Monday, December 31, 2012

Personal brush with a wind farm bonanza

A dominating issue in Montgomeryshire over the last few years has been proposals to transform the beautiful  landscape of the old 'County' into one dominated by wind farms and associated transmission infrastructure. It has created much social division, splitting communities and families. I have been opposed to the proposal since it was first given substance in 2005 by the publication of Welsh Gov't planning guidance on renewable energy, popularly known as TAN8. This issue has potential to cause huge environmental and social damage to mid Wales as well as inflict massive financial burdens on the local council.

But thus post is about my personal involvement in the onshore wind issue in mid Wales, rather than the issue itself. Normally, I take not the slightest notice when misguided individuals make untrue statements about 'personal stuff' (deliberate or otherwise). None of their business. But on this issue its probably sensible to put things on public record.

Until 2005, I was generally unconcerned about the building of wind farms in mid Wales - though never convinced they would make much impact on our energy needs. It was the 2005 new TAN8 planning guidance which shocked me into outright opposition. The implications of the Welsh Gov't's intentions were horrific - though the wider public did not fully grasp what it all meant 'on the ground' until 2009/10. It was the sheer scale of what was proposed that made me an implacable opponent. Montgomeryshire probably already has more turbines than any other county in England or Wales. The Mid Wales Connection will mean another 500/600 turbines plus 100 miles of cable, 30 miles of which will be carried down one of our narrow valleys on 150' high steel towers to connect with the Grid in Shropshire.

Sometime in 2005/06, the representative of a Spanish energy company knocked on my door, totally unsolicited, asking me whether I would be interested in locating a wind farm on land owned by my family near the village of Llanerfyl. Gamesa seemed a very reputable company, and I learned much about the industry from Mr Partridge, who worked for them. But the proposed site, which covered land owned by 5 different families was one of great prominence and beauty. I could not have prevented the other 4 from going ahead, but I had no intention of joining in, even if it was an issue the family would decide on. I decided to invite the BBC along to highlight the divisions that communities faced - extra income against landscape damage. I will never forget taking the BBC film crew up the mountain, through driving rain and muddy tracks and in a thundering gale. Still laugh when I think about it. Anyway, Gamesa decided to proceed and offered the landowners a 5 yr exclusivity contract - money for nothing! Despite the family involvement, I wanted no part of it, and declined whatever money would have been on offer. Must admit I would have preferred this to have remained a private matter. Its bad for the reputation of a hill sheep farmer to be known to have refused money! I do not know what the other farmers involved did. That's their business. Also, despite my decision to take no part, I decided that I should declare an interest when opposing wind farms in the National Assembly. Not sure there was actually reason to, but its always best to be open. Some people don't understand the principles behind declaration of interests, and made incorrect assumptions. I continued to so declare until it became clear the scheme had no chance of going ahead, and that there was no 'opportunity' of benefit - even though I had no intention of taking it!. As far as I know, Coedtalog Mountain is safe from turbines for evermore.

44 comments:

John Jones said...

Glyn,just as you are/were free to reject Wind Turbines on your land others should be equally free to accept them on their land without all the name calling, intimidation, false accusing, etc.
Some of us in Montgomeryshire believe in clean, sustainable, local, renewable energy and not the proposals that some are advocating mainly in the Conservative Party i.e Nuclear and Gas Fracking on land.
Regarding the £2.8 million hit to us hard working council tax payers,this came about because of opposition to Government policy!

val ingram said...

Mr Jones, with respect it is very fine saying that you should be allowed to have them on your land and the freedom to do so. But have you counted the cost to other people who have to have their lives blighted by them. As for clean renewable energy, I don't think you have done sufficient research on the subject make this sweeping statement. this is also not taking into account the significant harm to wildlife either http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8807761/wind-farms-vs-wildlife/

John Jones said...

Dear Val Ingram, From your link it appears there is an issue particularly with bats in some countries and I have read about it before, don't think that is going to be an issue here in Mid Wales.
What size are the Turbines referred to in the article, as it does not say? Smaller older Turbines rotate faster, the ones proposed for Mid Wales are larger and will as such, rotate slower.
I personally don't see them as a blight but rather using wind energy (which is natural) in a positive way.
We live in the Hills above Newtown and can see the ones in Carno and Cefn Coch on the sky line in the far distance. I see it as a step towards a more sustainable future and in fact view them as progress and not a blot, (nothing to do with global warming or some EU mandate but using our own resources here in the UK it can only be good news for the long term energy stability for us all in the UK.) Personally I find Wind Turbines attractive and majestic and applaud and admire the engineering skills that has gone into their making.
All forms of power have their downsides coal for example, how many Miners have lost their lives in the coal industry worldwide? Birds killed in oil disasters and of course the genetic changing Nuclear disasters to mention a few. Some see gas fracking as a way forward, would you like to have this on your doorstep or under your property messing up the aquifers as in some parts of America with gas coming out of the water taps in people's homes. You can find it on youtube.

Cherie said...

Mr. Jones, I would be grateful if you could read this article. It takes an in depth look at the results from noise surveys at three abandoned homes near the Shirley Windfarm in Wisconsin. There is also a link to the original report here. All four companies who carried out the surveys have admitted that low frequency noise is causing a problem (at least two of them are pro wind). One of the acousticians (Robert Rand) fell ill inside the homes whilst taking the readings. http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/2013/abandoned-homes-near-wind-turbines-discovered-to-be-saturated-with-infrasound-wisconsin/ When you have finished reading the article perhaps you would also spend a little time looking at this self reporting website that is mapping ill health etc. from around the world www.illwind.org

John Curtis said...

