Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Role for Shale Gas

Much the most significant disagreement I have with our Liberal Democrat colleagues is about onshore wind. I have the same disagreement with some of my Conservative colleagues as well. I love the wild places of Britain, and have total contempt for the casual way some would desecrate these special places with grotesque wind turbines and even more grotesque associated infrastructure. No-where is the damage these people want to inflict greater than in mid Wales, my home. In Montgomeryshire, we already have almost 300 turbines, and they want to add a 30/40 mile 400kv line on 150' high pylons, even more smaller cables and around another 600 turbines. Makes me feel sick just thinking about it.

 Even worse, the people of mid Wales feel that their Gov't have not the slightest interest in what they think. Mid Wales - not many people live there - just trample all over them. That's what the Welsh Gov't did when they announced its TAN 8 policy guidance in 2005. Well, they've had a bit of a surprise already. They found the people of mid Wales are no pushover. Ironically, the two Lib Dem MPs representing my neighbouring constituencies, Roger and Mark Williams are part of our protest group! I have to look down at the floor to stay calm in the debating chamber when I hear despicable words of justification - and usually from my own benches!

Most of this I have written on this blog before. What's stirred me up today are reports that Danny Alexander and Ed Davey are demanding an end to traditional gas power being a part of the UK energy mix. Not read anything so daft for ages. Can only hope it's empty posturing for the Lib Dem conference. And I can only hope the Treasury keep a grip on Gov't's sanity.

It will be madness even greater than the obsession with onshore wind if we ignore the shale gas that lies under our soil. Its been a game-changer in the US and is being developed all over the world. Now I accept there are several aspects to the debate about from where we source our future energy. Its just that I think the beauty of our wondrous wild places should be factored into the equation. And I feel that I have to shout to make people listen. Gov't policy should not be drawn up by philistines.


Anonymous said...

How reassuringly NIMBY for a Montgomery Tory to want to destroy the land in former coalfields, where the Tories have no chance of winning. For those of us who live in those former coalfields, we will try to take a more measured view of the need for a mix of renewable energies - not ones that could pollute the water table.

Anonymous said...

We have far more to fear from climate change than we do from wind turbines spoiling our view. Wind is not the answer on its own, but it has to be part of the mix and we have to move away from polluting, damaging and finite energy sources before we destroy our environment for ever. Climate change IS SERIOUS. What has to happen before our politicians wake up to this?

Anonymous said...

Rare earth magnets - finite source.

Rare earth magnets - polluting extraction.

How many conventional power stations will close as a result of thousands of wind turbines and their unpredictable, intermittent output - none.

Can our country and electricity bill payers afford to pay international windfarm developers to devastate our historic uplands with wind turbines and destroy our tourism industry - no.

Do the entire construction and transportation impacts of windfarms reduce CO2 levels - very unlikely.