Europe's troubled wind turbine industry has a new predicament, with a householder in Denmark successfully suing Vestas, a Danish wind turbine manufacturer. Vestas was sued with the help of International Law Office and the turbine victim was awarded 500,000 Danish kroner (£53,000) in compensation for the loss of property values due to visual interference, inconvenience caused by the noise of the blades and light reflection. Eight turbines are visible from his house.
The Danes passed the Promoting Renewable Energy Act in 2011, which established a compensation scheme for homes affected by wind farms.
Danish wind farms have already come in for serious criticism. In June a mink farm saw how a recently built turbine seemed to lead to still births, birth deformities and the animals had begun at attack each other, costing the farmer millions.
The Danish situation is mirrored in the UK. In November 2013, the London School of Economics amid the Spatial Economics Research Centre published a report with lead author Professor Stephen Gibbons that "A wind farm with 20+ turbines within 2km reduces prices by some 11 percent on average." In all scenarios even of less density, "Wind farms reduce house prices where the turbines are visible."
Professor Gibbons has further evidence from when in June 2008 Mr. and Mrs. Julian Davis in Lincoln applied to the Valuation Tribunal for a reduction in their Council Tax, due to a wind turbine. Citing "Change in physical state. Noise pollution externally and internal low frequency. Noise pollution from new wind farm 930m (away)," they won and their house was downgraded to Band A status.
GIVE THAT MAN A MEDAL FOR HIS COMMON SENSE!
A SCOTTISH government planning official has been praised by opponents of wind farms for rejecting a scheme on
the grounds that ministers have almost hit their green energy targets.
Michael Cunliffe, a reporter at the Scottish government's Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals, tossed out plans for the eight-turbine Barrel Law wind farm in the Scottish Borders, suggesting it was superfluous to requirements. He observed that against a target to generate about 16 gigawatts (GW) of energy from renewables by 2020, 6.8GW is operational, 6.5GW is under construction or consented and proposals for 7.2GW are in planning.
The move has delighted residents in the Borders who are fighting the expansion of onshore wind farms.
In rejecting the Barrel Law proposal, Mr Cunliffe cited concerns it would interefere with military radar and detract from the natural beauty of the landscape around Hawick.
However, he also made it clear that the vast number of wind farms in the pipeline had influenced his decision. He accepted that some wind farm proposals might be rejected or not be completed by 2020, but concluded that "the rate of progress and the availability of alternatives suggest that the weight that should be given to Barrel Law's contribution is not as great as it would have been with a larger shortfall against the target, or a lack of other schemes".
His remarks are unlikely to sit well with Scottish ministers whose economic case for independence rests heavily on exporting vast amounts of energy to other parts of Britain, despite the fact that the infrastructure isn't up to it.
TURBINE SPECULATORS PAID £70 MILLION NOT TO PRODUCE POWER
The National Grid has handed out more than £70-million to turbine companies since 2011 in so-called "constraint" payments. This means they give hard-hit bill payers money away in order to shut down turbines. In a single day recently they coughed up £3-million because it was "too windy". One company -- Spanish owned Scottish Power -- have made more than £11-million for doing absolutely nothing at their stunningly ugly Whitelee installation. Ten other Industrial turbine sites have grabbed payments of more than £3-million each. Much of the problem is a lack of infrastructure to transport large amounts of power. This makes Alex Salmond's ludicrous fantasy that Scotland will make it's fortune supplying power to England even more ridiculous than himself.
AND THE LATEST ON THE GLOBAL WARMING FRONT: NEW SCOTTISH GLACIERS!!!
Botanists conducting a Summer survey of Scotland's tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, have been stunned to find evidence of recently formed multi-year ice fields, areas of compacted snow, some of which weigh hundreds of tons.
According to the BBC:
"Hazards common in arctic and alpine areas but described as "extremely unusual"in the UK during the summer have been found on Ben Nevis.
A team of climbers and scientists investigating the mountain’s North Face said snowfields remained in many gullies and upper scree slopes.
On these fields, they have come across compacted, dense, ice hard snow call neve.
Neve is the first stage in the formation of glaciers", the team said.
"The team has also encountered sheets of snow weighing hundreds of tonnes and tunnels and fissures known as bergschrunds."
This is how ice ages start – a buildup of snow which does not melt in the Summer, which leads to a growing ice sheet as it reflects more and more sunlight back into space.
EXPOSED AT LAST THE TRUE COST TO VICTIMS OF GREEDY INDUSTRIAL TURBINE SPECULATORS.
As Dumfries and Galloway slumps into decline, becoming little more than a massive, ugly, power station, new figures show that homeowners are seeing up to 50-per-cent of the value of their homes vanishing into thin air. And it seems those worst affected are the poor sods waiting to see just what the Turbine Taliban are actually planning. Their homes are often ranked as 'unsellable', in fact valueless.
However much speculators, such as EDF and RES deny it, their activities have wiped thousands of pounds from the value of people's homes. While, at the same time Community Councils, such as that at Port William, have been falling over themselves to grab the Turbine companies little bribes, even though most councillor's homes are, as one put it: "the turbine can't be seen from the village" . The fact that the project would be seen by hundreds of other residents, supposedly represented by this shambolic Council, hadn't dawned on her. But more on Port William later.
One Scottish local authority has already lowered the Council Tax in recognition of the loss of value because of turbines nearby. In another case an estate agent wiped £40,000 off the value of a home because of Turbine blight.
Another top-class agent stated that the capital values of properties near existing or intended wind farms suffered a minimum of 50 per-cent loss of value. He added: "Properties next to sites where a planning application has been lodged are virtually unsellable."
Tas Gibson has been forced to drop the price of his home and four holiday cottages near Newton Stewart by a massive £300,000! Even at that he's been unable to sell it over 18-months or trying. He said: "The Scottish Government is just riding roughshod over ordinary people. Buyers are put off by the noise, the view and the effect on their health." (If you read on you will se that EDF claims that none of these problems exist! Like Hell they don't!)
A council tax-band assessor in in Perthshire has lowered 20 per-cent from the value of a property near an Industrial Turbine Site.
Source: Daily Mail
While the likes of EFG, RES and even Visit Scotland, (you'll never spot a turbine in their "Fairy-Tale " Scottish picture books!) maintain their Turbine Sites have no effect on anything at all, at least one desperate speculator has chosen to face reality. It has offered up to £90,000 each to villagers in Perthshire, if they don't object to it's proposals to ruin their environment with six 445 foot monstrosities. The bribes would be spread over the so-called 25-year life of the site. Now wait for it. The cash is with regard to "visual amenity; noise; flicker and interference with radio and TV signals". These are things that just don't exist, according to EDF. This is the French outfit behind the Airriequhillart project, mainly sited on land owned by a Welsh fat-cat multi-millionaire, who will probably never see, or be affected by it, other that watching his bank balance soar. So that you can assess just how brazen speculators such as EDF are, we make no excuses for re-running this newspaper account of a meeting with potential Airriequhuillart victims who tried to reason with them:
URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO STOP ATTACK ON 2.5K BUFFER ZONE.
Scottish Renewables have launched a campaign to crush the 2.5 kilometre buffer zone for turbines. (That is still not enough!) Please read part of their patter below.
For more than a year the Airriequhillart Protest -- and others -- have campaigned tirelessly to even increase this distance in order to save Turbine victims' property values, peace and quiet and health. They must not be allowed to get away with this.
Please do your best to contact your politicians, the Press, TV and anyone who can bring pressure on these uncaring yes-men, whose only aim seems to be to enrich foreign developers at any cost.
From Scottish Renewables:
"Creation of 2.5km community separation distance: Currently, Scottish Planning Policy uses a recommended separation distance of 2km as a positive policy tool for planning authorities when defining areas of search for onshore wind development. The current draft SPP proposes to change this positive approach by increasing the distance from 2km to 2.5km, and making a fundamental change from using this distance to help inform areas of search to setting a clear separation distance between wind farms and villages, towns and cities, with this area being defined as an area requiring ‘significant protection.’
Given that there is currently no statutory definition of a town or village and there exists a negative policy position towards onshore wind in some local authorities, we believe that the newly proposed community separation distance of 2.5km as an area of significant protection will provide an opportunity to prescribe against development of a large proportion of Scotland’s available land area. Map 1 highlights the negative impact that such a policy could have on potential development opportunities (areas rendered in purple) in Scotland. These opportunities are reduced further when combined with the proposed increased protection for ‘core areas of wild land’ (outlined in red).
This onerous restriction would substantially restrict wind farm development, including that taken forward by communities. For example, had the much-celebrated Neilston community wind farm project been put forward under these proposed policies, it would have been at significantly greater risk of refusal, as the turbines are closer than 2.5km from some homes. The Scottish Government’s own target of having 500MW of community owned wind farm projects by 2020 could therefore be jeopardised by this policy.
