Thursday, December 04, 2008

Young Farmers and Wind

This blogger is suffering a shortage of time. Young farmers and wind are the cause. Always been a deadly combination. For the last two night's I've been judging the Montgomeryshire YFC Senior Brains Trust Competition. I made my decisions earlier tonight, and now I'm wracked with self-doubt, a feeling I'm not that familiar with. There were some fantastic performers. I'll post on it tomorrow night - after the winners have been announced. The competition was held at Cefn Lea Conference Centre and Park, which looks North upon a landscape containing 100 wind turbines at the Llandinam Wind Farm. They've been there getting on for 20 years. So long that I don't suppose anyone at Cefn Lea much notices them. I daresay quite a few of the young farmers don't notice them either. There is a proposal at present to knock them all down, and replace them with much bigger turbines.

This afternoon, I attended (well more hung around really) a presentation by Scottish Power of their proposals to build a 132kv line from the new (replacement) Llandinam wind farm to Welshpool, which was being held in Dolfor Community Hall. Quite a few people turned up to discuss the issue with Steve Edwards, from Scottish Power. While my back was turned, the Department of Energy and Climate Change approved 250 new wind turbines at Gwynt y mor, 8 miles off the North Wales Coast near Llandudno. Its BIG, and will produce 750 megawatts. The new development at Llandinam will produce 90 megawatts (I think).

The Assembly Government had asked for a public enquiry to be held, but DECC contemptuously brushed this request aside. Pity. There was a lot of opposition, brushed aside and flattened by a steamroller. I've not said much about this application - just as I said not much about the wind farm off the coast at Porthcawl a few years back. Of course these massive industrial developments will be an eyesore, but in my opinion, not as much of an eyesore as the equivalent on land. And if I oppose every renewable energy project, my protestations will carry no credibility. But I do wish there had been greater commitment to forms of renewables other than from wind over the last few years.

There's another public meeting about the Llandinam-Welshpool line tomorrow night in Kerry. I expect a good crowd to attend - and I'd like to join them. But I can't. I'm committed to delivering a lecture to students at Aberystwyth University. I'm told that the meeting has been advertised as about CPRW's approach to - you've guessed it - wind farms. Well there should be plenty to talk about. I hope I can perform as well as some of those young farmers, whose efforts I've just finished judging.


Anonymous said...

eyesore, the ones off the coast an eysore? or maybe even an attraction, the current ones of rhyl I find quite interesting on the train? the artists impression for the new ones you metion make them hardly noticeable fromland

Matt said...

Hi Glyn, I attended your lecture last night, I'm currently writing an essay on rural development, was wondering if you would be able to share your notes of what was said - mine are slightly haphazard and it would be very useful to have an accurate record.

Anonymous said...

Better offshore than on shore I guess... but still have my doubts as to their utility anywhere. The line loss factor alone, plus the carbon to build them and start them turning each time is totally prohibitive to long term sustainibility...

JPT said...

We must start using less energy.
The local council are having a go at this by switching off some street lights but are being hammered over this by short sighted people.
(no pun intended re: short sighted!)

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I think offshore is better than onshore. But the stunning news about the Gwynt-y-mor permission is the contemptuous way that the Assembly Government was brushed aside by the Climate Change Department at Westminster.

Matt - Sorry,but I don't have any notes. It came straight out of my head!! I'm always happy to talk, if it can be arranged.

Roman - They are wholly dependent on state subsidy of course.

JPT - Personally, I thought that Powys Council went too far in turning 67% of lights off. It would have been much more acceptable to people if one third had been turned off.