Saturday, April 09, 2011

TAN 8 is a monstrosity.

Been to another National Grid consultation meeting today, on their plans to build the necessary infrastucture to accommodate another 800-ish wind turbines in mid Wales - in the village of Arddleen. Not quite as many people turned up as I expected. Becoming used to 500+ everywhere. Probably about 250 today. Tried to get some grip on how the decision on the 400 kv cable will be made - and how to influence it.

Following their consultation, National Grid will decide on its preferred option, and submit an application to proceed with the Infrastructure Planning Committee (or as seems more likely, a successor body) - which will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change - currently the Liberal Democrat, Chris Huhne. Inevitable, the SoS will take the decision against the backdrop of the Assembly Government's TAN 8 policy statement (TAN 8 is a 'renewable energy technical advice note for Planning Authorities). Now lets imagine my dream scenario - a refusal to allow this desecration of the mid Wales countryside. The outrage that would explode in Cardiff Bay, assuming it's a Labour or Labour-led Government. There would be one hell of a row. Chris Huhne would be holing below the waterline the Assembly Government's policy of dumping another 20+ wind farms on Montgomeryshire. Can you just imagine the rumpus about not 'respecting' the National Assembly. On this issue, I'm all for creating a full scale rumpus.

Another issue on today's agenda was the process that would follow a refusal to answer the question on NG's form about where the sub station should go. My intention is to refuse to answer the question and write "Nowhere. We do not want any of this madness", and attaching a letter explaining why. Seems this will not be a 'void' response form. I accept that it could not influence the choice of site that NG take, but my opinion would be noted - and if thousands of us did the same thing, would have to be reported as part of the overall response. Seems as good a way as any of making Chris Huhne think twice.

Its all so awful. Like throwing a tin of pink paint over a Kyffin Williams oil painting. How can they sleep at night.


MH said...

To be frank, Glyn the point here is not TAN 8, nor is it windfarms. This is about cabling.

There is no reason why the cables needed should not be put underground. This has been done in other parts of Wales, so there is no reason why it shouldn't be done in this part of Wales too. The point is surely get the power to compel the National Grid not to plump for the cheap and easy option. And, if necessary, to pay the difference between the two. Who should pay? The people who benefit from this extra energy being produced in mid Wales, of course.

The substation will probably be visible, but at least it will be in just one location and, if sited properly, can probably be screened from most angles.

Anonymous said...

Nimby opportunist

Anonymous said...

The UK government have set targets of producing 15% of our electricity needs by renewable energy by the year 2020. They hope this will create £100BN worth of outside investment and create thousands of much needed jobs in this growing industry. No government is going to say "NO" to investment in such dire times. Also they have to be seen to lower carbon emissions and to reach targets of lowering greenhouse gases by 34% by the year 2020.

It is the energy sector not the government driving the windfarms boom. The energy sector are not really pushing through with other forms of renewable energy (solar, wave etc)and a government or protest group can not make them either.

A feeble excuse of 'not in my backyard' will not wash with the UK government. There are targets to reach.

Personally, I can not see Tan 8 will not be scrapped; as it involves other goals for other parts of wales. Tan 8 sees mid wales largely as an agricultural area; which to be fair, it is. Other areas of Wales such as Brecon are tourist areas, South Wales is an Industrial area. The Tan 8 planning favours specific needs for each different area of Wales.

It is important that you put the facts out there so that people can judge for themselves as the current system you have set up is not going to wash with the powers that be.

Anonymous said...

Well Glyn, you know my suggestion which deals with variable wind factor and removes the need for 'TAN 8' infra-structure.

Generate hydrogen in-situ from the electricity generated by the wind-turbines and build a hydrogen economy.

The amazing thing about hydrogen is that it is 100% recyclable and when combusted makes water!

With the new hydrogen storing tech-chemistry emerging (see, e.g., Chemical Engineering News) - mid Wales would be at the leading edge of hydrogen technology.

The First Minister likes to claim Wales is a small smart country - well, let's add some substance to those words.

Christopher Wood PhD (Chemistry)

Anonymous said...

Do I detect the slightest of U turns on this issue Glyn? Well maybe the faintest one? The tiniest of tiny ones? Ever so minuscule? Well it's progress I suppose! Great to see you seeing some sense at last!

We have to accept that a hub is going to be placed somewhere. The UK Government will see that it is allowed. How else are they going to meet their renewable energy/carbon emission targets?