Scottish Renewables urges the Scottish Government to remove the ‘community separation distance’ from the group 2 constraints as set out in Scottish Planning Policy."
SNP Conference in Perth
Members of the Airriequhillart protest group attended the protest march in Perth on 19th October during the SNP Conference. They had an opportunity to speak to several delegates.
Andy Shiells makes his feelings known to Richard Lochhead Environment& rural Affairs Secretary.
AT LONG, LONG, LAST PICKLES SAYS VISUAL AND ENVORONMENTAL IMPACT MUST BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT.
(Surprise, surprise! As we pointed out recently, Conservative rural votes are vanishing fast....)
Eric Pickles has announced new measures to make sure anti-wind farm campaigners' concerns about the visual and environmental impact must be taken into account
The drive to build wind farms will no longer automatically trump protecting the landscape, and ministers will now be able to step in on the side of residents.
It's a welcome and major boost for anti-wind farm campaigners.
For the next six months his Whitehall department will review many of the appeals - to decide whether angry residents opposing a wind farm should have their concerns upheld.
Mr Pickles said he is concerned that councils and planning inspectors are not enforcing new guidelines to ensure residents' concerns about unsightly wind farms are taken in to account.
He said: 'The new guidance makes it clear that the need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protections and the views of local communities will be listened to. I want to give particular scrutiny to planning appeals involving renewable energy developments.'
EUROPE'S POWER BOSSES CALL FOR AN END TO GREEN SUBSIDIES
The CEOs of 10 utilities companies, which together own half of Europe's electricity generating capacity, are calling for an end to subsidies for wind and solar energy. They say they add too much power to a market already struggling with overcapacity.
The so-called Magritte Group also call for a Europe-wide capacity mechanism that would pay utilities for keeping electric power generating capacity on standby. They're calling on the European Commission and national governments to change EU energy policy, which they say has failed to achieve its triple goal of lowering prices, reducing carbon emissions and securing energy supply.
The group – which includes top utilities such as France's GDF Suez, Germany's E.ON, Spain's Iberdrola and Italy's Enel – has made an impact, as several countries, including Spain, Germany and France, have reviewed or are reviewing support schemes for renewable energy.
With an unprecedented joint press conference, the 10 CEOs put pressure on EU policy makers to consider wind and solar as a mature industry that no longer requires subsidies, saying: "European energy policy has run into the wall."
With power demand falling due to the economic crisis and the EU's energy efficiency drive, wholesale power prices have dropped by about half since 2008, but retail prices for consumers have remained near record levels.
Overly generous subsidies for renewables has led to a wave of investment in solar and wind, which enjoys priority grid access at fixed, above-market prices -- an "absurd situation." The power generation overcapacity has been aggravated by the U.S. shale gas boom, which has led to a flood of cheap U.S. coal to Europe as U.S. utilities switched to shale gas-fired plants.
FRENCH COURT DECISION TO SCRAP FUNCTIONING TURBINE SITES HELPS SET A PRECIDENT FOR HOMES BLIGHTED BY GREEDY SPECULATORS
A FRENCH WINDFARM COMPANY has been ordered to demolish ten turbines and pay compensation and fines after it was successfully sued by a couple whose home and lifestyle were blighted.
Speaking to Le Figaro newspaper, the couple's lawyer said:
"This decision is very important because it demonstrates to all those who put up with windfarms with a feeling of powerlessness that the battle is not in vain, even against big groups, or authorities who deliver building permits, that legal options are available to everyone, that we have a right to live in peace and that people can do other things than suffer."
The couple bought their 18th century listed property, the Château de Flers, in 1993.
A tribunal in Montpellier ruled that the couple had suffered due to the "degradation of the environment, resulting from a rupture of a bucolic landscape and countryside". It also agreed the couple had suffered from the noise of the turbines and from the flashing lights.
"The situation, instantly out of place, permanent and quickly unbearable, created a problem that went beyond the typical inconveniences of neighbours and constituted a violation of property rights," ruled the judgement. The value of the property had no bearing on the ruling.
The wind farm owners, Compagnie du Vent, have been given four months to take down the turbines, which were erected in 2007 on two sites next to the property.
NB: The Airriequhillart group has forwarded full details to EDF's bosses, having previously informed them that it was planning to go to Europe -- as well as strongly resisting their plans here.
How the "Earl of Arrogance" has outraged his neighbours over a wind farm that could generate millions. Yes EDF Strikes Again! And it's all far too familiar.
Any mention of Earl Spencer among his neighbours is being greeted with a hollow laugh -- thanks to his plans to install a giant wind farm and destroy a stunning landscape..
SAVE THE DARK SKY PARK FROM SALMOND'S GLOWING TURBINE MENACE
Scottish Ministers have been urged to change planning policy to protect our dark sky park from Industrial Turbine Sites with their glowing mast-tops.
Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park was actually opened by Salmond in October last year, happy to wallow in the publicity, while appearing to be blind to the fact that the very skies are threatened by Turbine speculators.
The Astronomer Royal for Scotland, the John Muir Trust and the Scottish Wild Land Group have demanded that the Scottish Government rule out Turbine Sites near the park.
Mark Gibson, chairman of the board of trustees of the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, said there are currently nine separate sets of proposals within sight of the park's observatory. He said that, while some planning applications had been rejected, there are fears that if even one is approved, it could open the door for further development.
Safety requirements mean turbines must be illuminated by infra-red light and, in RAF training areas, such as this, more visible light illumination may be required. This would affect both the ability of astronomers to use sensitive equipment, and the current visibility of stars, galaxies, comets and Northern Lights.
The park is home to the only publicly accessible, research-grade observatory within a Gold Tier Dark Sky Park in the world. It should be saved from speculators.
ANOTHER SECTION 36 BITES THE DUST AS COUNCIL SLAMMED OVER WITHOLDING INFORMATION.
SPECULATORS Gamesa have been blown away over a what has turned out to be a disastrous application to erect 39 x 120m turbines on land south of Neilston and straddling the East Renfrewshire and East Ayrshire boundaries.
A key issue was impact on residential amenity. 52 nearby properties were deemed to suffer such a detrimental impact on visual amenity the Reporter judged "that many of these properties would become far less pleasant places to live".
The Reporter, Karen Heywood, held a two week public inquiry last July and reopened it in November to get more information on noise due to Middleton Windfarm - its neighbour - having no noise condition. She rejected the option of consenting the wind farm with a condition limiting noise emissions and requiring some turbines to be switched off at times as "not sensible or desirable".
In an unusual move, partial expenses for the re-opened inquiry were awarded against East Renfrewshire Council because the Council was found to have "acted unreasonably in failing repeatedly to disclose that the Middleton planning permission was issued without a condition". The Council withheld significant information on several occasions and released misleading evidence.
The Reporter also found that the landscape assessment offered by objectors and Scottish Natural Heritage was "more correct" than that submitted by the developer. She concluded that the wind farm would significantly harm the landscape character of the area.
Local residents breathed a sigh of relief as news broke. Aileen Jackson, a resident from Uplawmoor said: "The area is saturated with turbines. Harelaw's failure sends insatiable wind speculators a very clear message: they are wasting their time and money trying to inflict more wind farms on us."
Graham Lang, Chair of Scotland against Spin said: "At long last the authorities are recognising that siting giant industrial wind turbines near people's homes is unacceptable. Wind farm developers routinely play down the noise and visual impacts of their developments, using official noise guidelines to argue that noise impacts will not be serious. The fact is they are oppressive and destroy people's quality of life in their own homes.
"It is highly significant that the Reporter accepted that the impact of noise on local residents would be detrimental regardless of whether or not it meets the suggested limits."
This is the third refusal in a row of a Section 36 wind farm, and it proves that wind developers' continuing ambitions for Scotland are out of kilter with what the landscape and residents can tolerate."
In an interesting application thought to be one of the first of its kind in Scotland, John Campbell QC was instructed to make an application to a Sheriff for a noise abatement order on behalf of the owners of a rural smallholding who were troubled by noise from a small wind turbine. The machine, only some 20m in height, made a noise like a small helicopter at all hours of the day and night whenever the wind was from the South West. The local authority had given it planning permission, and were understandably reluctant to then undermine their own decision by serving a Noise Abatement Notice.