Mr. Jones,

You have of course, proper right to hold your own views on any matter. However, from what I have seen of your views on wind power, you are very wrong.

Clean energy? Have you actually seen the dreadful environmental damage that as been done at Cefn Croes, in Wales, at Fullabrook in Devon, at Whitelees as you enter Scotland, at the Braes of Doune, at Stirling in Scotland? Enormous amounts of land have been destroyed for access roads, hard standings, turbine foundations, etc. Water courses destroyed, peat bogs damaged, forests removed. Clean? I really do not think so.

Local? Possibly, in the sense that local people will bear the brunt of the destruction and environmental damage, health problems, degradation of environment, loss of property values and so on. But local benefit? Where from? Surely not from the electricity, because it will all go to the national grid for distribution wherever it is needed. If it were for local use, then why would we need all these huge grid extensions in Wales and Scotland? We already know that Wales produces more electricity than it needs, so why do more if it is only needed locally?

Sustainable? How so? The wind manufacturers tell us that their turdbines last for 25 years but we know from recently published data that the average life of a wind turbine is less than 12 years. This is why so many wind factories are being “repowered”, which is a euphemism for being replaced because their efficiency is too low to produce the income that the developers want.

Efficient? Nonsense. We know that the average wind turdbine runs at less than 30% of its full rated output, at best, and that for much of its operational life it produces much less than this 30%. Because of this, we must have standby conventional power stations running on ‘spinning reserve’ simply to cover for the vagaries of wind power.

Really, Mr. Jones, there is so much wrong with wind power that it can only survive because of the enormous subsidies that are enjoyed by the wind factories. I could continue with an almost endless list of reasons why they are of no use to us, but, unless you are prepared to listen, there is no point in doing so. Suffice it to say that I, and many thousands of people in this country, will continue to fight this blight on our beloved land because we do not wish to hand on to succeeding generations a land that is desecrated by horrors that are being inflicted on us by greedy land owners, politicians and foreign developers.

John Curtis.

Mary Young said...

Mr Jones, you sound as if you are well intentioned but, with respect, not well informed on the subject of turbines. On the issue of birds and bats,Whitelee Wind Farm states 'At their fastest the turbine blades can turn at 240 kph (160 mph). That’s quicker than a speeding train!' No chance of birds avoiding those speeds. Bats, for whatever reason, seem to be attracted to turbines and it appears that their lungs implode.
While one can certainly admire engineering, I think one has to be aware that the average onshore turbine produces only 25% of its capacity. Vast subsidies are paid, by consumers, for something which doesn't produce that other three quarters. And as conventional back-up is required, no conventional generation means can be dispensed with. When the wind is too high, huge amounts of constraint money are paid, again by consumers, for turbines to stand idle. So the amenity of many across the UK is being irrevocably eroded; ecology and wildlife are under threat; the health and well being of many are suffering - all for trivial amounts of energy

Lyndsey said...

We live in the Hills above Newtown and can see the ones in Carno and Cefn Coch on the sky line in the far distance.

Well that is the problem here - they are in the far distance so you have no idea of the pollution and devastation caused by their construction. There is nothing natural that wind farms do to the environment, the wildlife and the communities forced to live with them. This argument is no longer just about whether we like the look of them or not. They don't do what we are told they do, they cost us billions and contribute to fuel poverty and don't save the CO2 claimed. It is a scam, a lie and it will fall apart - globally. While the energy companies have the governments by the throat they will lobby and spin their hardest to keep the gravy train of excessive subsidies rolling. We should be cutting our usage not playing catch up and trying to generate more and more and blighting our land with inefficient technologies and miles and miles of infra structure.

Anonymous said...

Mr Jones, with respect it is not only bats that are killed by turbines , but bats are vital to the eco system and in particular helpful for farmers. They would be just as important and active in Wales as anywhere else. The sad fact is that wind turbines are heavily reliant on the subsidies to make them viable, this is not good for industry in particular manufacturing, as this makes energy more expensive to produce. Many aluminium companies have left the UK as a result. It also makes domestic electricity expensive by having to pay these subsides. In the coldest weather of late there was next to no wind... no wind no energy but subsidy still paid by HMG. As the energy when there is any produced can not be stored, back up energy producing sources have to be there such as coal.... Wind is not the answer as it is intermittent and unreliable and the consequences of building these machines is not the green dream developers would have you believe. Rare metals manufactured abroad have to be imported these come at a high cost not just in monetary terms but to the health of the people in China. Thousands of tons of concrete have to be poured into the land to hold these machines up, this is never removed and if you have suffered any flooding of late, you might like to think that for all the concrete poured into the land, there is less land to soak up the rain. I could go on and on, there are masses of research available for you to see the harm these do. It doesn't stop there all the pylons that will be necessary to carry the trickle of energy produced by these turbines are causing equal amounts of misery to people as much as the turbines themselves. There is also loads of research from across the world that suggests that these machines are bad for human health, not just he depression of having to look at these things, but to blood pressure and sleep disorders. there are many more ways to generate green energy without the heavy reliance on wind turbines, most of which are sending huge profits back to the foreign firms that manufacturer them. I feel very sorry for people who have their lives blighted by these . Try looking up tidal and geo thermal as an option to start with as for fracking it remains to be seen...

John Jones said...

Obviously a very coordinated response.

John Jones said...

Cherie, we always get these kind of stories, remember mobile phones a while ago, when we have something new there are always people looking for problems which most of the time are not true. Have you read this? http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/wrong-turbine-noise-admit-protesters/story-13713002-detail/story.html
We live 3 miles from Newtown and the noise from the traffic on cold still mornings and evenings it quite unbelievable, but you get used to it!