I strongly suggest that you call for all your followers on this issue to request cables be placed underground near dwellings and places of interest.
Writing a letter is a good idea but it is the answers submitted that will count. A "nowhere" answer is just giving the green light for pylons. You have to play this one very carefully. We don't want to start the next revolution of driving conservatives out of Montgomeyshire for good because yourself and Russell lead us all up the wrong path. Joking aside, us voters do need to treated with a bit more respect. We're not all gullible.

Have to disagree with you on Tan8 being a monstrosity though. Tan8 is great actually! It is, in other words, a business development plan for different parts of Wales. I think we'll agree to disagree on this issue as i can't be a***ed to go into finer detail.

We do enjoy reading your blogs, so keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

The point here is about TAN 8 and windfarms. The cables are to supply the windfarms and so much cabling is needed because there are so many windfarms planned. Don't see how you can separate the two.

The Infrastructure Planning Commission and SoS decides on the permissions for the 400kV and 132kV lines but Powys County Planning Committee and hence the local Councillors get to decide on giving planning permission for the substation.

Glyn Davies said...

Well done MH for putting your name to your comment.and we can spot Christopher's comments. But why do most of my comments come from anonymous sources. Anon comments do not command the same respect as others. There is never any need to be ashamed of a genuinely held opinion. Not that much disagreement between us - except that its the TAN 8 policy statement that drives everything. For me its always been the cable that is most offensive. But the wind farms cannot be considered without inclusion of the cables. Clearly it would be an improvement if the 400kv and the 132kv were undergrounded. The cost of the 132kv undergrounding would fall on the developers as an upfront cost, while the cost of the 400 kv would simply be a cost on National Grid, which would evntually feed back into electricity costs.

And no there is no U-turn.

Anonymous said...

Tan8 is here and we must work with it to our advantage. It is not just about wind farm development.
Tan8 effects different parts of Wales in different ways. we can offer something unique to the rest of Wales. Needs someone with both hands to grab the opertunity and lead the way. Create a future for the next generations because presently we are getting left behind.

Anonymous said...

If anyone thinks that National Grid and SP Manweb are likely to put these lines underground, they are likely to get a huge shock. Unreliable Wind Farms that run at about 20% efficiency or less are the ONLY reason that Montgomeryshire is being threatened with these power lines. These wind farm developers are being allowed to pull the governments' strings. Wake up people...

Mike Blood said...

TAN 8 is a total monstrosity as its an undemocratic policy dumped on non labour voting area's by nuliebour in 2005. Its so corrupt that Powys C C cant refuse proposals in TAN 8 area's. Try living in a TAN 8 area; our house is already plagued with noise from a wind farm 2km away and we are going to be surrounded by lots more very soon. Wind farms are a total con that only pay developers with the 100% subsidy that is ROC's. The intermittent power has to be backed up by conventional power stations meaning that the costs double and Co2 savings are negligible. Add to that the thousands of tons of concrete dumped in moorland for the foundations (its not a surprise theres more flooding downstream) and all the birds and bats minced by the blades. Wales relies strongly on tourism even away from the national parks and research has shown that green jobs are a dream. Spain has recently found that each green job created actually costs 2 real jobs. TAN 8 is the issue and its one that those of us effected by it have been fighting for years. No where should have to put up with wind farms as they are a giant con making conmen very rich backed by national politicians of all colours, sadly even conservatives at westminster.

Joy Sisley said...

I’m afraid MH the use of NIMBY is inappropriate and inaccurate. Firstly, it is pejorative term that doesn’t explain the causes of public opposition to pylons or wind farms in mid-Wales. Secondly, you have no idea whether there is broad support for wind-farms or whether the people who oppose wind farms are the same people who support wind generation in principle. Thirdly, you are overlooking the top-down decision making process which did not take local views into account in the first place. As the public in this context it is our democratic duty to supply criticism of decisions that have potentially a significant impact on our livelihoods and quality of life for the benefit of people in metropolitan areas. Finally, as Glynn points out, the National Grid questionnaire leaves little room for people to articulate their concerns outside a structure of limited choices. For all you know the public may be responding to lack of participation in planning and decision making about the siting of wind farms and infrastructure. Before you accuse Glyn of opportunism, you had better find your NIMBYs first. If anything opposition to the siting demonstrates that we the public are neither stupid, ignorant nor selfish.

Anonymous said...