The Environmental Protection Act 1990, s. 82 provides a little known but simple method for members of the public to do this for themselves, by setting out their story in a Summary Application, and after serving a Notice on the alleged wrongdoer, to bring the matter before a Sheriff. While some expert help on noise levels and what amounts to a "statutory nuisance" is required, the procedure is (as Parliament seems to have intended) delightfully free of most of the procedural niceties which sometimes accompany litigation. In this case, the neighbour saw (forgive us!) the way the wind was blowing, and agreed to remove the turbine. The clients can sleep at night, and the farmer can put his turbine somewhere else if he can amend his planning permission.
Well done John!!!
Source: The Society of Advocates.
Photo: Angela Shiells
Spot the mast! It means that this magnificent skyline on Barrachan Hill is under threat of being ''stolen'' to site one of Salmond's Turbine scrapyards -- 18 turbines, all much higher than the Barlockart monstrosities.
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow will be going straight into the Paris vaults of French speculators EDF.
It's interesting to note that they still claim the mast is in Flow of Airriequhillart. Could that possibly be to confuse likely objectors. It is outside the flow in Back Moor which runs directly behind Barrachan Village.
Council documents show that is some distance from the Flow. The Council also admits that the planning regulations were not fully complied with, but chooses to claim, ever so meekly, "there's nothing we can do now." Imagine them letting a normal person getting away with that? No way.
WE SAY BORIS FOR PRIME MINISTER!!!
Wind farms are a ''disease'' that have blighted Britain's countryside and the country should embrace nuclear power and fracking to meet its energy needs, London Mayor Boris Johnson says.
Mr Johnson accused the energy companies of ''ruthlessly exploiting'' a shortage of supply as he insisted Britain must stop ''pussy-footing around'' and start exploiting shale gas reserves.
'Did someone ever warn the British people that these moaning seagull slicers were going to be erected on some of the most sensational scenery that God ever called into being?'
The senior Tory said turning to a new generation of nuclear plants and fracking would cut energy bills and boost the economy.
Photo: Reuters Enough's enough: London Mayor Boris Johnson salutes nuclear power and fracking.
Writing in The Sun on Sunday he said he was shocked by the number of wind turbines he saw on a recent drive to Scotland.
"It is a good 20 years since I last drove all the way to Scotland, and in the interim something unbelievable has been done – in our name – to our green, pleasant and precious countryside," he said.
"I mean the windmills, the turbines – whatever they are called. I mean the things that look like some hideous Venusian invasion, marching over the moors and destroying the dales; the colossal seaside toys plonked erratically across our ancient landscape; the endless parade of waving white-armed old lunatics, gesticulating feebly at each other across the fields and the glens.
"They seemed to be everywhere, and I asked myself, when were we consulted? Was there a referendum? Did someone ever warn the British people that these moaning seagull slicers were going to be erected on some of the most sensational scenery that God ever called into being?
"The answer is that no one warned us, because no one really took the decision to do it. It just sort of happened. We have contracted these mills like a disease, because of our pathetic apology for an energy policy."
Claiming that the turbines would not meet Britain's needs he blamed the last Labour administration for failing to get to grips with the issue, leaving Britain facing an energy crisis.
"It is time to take the fight to the energy companies, who have been ruthlessly exploiting their position – and the best answer is an enormous increase in supply. We can do it, and we can do it in a way that is as clean and green as any technology on earth," he said.
"First we need to grow some collective cojones and launch the nuclear energy program that this country has too long delayed. Do you know how much of their juice the French get from their nuclear program? Almost 80 per cent. They are laughing at us – us, the nation that split the atom!"
He added: "Next, we must stop pussy-footing around, and get fracking. Even if we have hundreds of fracking pads, they are nothing like as ugly as windmills, and they can be dismantled as soon as the gas is extracted."
Mr Johnson said shale was "clean and green" and would help Britain secure its own energy supply without relying on gas from countries such as Russia.
SALMOND SHOULD READ THIS -- AND WEEP!
Plans for future wind farms in Britain could be in jeopardy after a United
Nations legal tribunal ruled that the UK Government acted illegally by
denying the public decision-making powers over their approval and the
"necessary information" over their benefits or adverse effects.
The new ruling, agreed by a United Nations committee in Geneva, calls into
question the legal validity of any further planning consent for all future
wind-farm developments based on current policy, both onshore and offshore.
The United Nations Economic Commission Europe has declared that the UK
flouted Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention, which requires full and
effective public participation on all environmental issues and demands that
citizens are given the right to participate in the process.
The UNECE committee has also recommended that the UK must in the future
submit all plans and programmes similar in nature to the National Renewable
Energy Action Plan to public participation, as required by Article 7.
The controversial decision will come as a blow for the Coalition's
wind-power policy, which is already coming under attack from campaigners who
want developments stopped because of medical evidence showing that the noise
from turbines is having a serious impact on public health as well as
damaging the environment.
Legal experts confirm the UNECE decision is a "game-changer" for future
wind-turbine developments in the UK. David Hart, QC, an environmental
lawyer, said: "This ruling means that consents and permissions for further
wind-farm developments in Scotland and the UK are liable to challenge on the
grounds that the necessary policy preliminaries have not been complied with,
and that, in effect, the public has been denied the chance to consider and
contribute to the NREAP."
The UN's finding is a landmark victory for Christine Metcalfe, 69, a
community councillor from Argyll, who lodged a complaint with the UN on the
grounds that the UK and EU had breached citizens' rights under the UN's
She claimed the UK's renewables policies have been designed in such a way
that they have denied the public the right to be informed about, or to
ascertain, the alleged benefits in reducing CO2 and harmful emissions from
wind power, or the negative effects of wind power on health, the environment
and the economy.
Ms Metcalfe made the legal challenge on behalf of the Avich and Kilchrenan
Community Council at the Committee Hearing in Geneva last December. She and
the AKCC decided to take action after their experience of dealing with the
building of the local Carraig Gheal wind farm and problems surrounding the
access route, an area of great natural beauty.
The retired councillor said she was "relieved" by the UN decision. "We were
criticised by some for making this challenge but this result absolves us of
any possible accusations of wrong-doing... The Government needs to do more
than just give ordinary people the right to comment on planning
applications; they deserve to be given all the facts."
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said: "We are aware
of this decision and we are considering our response. Wind is an important
part of our energy mix providing clean home-grown power to millions of
homes. Developers of both offshore and onshore wind farms do consult with
communities and provide generous benefits packages."
The Aarhus Convention: What is it?
The Aarhus Convention, or the Convention on Access to Information, Public
Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental
Matters, is named after the Danish city where it was first established by a
It sets up a number of rights for individuals and associations in regard to
the environment. People can request to know the health risks linked to the
state of the environment and applicants should be informed within one month
of the request.
It also ensures the public get a say in any environmental project such as a
wind farm. Public authorities must provide information about environmental
projects, and those affected by such schemes must be told if they are going
ahead and why.
Speaking about her victory, Mrs Metcalfe said: "Alex Salmond is driving an aggressive green agenda like an express train across Scotland, bludgeoning anyone who gets in the way as being a Luddite and anti-green."
"It was very gratifying to find that such an important point was upheld. The ramifications will become clearer in time. There will be resistance from various quarters."
"No wind farm developer has ever had to explain the benefits of wind. Evidence tells us that wind power performance shows not only no reduction in carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions, but also the very reverse."
WHAT A MESS!
Coal plants are needed to prevent blackouts by backing up wind farms when the wind does not blow, according to the chief executive of Britain's largest power station. Dorothy Thompson, who runs Drax, the coal and biomass plant. She said that people were only now starting to appreciate the problem that wind farms pose. (Not us. We've been telling people that for ages! It's just so obvious.)
The Government will soon offer subsidies, funded by levies on consumer bills, to power stations to switch on quickly when wind farms are not generating sufficient electricity, under so-called capacity auctions.
Many standby firms are already on the bandwagon. Listen up you Green Fanatics. They mostly burn DIESEL. One -- ALKANE -- uses gas from redundant coal mines and is making so much money filling in for stationary turbines that it now has a full Stock Exchange listing. GET IT? WIND ISN'T WORKING!
Drax, which generates 7 per cent of the UK’s electricity, yesterday said it was interested in taking part in the first auction, which takes place next year to cover the winter of 2018, as fears grow about the danger of blackouts. Ofgem has said that within two years Britain’s spare generating margin could fall from 14 per cent to as low as 2 per cent.
Ms Thompson said: "One of the unfortunate things about our market is it has taken time for the non-experts to appreciate the challenge of handling intermittency." By non-experts, presumably, she means the Green Behind the Ears Lobby -- and most politicians. The Turbine Speculators couldn't care less, as they get paid whatever happens!
JUST BLOWING HARD-UP HOUSEHOLDER'S CASH AWAY
The amount of potential electricity from onshore wind farms that has been allowed to go untapped has more than doubled this year because the grid cannot cope. Developers have received payments of £19 million NOT TO GENERATE 215 gigawatt hours — enough electricity to supply nearly 50,000 households for a year.