Mr Curtis, Clean energy, yes, and its free the only cost is the equipment and infrastructure. All power sources require roads especially to keep them topped up with fuel, except maybe gas which comes by sea or through pipelines (infrastructure)
Local, yes, all the power will be fed into the grid and hence back to us.
Why should Wales not be an exporter of Electric from wind power, it already is with gas powered generators at Pembroke. Powys is also a large exporter of sheep meat an cattle.
Sustainable,yes the ones at Llandinum have been there since 1993. The Germans recently manufactured a tower from timber http://www.gizmag.com/timbertower-wooden-wind-turbine/25007/
Also Turbine blades from fabric http://www.nrel.gov/wind/news/2013/2066.html
Efficient,yes, Turbines produce some power 80% of the time with a capacity over 25% it early days regarding design, the first cars took time to become more efficient.
No power plant works at 100% capacity factor and we are not going to have electricity from one source.
Desecration a word out of context regarding Wind Turbines, but more appropriate to Selafield and nuclear power.
Subsidies well they all share the same fate one way or another.
It wont be so long before Onshore Wind will stand on its own feet.

Mary Young, 0.9 ROC is paid for Mwh currently 1 roc = about £41 it varies they are not paid when they are standing still! Around half, £2bn a year, goes to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, strange we do not here much about that,I wonder why?

Lynsey, hopefully and not to long away we will have some on our own doorstep.

Anon, If you were thinking of Neodymium compounds they were first commercially used as glass dyes in 1927. Concrete,well we all use it all the time.

Lyndsey said...

The anti wind campaigners have it I think!
We are not afraid to have the truth told unlike the industry and the governments. In fact we would welcome it along with the data to show the true economics, real job creation and real CO2 savings because then the whole country could see what a scam it is. That day is going to come soon.

Pro renewable said...

Fossil fuel and nuclear power plants are responsible for killing more bats and birds per mw/h than wind turbines.

Airplanes kill more birds than wind turbines.
Communication towers kill more birds than wind turbines.
Vehicles kill more birds than wind turbines.
Flying into glass buildings and windows kills more birds than wind turbines.

So let's get this straight, the antis oppose anything that kills bats and birds. How many live without:
mobile phones
cars
airplanes to get away on business/holiday
how many have boarded up their windows?
All of the listed above kill more birds than wind turbines.

If we listen to the anti's, we'll have no electricity.

John Curtis said...

Mr Jones,

These responses are not coordinated but they are a very good indication of the strength of feeling by so many people who are against these wind monstrosities.

You should also note that the responses indicate a very comprehensive knowledge of the effects of wind machines - a depth of knowledge that you seem to lack, but which you should seek to acquire if you are to make valid, rather than vapid, comments in the matter.

Like you, I do admire the engineering skills that have gone into developing these machines, but such skills do not automatically grant the machines and reason to be constructed. The AK47 assault rifle is a great example of a well designed machine, but it is also one of the world's biggest killing instruments.

No, Mr Jones, I think that you should do some basic homework on wind factories and see just how much they cost us in so many ways, not least that they are forcing so many millions of people into real fuel poverty.

Cherie said...

Dear Mr. Jones, I would have thought that someone in your position would look at both sides of the argument to get a balanced view. Obviously you did not read the report from Wisconsin so I shall try again. This is a peer reviewed report from work carried out by Michael A Nissenbaum, Jeffrey J Aramini and our very own Christopher D Hanning (head of sleep research at the University Hospital of Leicester) http://www.noiseandhealth.org/article.asp?issn=1463-1741;year=2012;volume=14;issue=60;spage=237;epage=243;aulast=Nissenbaum. There is also news coming out in Canada that documents obtained through the Freedom of Information act are revealing that the government new about the health impacts from wind farms and chose to cover it up http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/pc-mpp-says-province-hid-report-on-wind-turbine-health-effects-1.1105737 and http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/02/secret-documents-reveal-that-liberal-government-knew-of-adverse-health-effects-of-turbines/.

To let you know a little about myself, I am a retired accountant and in 2009 I bought a property with enough land to be able to grow my own food. I sold the car and now walk or use public transport (I live in a remote area of Scotland), everything possible is recylced and I purchase all my clothes from charity shops. Electricity is used very conservatively, the hot water is only switched on when we need a bath. We wear a number of layers of clothes in the winter and keep active to stay warm. I agree with some types of renewables but not wind turbines. Ever since developers knocked on my door in March 2011 I have made it my business to know all I can about wind turbines and I have seen some truly shocking stories from around the world. There is currently a crisis in Ontario, many families with children are abandoning their homes near wind farms. There is currently a public health inquiry going on there. Places you may wish to google for reports are Waterloo in Australia, Falmouth in Massachusetts and Ontario as mentioned above. The Australian Senate is currently passing a bill through parliament to change the law on noise levels from wind farms. Some of the submissions to the inquiry are extremely interesting (i.e. acousticians being refused noise data from the wind industry when they are being funded by government grants or should I say public money). The submissions can be found here http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=COMMITTEES;id=committees%2Fcommsen%2Fc400af4f-682e-4745-a5c7-a550b12826a2%2F0000;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommsen%2Fc400af4f-682e-4745-a5c7-a550b12826a2%2F0000%22

Linda Holt said...

Mr Davis - you are far from alone. Thank you for your post. Mr Jones - every day more people realise there is lot more to turbines than harmless pinpricks on distant horizons and industry propaganda about free energy.

Lyndsey said...

