decade, in fact hotter than any year since 1938.

Eventually it is going to dawn on people that the world’s weather is always warming or cooling or in-between warming/cooling, and that global cooling presents far greater hazards than warm periods. Vulnerable people die in cold weather.

Then there are the really dumb global alarmists who are now arguing that ‘if we don’t stop crops will stop growing’. Where do these idiots come up with such stupid statements? Don’t they know that farmers use greenhouses and furnaces inside greenhouses to increase the temperature and CO2 levels to improve growing rates?

Don’t they know that crops won’t grow if covered in ice? That’s what we get when we have global cooling, more ground covered in ice. Take away land for growing crops and yes, we will have a problem with that.

More old people die in cold British winters than in mild-British winters. But hey, real statistics don’t mean anything to the global warming fascists, they are the new religious nuts. Logic, commonsense don’t mean much to this new generation of fascist-nut cases.

Yes, it is getting warmer – but it will be getting cooler too. The weather goes in cycles, up/down/trough between up/down and down/up cycles. The world has been a LOT hotter than it is now, and also a LOT cooler, and guess what: the world will be a LOT hotter than it is now, and will at other times be a LOT cooler than it is now. Yet plant life has survived through hot cycles. Dinosaurs lived in hotter times – and plant life was teeming, so much so that there were HUGE dinosaurs that fed on plant life!

JPT said...

You shouldn't accept it, it's wrong.
Plain and simple.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - Indeed I am - and hopefully give evidence to a public inquiry.

P-man - It is true. I've interested in the bovine methane production issue though. It seems sensible to me to conduct research into dietary changes that will reduce the amount produced. There is a strong history of grassland research in mid Wales.

JPT - I don't think its possible to be aparticipant in national politics, unless one is willing to accept the decisions of Government, no matter how much one disagrees with them. That doesn't mean giving up - and this post is about a constutionally agreed way of challenging the Government.

R(rumen)-Man said...

Glyn> I concur that research devoted to more efficient conversion of chemical energy in bovine feed into edible matter for the bovine animal combined with less CH4 production. Less bovine CH4 production (since this is a high-energy molecule) would likely mean more weight gain for the bovine. But I don't agree with burdening farmers with taxes per bovine. That is just not on.

Btw, methane production from anaerobic fermentation is, as you no doubt know Glyn, a natural by-product. Bovine rumen rely on microorganisms in anaerobic conditions to biotransform what they eat into useful small molecules such as amino-acids of use to the bovine. There has been a lot of research going back years on reducing the amount of CH4 produced based on the theory that less CH4 escaping out the rear end of the bovine should mean more weight gain - as previously stated. The rumen is somewhat similar to a chemostat in steady-state-conditions set to avoid 'wash-out' of helpful microorganisms. There are microbes that can use CH4 as a carbon/energy source, but the same microbes can use other carbon/energy sources, so adding them to bovine feed may not have much impact on CH4 production/release.

Off the top of my head, has anyone thought of sequestering the CH4. CH4 can adhere to large voluminous surface areas (basis of coal bed methane exploitation) - activated carbon/charcoal might work, a few grams of the stuff lining a porous layer/laminate/membrane/bag fitted over the rear end of a bovine might do it. The means for methane sequestering could be collected on a routine basis and used as 'feed' into a combined heat/power generation plant. The methane would be combusted to CO2 and H2O, likewise the carbon. Has anyone mathematically modeled this? Maybe I should constructively reduce this to practice by drafting/filing a patent application.

The key advantage of using such methodology is that the natural anaerobic fermentation in the rumen is not skewed like it might be if methane-consuming bugs are put into the cattle feed.

Hey, if anyone wants to be 'part of the action' and pay me five thousand British pounds I would be happy to draft, file and assign 100% of the IP rights to them or a company of their choice - I am of course talking about drafting/filing a US patent, not a UK or any other non-US patent. (The USA has a 12-month grace period for filing patent applications - meaning, one can file a US patent on an invention that has been disclosed to the public providing the disclosure was not more than 12 months before the earliest US filing date) ... which in this case translates to: Dec. 26, 2009. I don't guarantee that anyone would make a dime/penny/cent out of this, but who knows, might turn into a billion dollar plus industry. "It can happen to you". Then again, it might turn out to be a waste of money. "Who knows which way the wind will blow a month or year or ten years from now?"

P/R Man - Welsh-American said...

Incidently, semi-liquid/solid waste has potential energy as a function of height above the ground, this height is fairly constant, meaning cow waste falls to the ground, whereas methane gas being CH4 is less heavy than CO2, meaning CH4 does not fall to the ground, hence the means of absorbing CH4 (and VOCs for that matter) will naturally be separate - so the means simply has to be offset and/or coated with a hydrophobic layer to deflect water, but allow passage of essentially non-hydrophilic gases like CH4 (did I mention I have a PhD in chemistry, and a BSc in microbiology and a masters in biotechnology and have an interest in chemical/biochemical engineering and was the person who drafed (under supervision of a competent US patent attorney because at that time I had not sat, inter alia, the US patent bar) the patent that claimed a noddle of substantially pure amino-acid (from memory: amino-acids such as, but not limited to, tryptophan (W), threonine (T) and serine (S), alone or in combination - such amino-acids are typically manufactured and added to manufactured cattle feed).

Glyn Davies said...

Rumen-man - I'll take your word for it. And I'm not in favour of a bovinemethane tax either.

eric said...

these huge towers with huge blades, and these pylons, am I right in thinking they can be removed? they are temporary should a new powers source be found? didn't britain have thousands of windmills several hundred years ago?
embrace the argumnet rather than saying no, ask why generation on rivers and dams isn't being done? ask what new technology for pylons is being deployed? finally ask what benefits to the local economy can be found, i've been to Kerry also, have a few friends from their, all live in cardiff and suggest the community is dying.

Glyn Davies said...

Eric - Wind turbines can indeed be removed, and eventually will be of course - but the concrete foundation will never be removed. Have you any idea of the size of the concrete pad on which these things are built. Anyway, I would accept all this if they were sufficiently effective. And yes there were thousands of windmils in the past, but they were local power sources, which did not need huge pylons to transfer the power. They could almost be described as micro-generation.

And one of the points made by people like me is that the Government is not giving enouigh attention to othere sources of renewables - because of this blind obsession they have with onshore wind.

And I don't know where you've heard that Kerry is a dying community. Over recent years the village has grown hugely, because of its proximity to Newtown, where there hasn't been much room to grow.

Anonymous said...

although I have a lot of respect for glyn he should check his facts
The assembly "government" has diven Powys CC specific instructions that they Will NOT opose any planning aplications for Wind farms
give them a bollucking not local councilors