This is equivalent to three 30-megawatt wind farms, costing about £90 million to build, standing idle since the beginning of the year. Last year wind farms were paid not to generate 103GWh.
National Grid makes the payments in return for wind farms not generating electricity, mostly when it is very windy and there is low demand. The payments are recouped by charges on consumers' electricity bills.
The company blamed very windy weather over the summer for the large amount of potential electricity going to waste. Over one recent weekend alone, £3.9 million was paid to wind farms NOT to generate.
BRITIAN HAS BECOME A FOOL'S PARADISE. WITH THE FOOLS BEING THE ORDINARY CUSTOMERS AND THOSE WHOSE LIVES ARE BEING RUINED BY HAVING USELESS TURBINES RAMMED UP AGAINST THEIR HOMES JUST TO MAKE MONEY FOR SPECULATORS. TIME TO TELL YOUR LOCAL AND NATIONAL "POLITICIANS" THAT THEIR INCOMPETENCE AND STUPIDITY HAS GONE TOO FAR.
AT LONG LAST PROPERTY PRICES BECOMES A REAL ISSUE -- AND SPARKS A MINISTERIAL ROW
Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, has commissioned a consultancy to investigate whether renewable technologies – including wind turbines – lower house prices in the countryside. Not before time and shouldn't take him more than a few minutes!
However, Coalition sources said the report is being blocked by officials at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), run by Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat, amid fears it will conclude that turbines harm property prices. Surprise, surprise!
Mr Paterson has made clear that he intends to make the document public as soon as it is completed.
On Tuesday, the Telegraph disclosed that a report into renewable energy had been commissioned by Mr Paterson's Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The decision to order the report is said to have caused anger within Mr Davey’s department, which viewed it as encroachment upon its remit. Mr Davey has strongly denied that anyone in his department is trying to suppress the investigation.
It has emerged that a significant focus of the report will be the financial impact of wind farms upon the value of neighbouring properties.
Opponents of wind farms claim it is "highly likely" that the report will reveal that turbines in rural areas will detract from the value of nearby homes.
The consultancy company, Frontier Economics, has been asked by Defra to calculate how house prices will be affected by a series of energy projects across Britain. It has been asked to look at onshore and offshore wind, overhead power lines, shale gas, anaerobic digestion plants and nuclear power plants.
The remit of the report states that it "aims to determine whether [energy projects] have a significant impact on the prices of houses nearby and, if so, compare how that impact differs between different types".
It will feed into Mr Paterson’s final report on how renewables affect the countryside and the rural economy.
MPs tonight said that Mr Paterson must be allowed to publish his department's findings.
Chris Heaton-Harris, the Conservative MP for Daventry, said: "Wind farms definitely affect house prices and it is highly likely that this report will come to that conclusion".
"I would expect there to be billions of pounds of planning blight because of wind turbines close to properties."
He added: "It's almost like elements of DECC are acting like a mafia … now you've got DECC trying to stick its dirty great footprints."
ERIC MAKES A RIGHT PICKLE OF RURAL TORY ELECTION CHANCES
Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, promised to "give local communities a greater say" on where wind farms are built, but new guidance from his department warns councils not to create "inflexible" turbine-free zones.
The planning document, released after Parliament broke up for the summer, says the distance of a wind farm from housing does not "necessarily determine whether the impact of a proposal is unacceptable".
"Local planning authorities should not rule out otherwise acceptable renewable energy developments through inflexible rules on buffer zones," it says.
At least eight councils are trying to restrict large turbines being built up to 1.2 miles from housing.
The guidance appears at odds with comments made in January by Nick Boles, the planning minister, when he told his local newspaper: "It is perfectly reasonable and right for...district councils to draw up policies that will guide future decisions about the siting of wind turbines so that we protect our precious landscape and listen to local people's concerns".
"Such policies might include minimum separation distances between centres of population and new turbines."
What planet are the Tories on? Have they forgotten where their votes come from? Put him right by e-mail at: www.conservatives.com
JAMES DELLINGPOLE OF THE TELEGRAPH'S BRILLIANT SUMMARY OF HOW PICKLES AND CAMERON HAVE FAILED TO PROTECT RURAL BRITAIN.
About this time ten years ago, I enjoyed one of my happiest family holidays ever. It was on Lundy which, as Will Heaven rightly says, is the most beautiful island in Britain. There are fantastic cliffs for your children to fall off, puffins to look for, seals to go swimming with. It's like living out an Arthur Ransome/Enid Blyton novel for real.
And now its unspoilt perfection is about to be ruined by a stupendously enormous, outrageously expensive, and totally effing useless offshore wind farm belonging to a big German energy company.
This, like so many of the wind turbines blighting our countryside, will be by far the most distinctive legacy of David Cameron's Coalition. Long, long after we've all forgotten why there was such a fuss about gay marriage, the bedroom tax or the Libyan intervention, those ugly, mostly disused, turbines will still be up there, blighting every view for miles around, a monument to the folly of the policy makers who put them there, the religious zeal of the green loons who pushed for their erection and the despicable greed of the landowners and energy companies who profited by them at the expense of the poor taxpayers and energy users who had to subsidise them to the tune of 100 per cent (for onshore wind) and 200 per cent (for offshore).
I hope no one ever, ever forgets that the man primarily to blame for this was David Cameron. As Prime Minister, he could have taken the lead. He could so easily have said: "Enough is enough. Not on my watch" – and done something to put a stop to it. Instead, like the dodgy PR man which is all he has ever really amounted to being, Cameron has stuck to what he is best at: speaking with forked tongue.
As Will Heaven notes, just recently he has been making all the right noises on wind:
"I suspect there will be fewer schemes going ahead, " he told the Western Morning News last week. He reaffirmed this idea in a Q & A with Lancashire factory workers: "Frankly, we’ve got some in the UK – I don’t think we’re going to have a huge amount more."
And in June, you'll recall, Eric Pickles's Department for Communities and Local Government announced, with much fanfare, that in future green energy targets would not be allowed to override the wishes of local communities to oppose wind farms. The night before it was announced I even got a call from a senior government minister briefing me about it. "I thought you'd want to know that we ARE doing something about it," he said, proudly.
Was this minister a fool or a liar? And was Eric Pickles sold a pup or is he a liar too? Whatever, we know now for a fact all these new planning guidelines announced by Pickles's department have made almost no difference whatsoever. Which either means that Pickles, his department, and all those senior Conservatives opposed to wind are quite disgracefully incompetent; or that Cameron has – as is his wont – allowed them to be ridden over, roughshod, by the green ideologues at DECC and by all his rich pals (not to mention his father-in-law Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt; and his deputy prime minister's wife, Mrs Clegg) with their snouts in the renewable energy trough.
Certainly, that phone call for me was the last time I'll ever trust anything one of Cameron's despicable bunch of wriggling, squirmy, morally bankrupt toe rags tells me again. I loathe them with every fibre of my being, for many reasons, but for one above all: thanks to their incompetence, cowardice, cynicism and ignorance they are destroying the greatest of all our magnificent country's assets – the matchless beauty of its countryside.
James Dellingpole of the Telegraph tells the Turbine
noise deniers to listen up!
How much more dirt needs to come out before the wind industry gets the thorough investigation it has long deserved?
It has now become clear that the industry has known for at least 25 years about the potentially damaging impact on human health of the impulsive infrasound (inaudible intermittent noise) produced by wind turbines. Yet instead of dealing with the problem it has, on the most generous interpretation, swept the issue under the carpet – or worse, been involved in a concerted cover-up operation.
A research paper prepared in November 1987 for the US Department of Energy demonstrated that the "annoyance" caused by wind turbine noise to nearby residents is "real not imaginary." It further showed that, far from becoming inured to the disturbance people become increasingly sensitive to it over time.
This contradicts claims frequently made by wind industry spokesmen that there is no evidence for so-called Wind Turbine Syndrome (the various health issues ranging from insomnia and anxiety to palpitations and nausea reported by residents living within a mile or more of wind turbines). Until recently, RenewableUK – the British wind industry's trade body – claimed on its website: "In over 25 years and with more than 68,000 machines installed around the world, no member of the public has ever been harmed by the normal operation of wind farms."
In a section called Top Myths About Wind Energy’ section it claimed that accusations that wind farms emit "infrasound and cause associated health problems" are "unscientific". But the 1987 report, based on earlier research by NASA and several universities, tells a different story. A team led by physicist ND Kelley from the Solar Energy Research Institute in Golden, Colorado tested under controlled conditions the impact of low-frequency noise generated by turbine blades.