Mr Jones - shame you couldn't spell my name correctly but I assume you were addressing me.
I too hope you have some turbines - preferably more than 20 of them at 500ft high - close to your home. Perhaps then you will appreciate why we refuse to tolerate this ridiculous wind policy any more.

To pro renewables - bird and bat attrition is only one component of what is wrong with wind energy. Just because other things causes their deaths doesn't mean it is ok to kill even more with wind turbines - and an industry that is wrong on so many levels.

If we rely too heavily on wind we will have black outs.

Oh yes and anti wind does not mean anti renewables - show us something credible and not environment destroying and we will support it.

The pro wind lobby lose the argument every time.

John Jones said...

Lyndsey,
Very sorry I spelt your name wrongly it was unintentional my apologies.

From what I have seen about the anti wind campaign it has no bearing on the height of the turbine but rather no turbines at any cost as here in Kerry, re Cloddiau!
Please correct me if I am wrong.

Every energy source has some environmental consequences.

What are your solutions for the UK?

John Jones said...

Cherie,
May I refer you to this website:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Wind_Turbine_Syndrome

and here:

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/12/27/wind-turbine-syndrome-not/

I am not funded by anyone, views are my own, and am self employed in Horticulture and believe Onshore Wind has a big part to play in our UK energy future.

Cherie said...

Dear Mr. Jones, thank you for providing me with those links. I am having to split my response into two parts as I am over my 4,096 character limit.

Part 1) The wiki article is poorly informed. It states that Dr. Pierpont made up 'wind turbine syndrome'. This is not correct. Dr. Amanda Harry in Cornwall was the first to notice that something was wrong with her patients living near a wind farm. This is her survey here http://docs.wind-watch.org/wtnoise_health_2007_a_harry.pdf

The definition of the nocebo effect or Mass Psychogenic Illness is: Qualities of MPI (Mass Psychogenic Illness) outbreaks often include: symptoms that have no plausible organic basis; symptoms that are transient and benign; symptoms with rapid onset and recovery; occurrence in a segregated group; the presence of extraordinary anxiety; symptoms that are spread via sight, sound or oral communication; a spread that moves down the age scale, beginning with older or higher-status people; a preponderance of female participants. Also, the illness may recur after the initial outbreak.

The above definition does not explain why people are falling ill living near turbines ALL AROUND THE WORLD and that the symptoms do not disappear but get worse over time, to the point where they cause people to abandon their homes, sometimes after many years of trying to cope. This INCLUDES farmers who are hosting turbines and neighbours who welcomed the turbines into their area which negates the argument that wind turbine syndrome only seems to affect people who are receiving no benefit from the wind farm. http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/11/03/ill-wind-blows-a-headache/

The second article cleverly concentrates on dBA which does not cover infrasound/low frequency noise which I believe is dBG. Have you ever heard of Sick Building Syndrome. Office workers back in the 1970's were falling ill inside buildings where air conditioning systems were faulty and producing low frequency noise to unacceptable levels. I have attended a talk by Dr. Malcolm Swinbanks who works with all types of turbines and is quite clear that wind turbines should not be put near humans. This article discusses sick building syndrome http://docs.wind-watch.org/James-wind-turbine-infrasound-low-frequency-warning-signs-not%20heard.pdf

Cherie said...

Part 2) Dr. Alec Salt is a specialist on the inner ear. The link I provided to you from the Australian Senate includes his evidence. This is some of what he had to say - Prof. Salt: It has been widely assumed that you cannot hear the low-frequency sound from wind turbines and that if you cannot hear the low-frequency sound from wind turbines then it cannot affect you. Based on the work in both our lab and others we know this is incorrect. The inner ear does respond to low-frequency sounds at levels well below those that are heard. This is not just a hypothesis; it is based on years of work by some of the best-known physiologists in the field. They have shown that you hear through sensory cells of the ear called inner hair cells, which have the characteristic of being 'velocity-sensitive', which is another way of saying they are very insensitive to low frequencies. That is why you do not hear low frequencies and infrasound, because the inner hair cells of your ear do not detect it. But there is another type of sensory cell in the ear called the outer hair cell. There are three times more of them. These have been characterised as so-called 'displacement-sensitive'. This has been known for over 50 years from the work of von Bekesy. The outer hair cells do respond well to low frequencies and infrasound, and if you measure the ear's responses to an infrasound stimulus, they can be four- to five-times larger than to any sounds you normally hear. So, the ear is extremely sensitive and responds very strongly to infrasound stimuli. The big question at the moment is whether these responses stay confined just to the ear and do not have any effect on you at all, but I think this is very, very unlikely. There are multiple ways that these responses can get from the ear to the brain and have effects on you. We know they can cause a perceived amplitude modulation of sounds, which people find annoying. We know there are pathways from these cells, alerting sensors in your brainstem that could wake you up from sleep. We know that low-frequency sounds could cause inner ear fluid disturbances that could give symptoms of vertigo and nausea. There is scientific support for each of these ideas but, of course, we need more work in this area. My conclusion, based on 35 years of experience in auditory physiology, is that it is very probable that the low-frequency sound from wind farms is having effects on people at levels that cannot even be heard.

The military also use low frequency sound as a weapon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_weapon and http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/accoustic.htm

The US is much further down the road than we are where wind turbines are concerned and the public health problems are reaching crisis points in some areas http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/11/08/wind-turbine-noise-severe-kincardine-residents-ask-for-state-of-emergency-to-be-declared/

There is also a collective law suit going on in New York state http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/11/10/60-herkimer-co-residents-file-lawsuit-against-wind-farm-owner/

Cherie said...