The same theory on wildlife and flooding can be applied to road building programmes. Infact a road is more dangerous to wildlife than turbines.
Have you seen the terrain where the wind farms are built? they are not lush green fields, more boggy spongy marches that retain water and gradually feed our rivers. If you think a farm of turbines is going to create a concrete mass covering an entire mountain then think on. The run off of water caused by concrete is just another silly NIMBY scare tactic.

Wind turbines have improved greatly over the decades. and while one person says they have to listen to noise constantly, others say that they they only work 20% of the time. Who are we to believe? WARNING HEADLESS CHICKENS AHEAD!

Forget government targets for a second. We have a moral responsibilty to curb global warming or this will create devastaing effects on billions of people and so much wildlife all over the world all through extreme climate change.
We should be proud to lead in the green revolution.

Anonymous said...

we can scrap tan8 tomorrow, but we have to convince the minister of state for renewable energy and climate change (Charles Hendry MP, conservative) that mid wales does not want to be part of this renewable energy drive.

Charles said...

Stuff "climate change", which is an increasingly discredited theory, and stuff also the EU targets arbitrarily imposed, by an organisation which most people in Britain rightly mistrust, to "tackle" non-existent problems. The environment is, not least, what we can actually see, and to destroy the finest landscapes in Britain for a piece of political posturing is sheer lunacy.

Even if man-made "climate change" were real, the solution would be nuclear, not wind, as nuclear is the only low-carbon energy source with the capacity to displace carbon on a sufficiently massive scale. And there are no tsumamis in Mid-Wales.

Anonymous said...

DECCs figures prove that onshore windfarms only produced less than 20% of their stated capacity last year.
If you want to find out about the noise, try talking to the unfortunate people who have had windfarms built next to them and now can't sell their houses.
It is not headless chickens that we need to look out for, it is the ostriches with their heads buried in the sand.

mike blood said...

oh dear-but roads are needed for everyday life, economic necessity movement of goods etc. Wind turbines are purely to make industrialists rich and they use "useful idiot" greens to further their profit. They provide no reliable elecricity.

The areas where they are built are upland areas where peat is often evident and retain large volumes of water. Of course building wind turbines increases water runoff from the hills as does other activities such as deforestation. In fact once a whole hillside collapsed because of wind farm construction in Ireland.

Roads also have to be built across all the hills to get all the equipment there-so your right roads are dangerous and are built across open moors by so called green energy proponents-your position looks rather stupid doesnt it.

It isnt about "lush green fields" its about building useless wind turbines on environmentally sensitive moorland.

AS to the noise-they make noise even when turning slowly well below rated capacity-so they are useless and noisy at the same time-looks like your whole argument is collapsing isnt it?

AS to Co2 savings there is much evidence that wind farms make little or no saving and as they require constant back up from fossil fuel power stations-not a very sensible way to make electricity either economically or environmentally-it doesnt matter how many wind turbines are built, they must all be backed up, didnt mention that did you?

You use the terms "Nimby" and "Headless Chickens" yet you havent made any valid arguement for wind farms. Your points are unresearched and your position contridicted.

Why dont you post under your real name? Is it because you know how stupid you look? I can only assume that as a rabid lover of wind farms who has done no research and believes the hype that you can only be Mick Bates!

Gary Swaine said...

To put the overhead lines(OHL) all around mid wales a beautiful area of the country would be landscape vandalism of an order I can't even describe. The turbines that are creating all the trouble are going to produce less than half one percent of the national need.

I believe we have to pragmatic about these things, if it can be stopped that would be great, but the real way to test the economic viability is to make sure the OHL go underground along the whole system, this could be just enough to deter any further development, and then at least we would keep the majority of our beautiful landscapes.

The cost of under grounding the lines is nowhere the amount NG would have you believe, it will be alot less than what the NG are telling everybody at the exhibitions(upto 17x) but if you read the literature from the companies that supply NG with cables then it could be as low as 2x as much as OHL.The value of tourism in mid wales is £358m per year a good percentage of this would be lost if OHL go ahead, if this loss was added up yearly over the 50year life of the lines, then undergrounding starts to look cheap The kema report is due out shortly which will give a more accurate account of undergrouding.... seems funny NG are doing the consultation just now

Charles said...


“We have a moral responsibilty to curb global warming or this will create devastaing effects on billions of people and so much wildlife all over the world all through extreme climate change.”