It found that the disturbance is often worse when indoors than when outside (a sensation which will be familiar to anyone who has heard a helicopter hovering above their house).
In subsequent lab tests, it found that "people do indeed react to a low-frequency noise environment". As a result of its findings, the report recommended that in future wind turbines should be subject to a maximum noise threshold to prevent nearby residents experiencing "low-frequency annoyance situations."
However these recommendations – widely publicised at the Windpower 87 Conference & Exposition in San Francisco – fell on deaf ears. It found that the disturbance is often worse when indoors than when outside (a sensation which will be familiar to anyone who has heard a helicopter hovering above their house).
Rather than respond to the issues raised, the industry devised a code of practice apparently contrived to ignore those very acoustic levels of most concern. ETSU-R-97 – the UK industry standard, which became the model for wind developers around the world – places modest limits on sound within the normal human hearing range, but specifically excludes the lower frequency "infrasonic" noise known to cause problems.
Last month the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published a report by the Institute of Acoustics examining whether ETSU-R-97 was still adequate to the task. Remarkably, instead of stiffening regulations, it made them more lax, not only continuing to ignore the Low Frequency Noise and infrasound issue, but actually giving wind farms leeway to make more noise at night and to be built even closer to dwellings.
John Constable, director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, commented: "The report may represent current wind industry practice but it is very poor guidance and fails in its duty of care."
The industry's response is that turbine design has grown so much more sophisticated since the late Eighties that the problems identified in the 1987 report – which built on work from another report two years before – no longer apply.
"We don't accept the suggestion that there are any health impacts caused by wind turbine noise, though we welcome any new research into the issue," a spokesman for Renewable UK told me.
However this is contradicted by the author of the original reports Neil Kelley. Kelley has told Graham Lloyd – the environment editor from The Australian who (uncharacteristically for an environment editor puts truth before green ideology) broke the story – that research has shown that it is still possible for modern wind turbines to create "community annoyance."
Kelley, who served as the principal scientist (atmospheric physics) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's National Wind Technology Centre from 1980 to 2011, told Lloyd:
"Many of the complaints I have heard described are very similar to those from residents who were exposed to the prototype wind turbine we studied."
He said the original research was performed to understand the "totally unexpected community complaints from a 2MW downwind prototype wind turbine."
He said: "While follow-on turbine designs moved the rotors upwind of the tower, the US Department of Energy funded an extensive multi-year research effort in order to develop a full understanding of what created this situation. Their goal was to make such knowledge available to the turbine engineers so they could minimise the possibility of future designs repeating the experience. We found the majority of the physics responsible for creating the annoyance associated with this downwind prototype are applicable to large upwind machines."
The wind industry has resisted demands from campaigners to investigate this problem further. For example, in Australia the wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has argued in a submission to the NSW government that low frequency noise should not be measured.
It is notable that when some acousticians wish to argue that wind turbine infrasound is not a problem, they quote known problematic infrasonic sound levels using the unweighted decibel dB scale, which makes these levels seem well "out-of-reach" of wind turbine infrasound levels. Yet these same acousticians would not dream of using absolute sound pressure levels to evaluate conventional audible sound, but will always quote correctly weighted dBA levels.
So I am unimpressed by the casual practice of quoting absolute sound pressure levels for describing infrasound, in order to exaggerate differences, when it is well recognized that the response of the ear is not uniform, and weighted sound pressure levels should be used for describing the likely hearing response.
This feature is responsible for much of the confusion that arises - interchange of unweighted and weighted levels can lead to very different conclusions - a situation which does not help to clarify the overall impact of infrasound.
Some of the early research showed wind turbines were heard at lower auditory thresholds and that the infrasound was affecting people inside homes in much the same was jet noise at airports was affecting communities along flight paths. As a general rule, all of this research noted the need for caution if large upwind wind turbines of the type being installed today were to be located near homes and communities.
There was concern over health impacts by the research community. Concurrent with this type of work the US DOD and NASA were investigating human response to infrasonic sound and vibration to help select candidates for jet pilots and space missions. This led to studies of nauseogenicity like the "1987 report on Motion Sickness Symptoms and Postural Changes……" Suffice it to say that between the issues of dynamically modulated infra and low frequency sound causing adverse health effects called "Sick Building Syndrome," similar effects observed from wind turbines.
Can anyone imagine a potential scandal of this magnitude in the fossil fuel industry going uninvestigated by the green lobby – and hitting the front pages of all the newspapers?
AND THIS IS WHAT THE TIMES HAS TO SAY. SAD THE TURBINE TALIBAN ARE AS DEAF AS THEY ARE DUMB!
Thousands of people living near wind turbines could find their lives blighted by the noise, researchers have warned.
Acoustic scientists estimate up to a fifth of Britain's wind farms generate a low- frequency hum that can be audible for more than a mile.
With the government planning a huge expansion of wind turbines, some experts want the limits on wind turbine noise — 35 decibels during the day and 43 decibels at night, the equivalent of a buzzing fridge — to be lowered.
The impact of the pulsating sound, a phenomenon called “amplitude modulation” (AM) which is believed to be caused by the turbine blades striking patches of turbulent air, has already led to pay-outs from energy companies.
Earlier this year, Jane and Julian Davis took a wind farm operator to court, claiming that the noise from nearby turbines had forced them from their Lincolnshire home. They settled for an undisclosed sum.
John Huxtable, 64, has been unable to open the windows of his bungalow in Putford, north Devon, since a 360ft turbine 500 yards away was switched on this year. "The noise is absolutely horrendous. It's worst in the evenings when everything else is quiet," he said.
Rules governing the noise created by wind turbines are based on continuous background noise and do not take into account the bursts of loud noise also associated with AM.
Mike Stigwood, a noise consultant, estimates that 20% of wind farms suffer from AM, which, he believes, is caused by differences in wind speed and turbulence at the top and bottom of the blades as they spin.
Walls and roofs tend to filter out higher-frequency sounds but allow deeper noises such as AM to penetrate.
Dr Lee Moroney, planning director at the Renewable Energy Foundation, a charity that has called for tougher regulations, said: "Noise of this kind disrupts sleep and so can have a devastating effect on people's lives. The solution is greater separation distances between turbines and dwellings."
Renewable UK, the industry body, said a review of AM was under way, adding: "We think that the regulations are robust enough . . . Once the research into AM is finished, we will look into ways we can minimise it."
How revealing is that arrogant and stupid quote? The simple and obvious way to minimise the noise it is to keep these useless eyesores well away from the homes of ordinary people. People, who Renewable UK are well aware do not have the resources to fight the subsidy-funded bullies who hire them. How hard is that to understand? You don't need "research"! Just a bit of common sense and some humanity. People deserve not to have their their lives ruined by greedy speculators. Here, in the shadow of the proposed Airriequhillart disaster, the main landowner -- and a couple of insignificant ones -- together with the grasping foreign outfit involved -- are based well out of hearing distance. The only sound that concerns them is the jingle of millions of pounds -- or Euros -- flooding into their already overflowing bank accounts! For instance, Robin Herbert, an old Welsh aristocrat, has, according to the internet, assets worth more than £550,000,000.
What difference to his lifestyle will destroying a lovely Scottish Valley make? Does he really need it? Does he hell! They just don't give a toss.
And, as though timed to prove the statement above, we get this from another greedy developer with no thought to the consequences of their stupidity:
A couple fighting plans for a wind farm near their home have been told they can avoid having to look at the massive turbines – by growing a 17ft-high hedge around their property!!!
Martin and Sarah Shotton – who enjoy panoramic views out towards the coastline from their isolated Northumberland cottage – were left dumbfounded by the suggestion on how they can hide the machines from view.
The idea has been put forward as part of evidence submitted on behalf of green energy company Energiekontor UK to an imminent public inquiry.
Mr and Mrs Shotton are among many local people who are opposing the firm’s bid to build five, 126-metre-high turbines on farmland close to their home.
Planning permission was refused by the county council earlier this year after the scheme sparked more than 1,600 letters of protest.
Energiekontor appealed against the decision and a six-day public inquiry will be held in Morpeth later this month.
These idiot wind speculators go so far as to suggest conifers might be good as they can grow at more than 5 feet a year. Oh, they forgot to mention sound-proofing! (No, sadly, it's not April The First.)
TIDE IS TURNING. BUT TURBINE TALIBAN STILL DON'T GET IT.
The Wind industry, attacked the protections being proposed in response to the growing public outcry about the spread of turbines across the countryside.
Ministers are considering special safeguards that would make it more difficult to build on wild land, which is defined as being rugged, remote and free from modern visible human structures.
They are also examining increasing the recommended distance between wind farms and the nearest town or village from 2km (1.2 miles) to 2.5km (1.6 miles) and giving greater protection to people whose homes are affected.