Part 3) We can also tackle this debate from a different angle. If wind turbines do not cause health problems then why are the wind industry producing contracts for hosts which contain clauses such as ‘The landholder acknowledges and agrees that it accepts the noise impact which the landholder also agrees will not cause him or her nuisance and agrees that he or she will not make any claim, objection or complaint; and releases the developer from any claims or liability.’ This is from information provided by Senator Back in Australia http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/10/30/wind-turbines-senator-back/

Barbara Ashbee bravely broke her gagging clause (she had to abandond her home and the developer compensated her on the understanding that she kept silent). Here is her statement to the Canadian Federal Government. http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/2012/wind-turbine-syndrome-victim-appeals-to-the-federal-government-canada/

Please open your mind, there are many people out there who are suffering and have nowhere to go. They cannot sell their homes to escape. This video was made by the Baldwin family who live next to the Hadyard Hill windfarm in Ayrshire please take a look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrNYwpIqDsU

Do I need to say any more?

John Jones said...

Cherie,Thank you for the video link very interesting.

Cherie said...

Thank you Mr. Jones, you are very welcome. To think I spent ages typing it all up to find I have an impact on the last line! lol.

I would also like to tell you some of our own experience. In 2011 the developers (Vattenfall) carried out a noise survey at our property and promised to send us the results. They sent us everything except the wind speed data making the rest of the information useless. When we questioned it they asked us to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement in order to obtain the data. Bearing in mind that this data only covered 2.5 weeks and was of no use to anyone but ourselves the request for the NDA was a surprise. (We only wanted the information for our own protection just in case we should experience noise problems at a later date so we were concerned that an NDA wouldn't allow us to use this data for our protection). It was only with the help of the acoustician Dick Bowdler that we finally managed to obtain the data without having to sign any such agreement. And to think that we weren't even anywhere near the start of the development! This caused us a great deal of concern, what could we expect from them in the future? Fortunately Vattenfall decided not to go ahead with the development so we will never know. It seems to be a standard practice though to withhold wind speed data because friends of ours are currently having the same problem with a different developer (Infinis).

Last year in June we travelled to the Whitelee windfarm near Glasgow to get an understanding of what we could expect. It was a sunny day with a gentle breeze. Within 10 minutes of our arrival my partner said to me that his ears didn't feel right. I was concerned and asked him to try and describe it to me. He said it was like something was messing with the inside of his ears, like a pressure sensation. We went inside the visitor centre and the sensation disappeared but returned when we walked back into the open. It did not disappear completely until we were on our way home. This experience shocked us and was totally unexpected. I am now extremely concerned for my partner because I think that his experience was a warning sign to us that he will experience adverse health effects if wind turbines are built nearby and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Although the developers pulled out of the windfarm right on our doorstep, there is another development planned 2km away.

Finally, as you were interested in the video of the Baldwin family living next to the Hadyard Hill windfarm, you might like to read David Baldwin's submission to the Scottish Government's Renewables Inquiry: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_EconomyEnergyandTourismCommittee/Inquiries/CATS_Submission__Annex_2__David_Baldwin_submission(1).pdf

Thank you for your time.

Lyndsey said...

Mr Jones - I hope you are now researching how adversely people are affected. You asked me:
What are your solutions for the UK?

I am not an engineer I don't feel I have to come up with another energy source to take the place of one so fundamentally flawed as wind power. What I do feel strongly about is that we should aim to reduce our consumption of electricity and look to reduce the bills of everyone. All appropriate buildings should have hot water solar panels - it should be a condition of planning. People would then have the benefit of free hot water for a considerable part of the year. PV panels to produce electricity are great in theory but are still funded from even the poorest in our society through energy bills so I cannot endorse their wholesale use until the FITS are changed to a fairer system. No homes should be built without the highest levels of insulation and minimum double glazing if not triple glazing. The flaw in this? The energy companies won't be happy. They want us to have high bills to boost their profits. They don't want us to use less power. They have the governments of the UK in a stranglehold and things need to change. We need to stop illuminating our towns and cities like we presently do. Are you aware people in rural communities don't always have street lighting and certainly not all the illuminations those in towns expect as normal, yet we are expected to provide the power for this disgraceful waste and blight our irreplaceable countryside with pylons, cables & inefficient windfarms just to satisfy those who use energy in a way we would never consider doing and make them think they 'are being green and saving the planet'. It is a stupid system backed by stupid UK governments, yet all around the world engineers, scientists, economists, environmentalists, doctors etc are saying 'stop'. The very least we should be doing is having all the issues (including claims regarding efficiency, CO2 savings, jobs created etc) independently scrutinised and halt further development until indisputable facts are put before us all. It will never happen because it will show what a disgraceful scam this has been and people WILL be held accountable - and that is what they are afraid of.

John Jones said...

Cherie, thank you for the submission link, I had already found it and read it.

How many other people ie neighbours have the same difficulty as the Baldwin family?

John Jones said...

Lyndsey> Lots of good ideas, especially solar thermal panels I installed 3 of these on our previous home with no subsidy! they work very well even on cloudy days in the summer,but you need a suitable facing roof, the house we now live in does not have this! Also the house we now live in, is like so many in the UK having solid walls,a huge expensive job to insulate it.
How do you propose to fill the gap when our coal fired powered stations are closed down together with the nuclear stations? New nuclear stations cannot be built in the time frame needed. Do you think foreign gas will meet our needs or maybe shale gas? Co2 capture is probably a white elephant?
Contrary to anti wind belief that wind power is driving up prices ,in fact the opposite is true in Germany.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-13/eon-may-shut-plants-as-generation-unit-faces-huge-challenges-.html

Agree with you energy conservation is vital to reduce consumption.
Where is the electric going to come from to power the next generation of electric cars?
Britain has a huge advantage over many nations with our vast wind resource its madness not to utilize it.
Many are already considering linking electric cars into the national grid this will work with solar voltaic and wind power very well.
Wind is not all the answer but is part!

