Sunday, June 19, 2011

Where now on wind in mid Wales.

Just about landed back on earth again following the First Minister's 'Statement' about onshore wind farms in mid Wales last Friday. It astounded me, which is a rare event for this old hand. Keep on looking for the catch, and cannot find it. OK, so there's all this 'side issue stuff' about devolving extra powers to the Assembly, which the media is lapping up (despite it having been on the agenda for at least 10 years). But it cannot conceal the main issue. The Welsh Government will not support a 400kV cable on pylons into mid Wales - and there is no chance that an undergrounded cable can be justified, while Carwyn Jones sticks to a max of 500 Mw of new wind generation in the 3 mid Wales development areas. I'm a cynical old b***** but this looks good however which way I look at it. The overall 'project' looks to be in deep trouble - which is just where I like it.

Am a bit reluctant to commit to 'next steps' for a few days. Need to talk to National Grid, SP Energy Networks and my 'advisers'. But I have already called publicly for National Grid to abandon their plans to run a connection from mid Shropshire to mid Wales. No doubt NG will consult Dep't of Energy and Climate Change for guidance on this. My advice (for what it's worth)is "Listen to me boys" (in a non gender sense). If you and DECC go ahead with this when all of Wales is opposing you, and that's how it looks, you will precipitate a constitutional crisis. Just throw darts at a photograph of Carwyn, and bite the bullet. Smell the coffee. Your plan to industrialise the mid Wales uplands is over.

Of course, there will still be plenty to argue about. There could easily be a wind farm that is economic running a 132Mw cable all the way to the Grid (that's onshore wind farm economics, or fantasy economics to the rest of us). But last Friday's Welsh Government 'Statement' will give the Local Planning Authority more confidence to refuse permission. There will still be a rumpus about the one big outstanding application at Llandinam that awaits decision, and which does have a licence to export electricity. Probably won't say much about this issue for a week or so - when future strategy has been decided. I talk about something else.


Anonymous said...

surely the UK Government will not press ahead with this after the protests and Welsh Government actions?

Surely we are now living in another age? Then again, all but one Welsh MP voted against Tryweryn and it went ahead!

MIKE said...

Hi Glyn

The planned repowering of Llandinam is for 96MW, upping the capacity from 31MW, so thats 65MW. The new upper limit as set out by TAN 8 for SSA C Newtown South is 70MW. Therefore this one windfarm will use up all the allowed capacity!

So if this goes ahead, we can forget about the rest?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Carwyn Jones who 'was that guy' who 'moved things along' to avoid environmental impact statements? If so, why do you trust him? Yours is not a Labour area - is it? What's that saying/adage (from memory): "Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see?" So you've heard some 'nice words', well: DON'T BE COMFORTED BY THEM. Soft words are often used in the "Art of War" to mollify/pacify/split the opposition. And it looks like you guys are at a bit of a loss as to the next step, so Carwyn Jones's words have...

A prayer: “Bless them God for they know not the ways of the world.”