Not only are you anonymous, but you appear to come from a different planet. On the one where the rest of us live, the climate has shown no general warming trend for the past 15 years, C02 has risen but temperatures have not followed suit, and the “scientists” promoting the “climate change” scare have been exposed by their e-mails (official attempts at whitewash notwithstanding) as data-suppressing charlatans. Even if “climate change” were the threat you claim, nuclear power, not wind, would be the solution, as only nuclear has the capacity to displace carbon emissions on the required scale (and can do so from a single, confined, location . There are no tsunamis in Wales (although I wouldn't mind one at a certain point in Cardiff Bay).

The real threat to Mid-Wales and to the planet generally is not “extreme climate change” but rather draconian non-solutions to non-existent, or barely existent, problems, driven by political folly and grandstanding of which you appear to be an uncritical consumer.

You keep your pap and drivel. We’ll keep our homes and countryside.

rhiannon said...

If the goverment wasnt subsidising windfarms no-one would build them & as for them being green how much are they damaging the planet to build them?

What jobs do people think are going to come from this? Once constructed there will only be a few maintainance jobs - hich will be outwieghed by the lost tourism jobs.

Yes the goverment signed up to the targets but so did many other counties that have since dropped the agreement - they have all dropped them for a reason - wind farms are not actually green & are unreliable.

TAN 8 is a con, whe it first came out our ground was not in the TAN 8 area now all of a sudden it is! Were was the consultation on that? It's ok for them to change the rules one way but no ay can we get them changed the other.

Yes if they put the lines underground that would help the health & torrism issues - but I dont think they are not even considering that! Once they have got a hub then how many more lines will they be bringing in - it will be unstopable.

No-one seems to be worried about the potential health issues the people living near theses lines will suffer. Case studies show a 70% increase in the chances of childhood lukemia from living within 100m of a line, at the consultation we were told the minimum they have to be from a house is only 5m!

Andy Mason said...

Too much emphasis has gone to Wind farms in my opinion.Other sensible renewable energy forms have not had the funding to be explored more.
Its clear to one & all that wind farms are not the answer.The more windfarms you have the more oil, gas, caol, nuclear power stations you will need to back them up when the wind stops blowing.It simply makes no sense to continue down the lemming route of installing more wind farms to decigrate the beautiful parts of Wales.

Jane Vaughan Gronow said...

Thanks for your leadership and fighting spirit on this Glyn.

The advice on the consultation forms is good & I will follow it- we need to be more organised though with respect to communication - we are each of us stumbling across bits of information here and there.

Those os us who want to fight need a clear stream of information and advice and things to do. Best wishes Jane Vaughan Gronow, Llangynyw

Anonymous said...

Jane, I agree. We are not being told the true full story.
I was told Cardiff do not have the powers devolved to do anything about the pylons or large scale wind farms. It is a London govt decision. So why are we going to Cardiff to protest when we should be doing so in London?

Anthony Richards said...

Has anyone a figure for the cost of these hubs & pylons, as I cannot find one and would like to do some comparisons ? A figure of £16 billion was quoted in a County Times letter, but this seems to be a nation-wide thing rather than just our area.

Yes, Glyn, we do need to be sure that Cardiff & not Westminster's the place we must go to petition - can you please clarify as there does seem to be some confusion about this ?

edmund marshall said...

We recently moved to a village near Llanfair Caereinion. We love Wales and moved here to spend our retirement and remaining years in a cottage adjacent to the River Banwy.
The views are magnificent, we hear the river and also the steam engines passing by on the opposite bank taking the tourists and railway enthusiasts between Llanfair and Welshpool. We feel extremely lucky.
Since arriving we have heard of possible wind farms being built near Cefn Coch and the trouble the lorries might cause getting through Welshpool and to the sites. We do not like wind farms ,they are a blot on the landscape but have no choice but to accept they are part of modern energy.
However it has now dawned on us, that to get the electricity from A to B, pylons are to be built to enable this. We thought pylons were a thing of the past, knowingly accepted that they disfigure the countryside wherever they are. In a lot of areas around the British Isles they have been removed because of there unsightliness and buried underground. It is beyond us how even the thought of putting pylons across this beautiful land comes into the mind of the proposers. Think again please and make the developers find the money to bury the cables.
One other thought, if when buying our house TAN 8 and its implications had shown up in the solicitors enquiries, we would not have purchased it.
Why didn't TAN 8 show up?
If it goes ahead this industrial vandalism will blight mid wales for years to come, affecting tourism, property and peoples quality of life.

Yours mystified,
Edmund Marshall, Llangyniew.