Lyndsey said...

Once again I am not an engineer and I don't have to come up with an alternative for flawed wind energy.

Solar panels on appropriate buildings is what I actually I said.

Our energy bills will not be kept down because of wind farms.

Germany is having all sorts of problems so not the best example:

http://www.renewablesinternational.net/german-grid-fluctuations-increasing/150/537/32737/

Electric cars? Well we are a way off that I think and wind is too unreliable and needs 100% back up to be considered as anything other than a 'tick box' exercise for misinformed politicians.

Windy? Well I live in the Highlands of Scotland and I can tell you when it is freezing cold and we require more power we very often have absolutely no wind - zilch! When we do have windy conditions (in Spring and Autumn) the demand for energy is not so high so we have to pay the sharks that run the wind farms to switch off - up to 20 x per MW than if they were generating into the grid. That is you, me and every other energy bill payer in the UK. People in fuel poverty are helping line the pockets of the scamsters. There is a wealth of information out there Mr Jones - you should take the time to research it like we have.

Anonymous said...

If we follow Germany, we will extend the life of our coal fired power stations. Their closure is only in compiance with a failed EU dictat anyway. Co2 capture has been a very expensive white elephant. In that we can agree. Electric cars? As sales plumet and costs rise,(£70 per month just to lease the battery) I think the electric car is years away. Battery technology is either too expensive, too heavy or uses too many rare elements. New technology is coming. Compressed air cars? Yes they do exist and range is less a problem as it only takes a minute or so to refuel at any petrol station. Also the technology is relatively cheap. That is the limit of electric cars, whichever generation. The range and recharge time. The only alternative is to change very heavy batteries. We are talking of power density. Read Power Hungry by Robert Bryce. Think back twenty years and computers and mobile phones and then forward twenty years. Wind turbines will no doubt be history by then but we may all be still paying for them. What the UK needs is economical energy. I read the Bloomberg article and then some German articles in such as Der Spiegel. The cost of energy in Germany has virtually closed down all aluminium smelting and the major steel works has just closed moving to Finland. The truth is German energy is too expensive. 600,000 have had their electricity cut off last year because they could not afford the bills. I think none of us should believe all we read without checking the detail.

John Jones said...

Anon> Compressed air car,brilliant. What power source do we use to compress the air with?

To quote what you said "What the UK needs is economical energy" we all agree on that, but as yet no one on this blog has any idea at all as to what that is ! No doubt someone will say Thorium, really no better than what we have already, only more mountains of radioactive waste for eternity which at present takes half of DECC's budget! storing rubbish which we cannot SAFELY get rid of,if we bury it, risk of underground water contamination. I'll stick with wind thanks.

anon, if its worth saying its worth putting your real name and I don't mean this as an insult.



John Jones said...

Lyndsey>
The sharks you pay,(your words) is because the turbines produce more power than is able to be distributed, it is not the wind farm's fault but nat grid. This will not be a problem when the grids are updated!

"Windy? Well I live in the Highlands of Scotland and I can tell you when it is freezing cold and we require more power we very often have absolutely no wind - zilch!"

The UK does not run from one source only, but a mix!
Would you freeze if all our nuke plants suddenly went off line?
Subsidies you complain, very much doubt if many types of farming had no subsidies if they could continue and how many years have they been subsidized?




john said...

John Bolton.

Where is the data to show that industrial turbines really save any Co2? Are we seriously expected to take developers on trust over this? That would be an act of extraordinary naivety!

The developers by me are predicting 8,000 heavy vehicle journeys to construct just four turbines. 6,000 tons of Co2 rich cement are required. 30 acres of ridge and furrow permanent pasture has already been turf stripped, grubbed up, ploughed over outside of regulation only just a few weeks before an Environmental Assessment! The application has not even gone to committee yet! Deliberate land impoverishment of land carrying environmentally enriching subsidies is regularly happening to massage EA's. Its a complete public scandal. Our county ecological consultant has just left her job saying that it was all a completely frustrating waste of time. Can all this be called 'green'.

The life span of the turbines is now open to question with reports stating that their usefulness fades away after just over ten years. Hardly negating the energy or Co2 emission of their manufacture and construction.

The wind lobbyists have largely sold 'a pup' to civil servants and well meaning but naive politicians. This policy has not been thought through properly. Its been rolled out too hurriedly and is backed up by weak legislation. The stark fact is they've got to have back-up no matter what. Denmark has not shut down a single conventional power station. Holland, the mother of wind, has largely thrown in the towel. Germany is now embarking on a coal power station building spree as well as suffering from a destabilised grid with customers elsewhere unable to cope with wind power surges.

We may be paying the earth for nothing very much at all as they only have capacity factors of less than 20% in many inland places. Are we seriously being asked to suffer these enormous structures on our doorsteps and in our favourite landscapes just to provide some green political totem poles? People have been driven from their homes in certain circumstances. This is outrageous. We aspire to live in a property owning democracy. That means that after government has trousered all our stamp duty they must act responsibly towards those of us who are exposed to a seemingly feral industry largely now corrupted by the smell of an ever-increasing chunk of our electricity bills.

Ed Davey told parliament that this policy was cheap for government. You bet it's cheap. Cheap political thought. Cheap political legislation and very cheap protection for the individual(s) who has been unlucky enough to have these roving charabancs of obfuscating developers dumped on their communities.