But Scottish Renewables, claimed the proposed reforms would jeopardise £2 billion of investment in Salmond’s plan to generate the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity from green sources by 2020.
Instead of accepting that things have already gone too far, they demand that there should be no protection for wild land, with each wind farm application judged on a case-by-case basis.
They, of course, make no mention of the many millions of pounds the wind industry would lose in subsidies should common sense prevail, especially with massive amounts of shale gas on the horizon.
The intervention marks a straining in relations between wind farm companies and the First Minister, who is responsible for the rapid increase in onshore turbines in the face of growing (vote-losing) fury from rural communities. The whinge from Scottish Renewables companies comes in their submission to a Scottish Government consultation on proposed revisions to key national planning guidelines. They're upset that the area designated "wild land", and therefore eligible for special protection, had been increased from 13 per cent to 20 per cent of Scotland's land mass. Instead, they say wild land should be removed entirely from a special category of areas classified as having "potential constraints" for wind farm development. The submission warned that councils hostile towards wind farms would exploit the 2.5km restriction because of the lack of a statutory definition of "town or village".
Source: Daily Telegraph
AT LAST, A COMMON SENSE JUDGEMENT!
A Court of Session judge has capped the costs that a Berwickshire woman will have to pay
even if she loses her legal challenge against Scottish Borders Council (SBC), which recently
approved plans for a wind farm on her doorstep. And he has halted construction of the
turbines until the full appeal has been heard.
The ruling, he first ever in Scotland under a new Court of Session procedure,
opens the way for individuals, of limited means, across the country to challenge
environmental decisions taken by national and local government.
Sally Carroll from the conservation village of Cockburnspath, is
challenging her local Council’s decision to approve the construction of two industrial wind
turbines less than one kilometre from her home. To do this, she needs to take her case to the
highest court in Scotland. As this would have been prohibitively expensive – potentially more
than £100,000 – Mrs Carroll could not have gone ahead without a Protective Expenses Order
(PEO) which limits the costs that could be awarded against her, if she fails in the appeal, to a
total of £5,000.
Mrs Carroll said: "I have taken a huge risk coming so far because I might have lost the case
to limit my liability. However, the judge, Lord Drummond Young, acknowledged that to
comply with a European Directive it must not be prohibitively expensive for an individual to
challenge a decision that impacts on their environment - and that includes the cost of
getting the PEO in the first place. Without this breakthrough capping my liability, I simply
could not afford to challenge the Council's decision".
Mrs Carroll continued: "I believe – as do many others - that the decision to approve these
turbines was fundamentally wrong. The decision was taken by SBC's Local Review Body
(LRB), a quasi judicial body made up of locally elected councillors who should be held
accountable for their decisions. With this ruling, members of the public who have good
grounds to believe a decision is wrong, now have a means to challenge that decision.
I am a nature lover and, like many people here in East Berwickshire, feel as if we are under
siege from developers. We are fed up having wind farms dumped here."
"Government, at both local and national levels, should be answerable to the electorate for their decisions but,
until now, it has been impossible, financially, for a person like me to challenge ludicrous
decisions like this. Perhaps now the Council will reconsider its decision."
Many people who are in similar situations because of the proliferation of wind farms are
highly supportive of Mrs Carroll's challenge. Some have already helped with the appeal and
offered donations towards Mrs Carroll's costs which will still need to be paid.
The judge also made an order that stops the turbine development from going ahead until
the appeal has been decided. A full hearing will take place in the Court of Session towards
the end of the year.
Scotland Against Spin chairman Graham Lang commented: "There is so much flawed
decision-making when it comes to consenting turbines, and although this can have terrible
consequences for people unfortunate enough to live near them, there is virtually no
possibility of redress or holding the decision-makers accountable. Now that Mrs Carroll has
established a precedent for PEOs, others will follow in her footsteps.
IT PAYS TO PROTEST. WE MUST KEEP UP OUR MOMENTUM!
A wind farm development near the Cheviot Hills which attracted more than
1,000 objections, has been thrown out by council officials.
The planning department's decision on Tuesday ends a four-year battle led
by campaign group Protect Your Cheviots to stop Whitton Wind Farm project
going ahead. Well done!
Initially, applicants Vattenfall applied for six turbines in August 2009,
which attracted around 800 objections. And despite submitting an amendment
in February to reduce the proposal to five, a further 400 dissatisfied comments were made.
Among them was the Duchess of Sutherland, who agreed that the development
would mar views from the Eildons, Cheviots and Carter Bar. She added: "It
would spoil a particularly magnificent part of our countryside and will be
seen for miles around."
The refusal report said the proposal would have "a significantly adverse
effect on local landscape character" in an area which is currently wind
The speculators were offering a bribe of offering a bribe up to £1.875million in spin-offs to the locals over 25 years.
A spokeswoman for Vattenfall said the company was disappointed with the
council's decision. Don't Dear, you're breaking our hearts!
ANOTHER DOSE OF COMMON SENSE
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has turned down a planning application for a 23-turbine wind farm proposal near Inverness.
The plans, for what would have been some of the tallest turbines in the country, at 149.5 metres, in the Druim Ba forest, were deemed to be out of scale with the surrounding landscape. In refusing the application, Mr Ewing said the visual impact on nearby properties and the likely noise from the turbines would be to the detriment of nearby homes.
The original application was submitted on behalf of a French conglomerate, Louis Dreyfus Group. Like EDF, they seem to prefer not to sully their own countryside. But they strung it out, no doubt causing a huge amount of worry, distress and expense to locals. The Highland Council voted unanimously against the proposal back in September, 2011.
The ridiculous proposal was for an area just a few minutes drive from Loch Ness and a number of major tourist routes, including the Great Glen Way and Abriachan Forest Trust. The site is also surrounded on three sides by homes, crofts and hill farms. they really don't care!
Refusing the planning application, Mr Ewing said: "I am determined to ensure communities all over Scotland reap the benefit from renewable energy – but not at any cost.
"Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape and should be considered environmentally acceptable."
PLANS for a massive Industrial Turbine Site which would have ruined part of the Highlands have been blocked -- BY THE SNP!
PLANS for a wind farm designed to meet the energy needs of almost 50% of homes in the Highlands have been blocked.
Dunbeath Wind Energy wanted to build 17 turbines near Dunbeath, a Caithness coastal village, only for ministers to reject the proposal due to the impact on the countryside. The Energy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, said the project, between Berriedale Water and Dunbeath Water, would have adversely affected the landscape.
He also found a lack of safeguards for nearby wild land, and took into account the significant cumulative impact from neighbouring turbine sites. Ewing went on to say:
"Scotland has enormous potential for renewable energy – but not at any cost."
He added that the design and location of any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape and be environmentally acceptable.
The original plan had been for 23 turbines, before being scaled back.
Despite Highland Council not objecting to the application, due to an objection by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), a public local inquiry was called in Dunbeath. An independent reporter then recommended that consent be refused.
SHALE BONANZA. SURELY IT'S TIME FOR A MORATORIUM ON OBSOLETE TURBINES
Britain has just won the world's biggest energy jackpot, potentially worth a staggering £1trillion. It has emerged that the United Kingdom not only holds the biggest shale basin in the world, but could have the biggest shale gas reserves in the world. A British Geological Survey estimates there could be 1,300 trillion cubic feet – or tcf – of shale gas trapped in a shale basin in the north of England alone. In fact, the BGS's upper estimate is a staggering 2,281 tcf – almost the total estimated American shale reserve of 2,500 tcf. Incredibly, this estimate does not include the huge shale reserves in the South of England or the Central Basin in Scotland.
With this news, surely the time has come to call a halt to any more ridiculous Turbine Sites while a proper assessment is made of future energy production. Shale gas has revolutionised America's energy system, slashing bills by two-thirds and boosting industry. In the UK it could reduce energy bills enough for manufacturers to win back the jobs which have been lost to China and India who use brown coal to cut production costs -- to build things -- like wind turbines! Shale is about to make Turbines obsolete. Time to tell that to the our "leaders" as forcefully as you can before more of our heritage is wiped out by politicians with no vision.
AND SOME MORE COMMON SENSE.....
A man who spent £20,000 on a wind turbine promising it would meet strict noise level limits has been ordered to switch it off. Officials declared that the sound constituted a nuisance, and issued a Noise Abatement Order. This is despite the turbine being more than 164ft from the nearest neighbour's house, as ordered by the planners. Hopefully, the ruling will have serious implications for the Government's drive to promote wind power. The decision by Didcot Magistrates in Oxfordshire, left the turbine lover with a bill of £5,392 court costs. Of course there will be no compensation for the five neighbours who complained after suffering from the turbine's racket since 2007. One resident said: 'The rhythmic mechanical noise was irritating and incessant.' Of course the Turbine Taliban would claim turbines do not disturb people in any way; nor to they affect property values, health, wildlife, tourism etc. And they expect us to believe it. Well done Didcot Magistrates!!!
