Saturday, August 01, 2009

Discussing Wind Turbines Again.

This morning, I attended a 'Community Engagement Session' at Llandinam, in Montgomeryshire. This was a posh name for a public presentation by an energy generation company, Nuon Renewables, of its plans to build a wind warm on the Montgomeryshire/Radnorshire border - around 14 turbines with the capacity to produce around 30 megawatts of power. Now I'm sceptical about the cost effectiveness of on shore wind farms, and reckon that impact on the glorious landscape of Mid Wales is a very high price to pay - but I do like to keep myself informed about what's going on.

Spoke at length with Alistair Hinton, Regional Development Manager of Nuon Renewables, and discussion turned to transport issues - and to the impact that transport of wind turbines would have on the town of Welshpool as they passed through, en route to the uplands to her West. I told him that Welshpool Councillors were protesting with great vim and vigour. I'm told that the next step is to drive 6 sheep across a bridge over the River Thames, equipped with mini wind turbines strapped to their backs. Conversation then drifted, quite naturally to Julian Cayo-Evans, leader of the Free Wales Army in the 1960s. Cayo-Evans came up with a Baldrickesque cunning plan, which involved strapping explosives on the backs of Welsh sheep dogs, and then using a dog whistle to send the unfortunate creatures to squat under advancing tanks for the moment of detonation. I do not know whether he tied little wind turbines on the sheep dogs as well. This plan turned out not to be a success. He finished up serving 15 months for conspiracy to cause explosions.

Anyway, to return from this digression. Lots of Welshpool residents have asked me about what impact lorries carrying towers and blades are likely to have in the town. Must admit that I've never been much for public protesting. though I've nothing against 'making a noise'. It can have an influence if the 'noise' is loud enough. My preferred way is to try 'making a difference' through calm and direct discussion. So I'm going to ask Mr Hinton, perhaps accompanied by representatives of other renewable energy companies to come to Welshpool to meet a deputation to discuss my concerns. And I can see no reason why Councillors and the media shouldn't be included - though too many would render calm discussion difficult. There have been too many unanswered question hanging in the wind for too long. People are concerned. Its time to turn the page and find the answers.


TCOAH said...

It's very unfortunate that the PC/Green crowd are so willing to damage beautiful mid-Wales scenery and it's not just the turbines that ruin the landscape, but the electic pylons that are erected across the countryside to service the wind-turbines.

It is also so unnecessary. Within a few years we will be rolling out biomass technology (turning cellulose into hydrocarbon feedstock). Turning, e.g., the unedible parts of crops into ethanol and other organic molecules, a huge renewable energy and hydrocarbon feedstock source.

This biomass chemistry has advanced at an incredible rate. It's now almost down to a one-chemical step process.

There are billions of tons of cellulose in plants that previously were unrecoverable - polymers of sugar molecules.

Now we have the technology to turn cellulose into energy and useful organic molecules to replace oil imports. No need to destroy goregous landscapes with unsightly pylons.

But hey, the green/PC crowd are so stuck on ruining the countryside they will do so even as biomass chemisty is making massive strides.

It's the future - huge renewable unlimited biomass - huge amounts of it renewed each growing season - and doesn't involve using the parts of the plant that we eat.

Cliff said...

What's posh about that?

Glyn Davies said...

TCOAH - I too believe that wind turbines will be pulled down in 20 years time, when other forms of renewables become more developed.

Cliff - OK I agree its not a good adjective.

Anonymous said...

glyn why do you bother to reply to petty comments like cliff. its an important subjet and comentys like that shoud be dismissed.

Vaughan said...

Great minds and all that... by coincidence I was writing about Cayo Evans yesterday. I thought his imprisonment was for running a "quasi miltary political movement". One of us must be wrong! Probably me!

TCOAH said...

Glyn> I agree with u Glyn ... and meanwhile the Welsh countryside will have to put up with the awful blight of extra power lines/pylons strewn across the otherwise beautiful Welsh countryside.

It is not 'as if' Wales needs this electricity. Wales is already producing more electricity than it consumes.

Once biomass/Green chemistry and other renewable low carbon technologies are implemented wind-turbines will be seen for what they are: 300 foot follies to the irrational PC/Green brigade.

Glyn Davies said...

Vaughan - My information was single sourced - an ex Labour MP of high standing. Your version sounds rather more likely to be true, even if my version sounds rather more interesting.

Vaughan said...

I think I'm right on the charge... but the wonderful sheep dog story is true!

Of course, I suspect Cayo was taking the p***. Not for nothing was the FWA described as the "dad's army of international terrorism".

I suspect these days it would be regarded as a piece of performance art!

Glyn Davies said...

Vaughan - with its own male voice choir, complete with dog whistle backing!