John Jones said...

Lots of criticism about Wind power but NO alternative's.
Where is this idyllic world where nothing is subsidized? Certainly not in the UK.
Renewables offer the UK vast growth potential and to stand on our own two feet regarding energy security.

http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2012/04/renewables-sector-growth-far-outpaces-economy/

There will always be opposition to change especially from vested interests that's part of the human condition.

The Conservative's should be at the leading edge of change not divided. It is good some Conservatives do indeed see the potential from Renewables.

Anonymous said...

Mr Jones, there has been quite a lot of time expended on trying to make you see that wind turbines are grossly expensive, harmful to wildlife and human health. Alternative methods of generating power have been provided and I would therefore contend that to continue this discussion has not moved you one bit and energies are better expended elsewhere. You obviously don't keep abreast of the news otherwise you wouldn't be posting here. You take a look at the national grid and see how much energy wind turbines are providing today.... just when we need more power. Regards Val Ingram

Cherie said...

Part 1) Dear Mr. Jones, you ask me how many other people ie neighbours have the same difficulty as the Baldwin family? Firstly, before I provide you with the information I know about, can I just say that it is extremely difficult to find out how many people are affected by noise from windfarms. No-one is collating this information. The Renewable Energy Foundation had to resort to a Freedom of Information request to access a study made by the University of Salford in 2007. They finally gained access to the information early in 2009. The data showed that of 133 windfarms surveyed, 27 of them had noise complaints against them, that's 1 in 4.9. There are far more windfarms now. http://www.ref.org.uk/publications/151-ref-publishes-data-on-wind-farm-noise-obtained-under-the-freedom-of-information-act. You are probably better placed to have access to noise complaint information than I, a mere member of the general public, am.

I shall answer your question in three sections:

1) Immediate area – As you know wind farms tend to be built in remote areas. Hadyard Hill has two neighbours that I know have had their amenity significantly affected. These being the Baldwin family (as discussed above) and Kay Siddell who has also made a submission to the Scottish Government Renewables Inquiry http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/46128.aspx
2) UK – As well as the information from REF above, there are submissions that have been made to the Welsh Assembly Petition's Committee 1) http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/documents/s6103/PET4-05-12%20p4c%20Evidence%20from%20Local%20Resident.pdf, 2) https://www.illwind.org/reports/view/177, 3) https://www.illwind.org/reports/view/180, 4) https://www.illwind.org/reports/view/179, and 5)https://www.illwind.org/reports/view/178. The following links are from the press and the public. Ashington, Northumberland http://www.newspostleader.co.uk/news/mp-raises-concerns-of-wind-farm-health-risk-1-5220587, Little Raith windfarm, Lochgelly, Fife (this windfarm is also causing additional problems because it has been built next to an Ethylene plant https://www.illwind.org/reports/view/412, Kildress, Cookstown, Northern Ireland http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/headlines/resident-complains-of-windmill-headache-1-4521630, Fullabrook windfarm, Devon http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/story-17401807-detail/story.html, Palgrave, Suffolk https://www.illwind.org/reports/view/295, East Renfrewshire, Scotland https://www.illwind.org/reports/view/237, Whitelee windfarm, East Kilbride, Glasgow (this is one of two properties I know of at Whitelee that have been abandoned) https://www.illwind.org/reports/view/168, the very high profile case of Jane and Julian Davis at Deeping St. Nicholas, Lincolnshire (settled out of court with settlement details kept secret) https://www.illwind.org/reports/view/88, Lissett, Yorkshire https://www.illwind.org/reports/view/308, and Aberdeenshire https://www.illwind.org/reports/view/339. I would suspect that this is the tip of the iceberg. It could well be that some people have given up complaining to the authorities because they are getting nowhere, as in David Baldwin's case. Especially if they are the only windfarm neighbour that is suffering in their area. The Ill Wind website was only set up in August 2012, although reports can be backdated on there the majority of them are from August onwards.
3) Rest of the World – There are reports of noise problems from New Zealand, Australia, America, Canada, Denmark, Holland, France and Germany that I know of. A lot of them can be found on the Ill Wind website but there is another website that also has a lot of evidence http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/wind-turbine-syndrome/current-news-articles/. The Ill Wind website was set up by two women in Ontario (hence most of the reports being from that region at present). The word is slowly spreading of the site's existence and reports are gradually coming in from all around the world.

Cherie said...

Part 2) The general public feel that they have not been given the full story. Access to information about performance, CO2 savings, Cost/Benefit analysis etc. is either refused or has not been done. This is why Pat Swords and Christine Metcalfe have taken the case to the EU under the Aarhus Convention. You can listen to an interview with them on here (58 minutes in after the interview with Clive Hambler re his article in the Spectator about windfarms and their impact on wildlife). http://www.blogtalkradio.com/windwise/2013/01/14/aarhus--swords-and-metcalfe-ecology-of-turbines--hambler . There is one particular question that it seems the wind industry absolutely refuses to make public and that is – How much electricity does a wind turbine consume? I would be interested to see if you could access that information for me. Good luck.

This report states that CO2 savings for Denmark and Germany are only 4%! http://docs.wind-watch.org/Inhaber-Why-wind-power-does-not-deliver-the-expected-emissions-reductions.pdf How can the huge amounts being spent (from our own pockets) on wind power be justified for such a small saving? In the meantime rural communities are being ripped apart.