THE COUPLE TRAPPED IN A TURBINE HELL
PLEASE READ THIS TO UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE FIGHTING THE MINDLESS POLITICIANS WHO ALLOWED IT AND THE FIRMS MAKING BILLIONS OUT OF IT, YET TOO GREEDY TO BUY OUT THOSE UNLUCKY ENOUGH TO BE IN THEIR WAY.
THIS SHOULD BE COMPULSORY READING FOR EVERY MSP
(PLEASE COPY AND PASTE IT TO YOURS)
Kay and John Siddell had "18 great years" in their retirement home in the hills before the turbines began to appear.
They bought the smallholding in South Ayrshire in 1988 because of the uninterrupted views across the valley and moved north from Hampshire to enjoy rural solitude and a self-sufficient lifestyle.
But instead of rolling countryside, their home now faces around 30 wind turbines, and even on the sunniest days they sit in their living room with the curtains closed to block out the blades.
They say they suffer from the effects of the "churning landscape" and the "incessant flicker" when the sun is behind the turbines, and describe the noise in a high wind as something like a "squadron of jets".
They are also fighting two more wind farm applications that, if approved, would leave their property almost surrounded.
Mrs Siddell, 69, who has had serious health problems in recent years, describes the Hadyard Hill wind farm they face as a "nightmare", and sometimes retreats to the lavatory to escape its effects.
Ironically, the couple were told years ago in an informal approach to the local council that they would not receive permission for an extra floor on their cottage, because of the impact on the "scenic area".
According to Struan Stevenson, the Conservative MEP, the Siddells are not alone, and the Scottish Government's drive for more wind farms is "blighting" lives across the country. He wants a review of the planning laws that allow developers to erect turbines so close to homes.
The nearest turbine is around 700m (765yds) from High Tralorg, the couple's house in the hills above the village of Old Dailly, while planning guidelines recommend a minimum distance of 2km (1.24 miles). The figure is often ignored.
Mr Stevenson said: "Kay and John have had their lives wrecked. When I visited High Tralorg, even although was only a moderate wind blowing the noise of the vast forest of turbines was endless and alarming, almost like the sound of high-flying jets.
"The value of their home has collapsed and to add insult to injury new planning applications have been lodged to erect another 19 giant turbines on the side of the Siddell’s home where there are presently none."
Mr Siddell, 63, a "partially retired" civil engineer who spent 25 years in the Royal Engineers, and his wife, a former civil servant, have become unwitting experts on wind power since the 52-turbine development went up in 2006, and accuse Alex Salmond of causing “huge damage” to Scotland's countryside.
They believe their home is now virtually worthless, but are reluctant to leave, as they fear they would be letting down other objectors.
Mrs Siddell said: "The noise is what gets me, and the turbines are always at different angles. Wash up at the sink, look at the turbines, lie in bed, look at the turbines. We have had so much of South Ayrshire destroyed by these monsters."
They have measured the noise, and believe it is regularly around 75 decibels – similar to a vacuum cleaner – while at 85 decibels employers are required to provide ear protection. They are currently waiting to hear from SSE on its measurements.
She believes her ill health, which includes treatment for breast cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, has been affected by the wind farm and the stress it causes.
Her husband's main objection is the “sheer inefficiency” of subsidy-dependent turbines that he claims are idle for up to 30 per cent of the time, and which have to be built with the use of thousands of tonnes of concrete and at the expense of roads bulldozed into the hills.
The couple are among more than 10,000 Scots who have written to the SNP objecting to turbines affecting their homes, according to Mr Stevenson.
He said: "Alex Salmond's manic fixation to re-industrialise Scotland and turn us into the Saudi Arabia of renewables cannot be allowed to bludgeon Kay and John Siddell and tens of thousands of other Scots into submission."
He hopes a new EU directive on the assessment of public and private projects on the environment will change the way that environmental impact assessments operate, and ensure that consultants are independent and that comments from the public are "demonstrably taken into account".
A spokesman for SSE said it had undertaken an "exhaustive" six month investigative noise survey at Hadyard Hill wind farm in order to identify if there was a noise issue
He added: "The results of this investigation are still under final analysis and SSE has also involved the wind turbine manufacturer in this process. If the analysis demonstrates that there is a noise issue, then SSE will identify and implement remedial measures."
LET'S HOPE THEY DO. BUT IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE WHAT "REMEDIAL MEASURES" COULD POSSIBLY GIVE THE SIDDELLS THEIR LIVES BACK.
(source: Daily Telegraph.)
It's been a busy time in and around Airriequhillart with several VIP visitors, including two from Hong Kong! We've welcomed visitors from all the main parties, both at local, national and European level. Without exception all have expressed dismay at what EDF has planned for this lovely valley. And, while we're trying not to take any particular political stand, it's virtually impossible to campaign without criticism in some quarters. Among the politicians were Alex Ferguson, a local MSP and Struan Stevenson from the European Parliament. Struan is the author of the excellent "So Much Wind" book, which completely destroys the case for Turbines. Struan spent some time on Barrachan Hill, overlooking the valley EDF is bent on destroying. He looked rather reflective as he left. Next day he sent us the following article. It sums up every sane person's sentiments concerning this unique setting. Please read it:
Click the link below to download the PDF file SAVE THE MACHARS OF GALLOWAY FROM FRENCH WINDFARM BLIGHT
Struan speaks about his new book:
A HIGH POWERED TEAM CARRIES THE FLAG FOR THE AIRRIEQUIHART PROTEST GROUP Struan Stevenson (left) -- never without a poster or two -- with Glyn Davies MP and Chris-Heaton Harris, MP.
They took a very clear a message for EDF to the big National Anti-Windfarm Rally in Welshpool on 20th June.
Overlooking the glorious Airriequillart valley. Andrew Shiells explains the French giant, EDF's planned destruction of the area to MSP Jim Hume (right). The photograph was taken on the boundary bewteen the project site and Mr Shiells' property. Mr Hume described the idea of putting turbines in a valley as "crazy."
Scots in European Challenge to Turbine Menace
Anti-turbine protesters from Scotland have joined a European-wide action challenging the development of wind farms across 24 countries. In a case brought at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, EPAW (the European Platform Against Windfarms) argues that the extension of the EC's renewable energy programme violates the Aarhus Convention. The international association, representing 596 groups across the continent, insist that the convention, adopted by the European Union in 2005, has been ignored.
Whenever a wind farm is proposed, public participation must take place at the preparatory stage at a local and national level, and this had not happened, according to Mark Duchamp, EPAW's executive director. "By and large, planning authorities across the EU do not perform rigorous assessments of the impacts of wind farms", he said.
"They do little more than rubberstamp the promoters' environmental impact statements. In legal terms, they are failing to conduct planning in a transparent and fair framework. This disrespect for the law will have dire, irreversible consequences for the EU's environment, people's health and the economy."
The case is expected to extend for at least 12 months. Susan Crosthwaite, EPAW's representative in Scotland, said that it was hugely relevant in Scotland where renewables policy was being "pursued by stealth".
"Turbines are now SO reliable...."
Quote from Christian Egal, CEO of EDF, Whithorn, 2012.
Walkers have had a narrow escape as blades from a wind turbine ripped off and sheared across common moor land.
The 17 metre blades split and scattered across Ovenden Moor Wind Farm, near Halifax. Walkers and local residents were stunned at what could have been a nasty accident and fear for further blade breakages.
The outfit responsible, E-on, has dumped a total of 23 wind turbines, which tower 32 metres, on Ovenden Moor. After the so-called "accident", a workman erected a fence around the turbine and a sign saying "danger, falling objects" was attached to the moor entrance gate. But a local resident Ann Arran, 64, who discovered blade debris said: "The safety fence they're erecting after the carnage is inadequate. Broken blade pieces could fly and land anywhere in high winds".
Sue Midgley, who was out walking with Ann, said: ."I couldn't believe what we saw, it was frightening having to continue walking across the land. At any minute more of the blades could shatter and who knows how long it will be until other turbine blades break - with disastrous consequences. It's public land. More must be done to protect the people". Like scrap them!!!!
OR SCRAP THEM -- IF YOU CAN!
Ultra-green Denmark has admitted it has no idea what to with a HUGE mountain of old and broken wind turbine blades. The composite material can't be recycled. A key material in constructing wind turbines, carbon fibre composite, cannot be recycled and is fast filling landfills, or else is being burned creating toxic emissions. The report admits, "a gigantic mountain of scrap blades is building up".
