A windfarm too far (or far too near)

SIR,- The subject is wind farms. When you look at your recent electricity bill and wince do you realise that some of the substantial increases over the last few years have been due to the cost of all the wind farms built or being built in the United Kingdom.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 29th August 2011, 9:25 am

If you are aware of this fact then you will feel the warm glow as you contribute to the wealth and prosperity of all the wind farm developers. But if you are not fully aware then please bear with me as I endeavour to inform you of the reality of the Government political agenda called the Renewables Obligation Order to which we the tax payers have already contributed over £1 billion via our electricity bills and will continue to pay increasing amounts over the next 25 years.

The order was introduced to allow the government to attempt to control carbon emissions and it works as follows. The government financially penalises any existing electricity producing utility and uses the resulting money to give incentives to developers who have invested in wind farms.

Needless to say the existing electricity producing utilities promptly put any resulting financial penalties onto the cost of the electricity to you and me. Once again you may say that “in order to save the planet we must bear the pain”. But what is really happening in the real world is that the wind farms produce at best only about 26 per cent (government quoted annual figure) of their maximum rating and at worst they do not produce any electricity at all (ie. with no wind, little wind or too much wind).

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So if there is a shortage of electrical power at any one time who has to step in? The existing electricity utilities of course who have to stay in business in order to constantly supply the demand for ordinary reliable electrical power. So despite the fact that we, the taxpayer, are paying, and will continue to pay the cost, carbon emissions have not been reduced by the building of wind farms.

So why am I campaigning against wind farms at this moment in time? Well another developer is proposing a submission to Scottish Borders Council to build seven large wind turbines along side the A1 road local to Ayton, Reston and Coldingham.

The development is apparently called the Blackmains Wind Farm. The initial quoted height of the wind turbines is 125 metres (or 405ft in pre metric days) and each will probably be rated at 2.5Mw electrical output. To attempt to put this height into accurate perspective they will be twice as high as the Scott Monument In Edinburgh.

Turbines of this extreme size will be clearly visible from the Ayton and Reston areas and also parts of Coldingham. The immediate local residents will also be faced with a view of these turbines that could be so close that they will be exposed to both blade flicker and blade noise.