After seeing the scandal of Climategate (East Anglia Scientists cherry picking data that supports their theories; burying data that doesn't; drawing conclusions based on gut feelings; bullying editors, journalists and fellow scientists who disagree with them; orchestrating smear campaigns; subverting and debasing the peer review process; inserting bogus graphs and misleading information into official reports; failing to keep proper records; losing vital, irreplaceable raw data; and obstructing requests for data under the Freedom of Information Act.) and more recently the 28gate scandal at the BBC where they broke the rules of their own charter and provided a one sided view of global warming based on a meeting of 28 people, who they refused to release the names of, and spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of license payer's money trying to stop those names being made public, the main reason being that most of the 28 were climate activists. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100189491/28-gates-later-the-bbcs-nightmare-gets-worse-and-worse/ , and even more recently the Met Office changing their global temperatures forecast graph on Christmas Eve in the hope that no-one would notice. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9797315/A-forecast-the-Met-Office-hoped-you-wouldnt-see.html This doesn't instil in me any confidence that what I am being told about global warming/climate change is the truth. It is far more likely that the whole thing is a huge Ponzi Scheme and an enormous scandal at the expense of all of us. Electricity will become a luxury if something isn't done to stop this and soon.

Cherie said...

Part 3) I have only just read this. I could have tagged it on to the end of my last comment http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9799261/Wind-farm-contracts-to-increase-energy-bills-for-families.html. To quote Margaret Hodge she says it's a “licence for the private sector to print money at the expense of hard-pressed consumers” and “[The energy companies] are guaranteed income even if we don’t use the electricity and if the transmission cables fail they can only get fined up to 10 per cent of the total income coming in,” she said.

“It’s like another PFI. If you create such generous terms people would be mad not to get involved in the market.”

This is now the problem, so many companies, pension schemes and so on have money tied up in windfarm investments that it cannot be stopped. We just have to hope that it's become a massive bubble that is about to burst.

john said...

John Bolton
Thanks for engaging with all my points and for steering the argument elsewhere.

Subsidies in this case are indiscriminately applied to the end user. That means that the elderly and infirmed are forced to pay prices that are often well beyond their means. They are people that may have to consume more energy to stay alive. Personally I find this very disturbing.

My only vested interest is in 'common sense'. I have no political affiliations. I am a conservationist and not a conservative.

Lyndsey said...

This is probably a total waste of my time but ......
The pollution and devastation caused by the grid upgrade in my area is shameful. The point about wind is that is variable, not reliable and therefore, you can never guarantee to have it. When you do, you may not want or need it and that will always be a problem.
The point about subsidising this particular energy is that it always needs 100% back up.
No, the wind does not always blow somewhere in the UK. That is the usual spin of a wind developer or someone in the industry. Very often, in winter, there is a high over the whole UK and those of us who know what we are talking about (unlike you) monitor the websites where the output from wind, in real time, is recorded. Not unusually the amount that wind contributes to the grid, from all the thousands of offshore and onshore turbines across the WHOLE UK, is a pitiful amount. Sometimes as low as 0.1%. Hardly worth recording. Mr Jones you are blinkered and ill informed. I thought there may have been some hope for you to be more open and research the facts. Alas no. I will not waste my time further. Have a happy life, may 500ft turbines be built near your home and may your lights always be extinguished when you need them most.

John Jones said...

John B > With respect until the anti renewable people face the facts and truth about energy prices this argument will continue indefinitely. The main price increases are from imported Gas. As long as the UK imports its fuel we are at the mercy of the world market. That's why I support indigenous renewable energy and no one on here has convinced me otherwise.

http://www.theccc.org.uk/news/press-releases/1132-household-energy-bill-increases-caused-primarily-by-rising-cost-of-gas-not-environmental-policies

John Jones said...

Lyndsey > If you find paying the subsidy a problem no one is compelling you to be on the Grid you can have your own supply, but I fear it will be more expensive to be off Grid.
Taxes on road fuel can't be avoided but the one on electricity can.
For the future, smart meters will change the way we use electricity forever.
Regarding the 500' turbine well time will tell? Powys CC have become very anti wind.

John Jones said...

John B Your point, Co2 savings from Wind Turbines

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/sep/26/myth-wind-turbines-carbon-emissions

Cherie said...

An 8 minute news video from Waubra, Australia dated Feb 2010 about noise problems and all the other issues that we are experiencing in the UK. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYnNQoTcsHY

John Jones said...

Here's a link about new house builds in Colorado America requiring electrical wiring for Electric car charging!

http://www.earthtechling.com/2013/01/colorado-county-now-requires-electric-vehicle-wiring/

Anonymous said...

John. I am shocked to see you mention energy security in the same breath as windmills. As other people have mentioned above - when we get a stable winter anticyclone over the UK then the wind can disappear for a week or two. The lights stay on only because we have coal, nuclear and gas plants (plus a tiny bit of hydro).
You make a huge mistake if you equate anti-windfarm groups with anti-renewable energy. We have recognised that this particular BRANCH of renewables is :- intermittent, utterly unreliable, useless for base load, expensive (thanks to crazy subsidies secured behind the scenes by self-interested lobbyists), pushed by hucksters with tales about 'free energy'/'green jobs in their thousands' (thank Caroline Lucas MP for that nonsense) etc., etc.
What is really wicked is that the consumer will have to pay for 'double build' because IF masses more windmills are built then 'we' must pay for the more conventional back-up plants to be built.
Electric cars are another expensive joke, providing subsidised second cars for trendy city dwellers. Battery technology is light years away from being practical. Hydrogen holds more promise. As does Thorium if you study the facts and disregard the historic demand from the weapons industry. Tidal power is vastly more predictable than wind but has, so far, been sidelined by the windmoneygrabbers.