DENMARK has 6,000 wind turbines serving a population of 5.3 million and when the wind conditions are just right wind produces around 19 per-cent of its electricity. ( A long way off Salmond's fantasy figures).Yet, despite this huge financial investment no conventional power plant there has yet been shut down. No surprise then that Danish electricity bills are the highest in Europe.
A few hours after one of its wind turbines threw a blade in the Californian town of Ocotillo, builder Siemens Energy announced it is shutting down all its turbines worldwide that use the same blade until their safety can be assessed. The faulty wind turbine threw a ten-ton blade late Wednesday night or early Thursday. No one was injured, despite the blade's coming to rest atop a Jeep trail on public lands approximately 150 yards from the turbine. Yes, "safe as houses". But only so far as making money for greedy, uncaring, speculators!
Some of us battled our way up to Inverness for the latest protest at what the SNP calls a conference.Despite the freezing weather we held a well supported march through the town behind a coffin bearing a wreath and a 4,500 signature petition calling for a halt to Salmond's child-like fascination with windmills. At the Eden Centre we were blocked by several good humoured policemen and women and several, burly and less good humoured security guards. Like all wee fat bullies Salmond declined to meet any form of opposition -- in this case the tiny figure of the bearer of the petition, Rona Weir, the 94-year widow of that great Scottish countryman, Tom Weir. Salmond dismissed appeals for him to pop outside to accept the petition from her and, instead, offered her the option of presenting it to one of his minions in the secrecy of a private hotel room, some distance away from the conference hall. Just how scared of publicity has he become?
Rona takes her rejection in good heart
But this tiny, vibrant, lady refused point blank and, instead, faced up to the bank of police and security men. She politely asked to be allowed into the conference hall in order to seek out the cowardly Salmond in person.
"Do you, perhaps, see me as a terrorist threat? " She asked politely. The policeman in charge seemed genuinely sympathetic; but insisted he had his orders not to let her through.
The result was a publicity disaster for Salmond. The Press and TV were all there to record events. Salmond's refusal to meet Rona took precedence in many papers over the insignificant events at his wee conference. That was inevitable and it just shows how ignorant he is, not only about public opinion , but the media in general. How sad to hold such delusions about his ability to run an independent country.
Of course, since then at least one of his "advisors" had a whisper in his lughole to point out reality to him. He then desperately negotiated a meeting with Rona to effect the petition hand-over. It took place at Bute House, his "tied cottage" in Edinburgh. Instead of the grubby secret hotel room, it was all tea and scones, a half-hour chat and smiles for the cameras. His smile looked as if it had been fixed under anaesthetic by the makers of Wallace and Grommit! Publicity? Loads of it in the national Press and TV -- at least ten times more than Rona and her supporters would have got if he had simply and politely received the petition in Inverness, as had been requested. The question now is what is he likely to do with it? 4,500 signatures is not insignificant. But, we doubt it will make bed-time reading for him!
In the midst of the goings-on at the gate a senior SNP colleague of Salmond turned up. In the past Chic Brodie, has been very dismissive of Turbine protests -- but he now seems to have woken up to the fact that thousands of potential voters in his Southwest Scotland constituency are furious over the potential disaster at Straiton.
Mr Brodie politely stopped to talk to our representatives. He even found time to have a conversation with Rona Weir and her police chums. But he did stop short of accepting her petition on Salmond's behalf. But, on a very positive note, he politely listened to the details of EDF's proposals for Airriequhillart and, in particular, their plans to site all their 18 turbines within 2 kilometres of people's homes. In many cases far less than 1 kilometre. He said this "was not on" and pointed out the advice given a few months back in a Government assessment on the future of the Turbine industry, the details of which are elsewhere on this web-site.
Angela Shiells, of the Airriequhillart campaign, with Chic Brodie
The big financial services company Price Waterhouse Coopers has said shale gas is set to give Scotland a £5-billion revolution in energy production. It says Scotland is in a prime position, with massive reserves all the way from Aberdeen to Dumfries and Galloway. Shale has already transformed the US economy, making many Turbine Sites obsolete. Now, more than ever, there should be a moratorium now any further turbines until shale is properly assessed. Shell is already going into it in a big way. We will not need low-power turbine factories such as Airriequhillart within a very few years. It must be obvious to Salmond, his cronies and EDF; but they still press on. Please start writing to your politicians and the papers.
A group of 106 MPs - 101 of them Tories - have called on the UK Government to cut the subsidies for wind farms. They've told the Prime Minister it is "unwise" to make consumers subsidise "inefficient and intermittent energy production".
They said their constituencies would be ruined by further development. The 106 are sharing advice on running local campaigns against wind farms. One of them, Geoffrey Cox, the MP for Torridge and West Devon, said: "I shall be registering a formal planning objection to each and every major commercial wind turbine application in my area". Mr Cox, a former barrister, made the pledge as he resolved to fight plans by EDF Energy Renewables, the same mob behind the planned destruction of Airriequhillart, for six 377-ft turbines in Torridge.
DING! At last, the politicians are beginning to see the light!
EDF TELLS THOSE BLIGHTED BY TURBINE PROJECT: "YOU HAVE NO CHANCE OF COMPENSATION"
People who say their homes and businesses have already been affected by a massive wind farm project have been told by the company behind it that that they will not pay compensation for any losses whatsoever.
Two senior executives of EDF were speaking to members of the Airriequhillart Wind Farm Protest group at their campaign headquarters.
They denied that wind farms reduced property prices, had any effect on health and dismissed all the current recommendations that turbines should be no closer than two kilometres from occupied premises.
EDF's Head of Development, Tony Scorer and Dennis Garry, the Project Manager for the scheme, were taken to visit the properties of several of those already affected by their plans.
They saw the view from the small holiday caravan business of Mike and Fran Raw. It overlooks the valley where EDF plan to put eighteen 450ft turbines. The Raws have already shelved expansion plans after many of their regular customers told them they would not return if the turbines went up.
They also viewed the valley from the top of Barrachan Hill, where there is a significant fortified historical site. There are at least another fourteen detailed archaeological sites threatened by the project.
At one stage on the tour a heron glided past their heads to settle among reeds a few yards away – a brief illustration of the extensive wildlife habitat, which the protesters say is now in real danger.
Mr Scorer and Mr Garry were left in no doubt about local opposition to their scheme.
A nearby farm which overlooks the site has been refused a 50 metre turbine because the Council has ruled that should be the maximum height for any object for the type of landscape.
When asked how they thought they could get away with turbines more than 135 metres high, Mr Scorer claimed EDF could "alter designs to accommodate that.'
But, when pressed, he could not explain how they would design away 86 metres just like that, while admitting that a restriction to 50 metres would mean the project was not viable.
The owner of several tourist-related businesses pointed out that the land they had chosen was not only beautiful, but was at the heart of the area's literary tradition.
It was the focus of the Wigtown Ploughman novel and the subject of the Andrew McNeillie poem 'Airriequhillart. ' A tourism trail is being developed to encourage walkers, cyclists and others to visit the area.
Both men were handed leaflets of the route, but said they "were not responsible for tourism". That was down to Tourism Scotland.
However, they would be carrying out a "socio-economic survey, together with surveys on birds, bats, tourism, wildlife and other subjects. " All of these would be taken into account at the planning stage, but it could take some considerable time.
An angry householder asked why these surveys had not been carried out before EDF published plans detailing the exact locations of their turbines, several of which are less than one kilometre from his back door.
He thought his home would be unsellable for years to come while EDF got its act together. At the moment he estimated the loss in value at £150,000.
A retired couple from Barrachan village said they'd had their home revalued since the project was announced. It had dropped by £50,000 since the same time last year.
The EDF team were presented with several pages which detailed huge losses in the value of homes blighted by turbines, together with copies of letters from estate agents explaining why clients had pulled out of deals on similar properties.
They were also quoted instances where Council Tax bands had been reduced for homes where the value had slumped because of turbines.
None of this had any effect on EDF's Mr Scorer. He told the group "you have to do your own research on property prices. I"m not going to say yes, or no. "
A businessman, who owns several properties close to the scheme, pressed the case for compensation for those worst affected.
He asked directly if EDF would pay compensation for residents' losses. Mr Scorer replied firmly: "No. "
It was pointed out that absent landlords and a few local farmers stood to gain hundreds of thousands of pounds for allowing EDF onto their land.
Fran Raw insisted that the project would close the business she had spent ten years building up. "Who is going to pay my bills at Morrisons? " she asked.
Mr Scorer was asked: " Are you going to pay this woman compensation?
The EDF boss replied " No, we are not. "
Mrs Raw told him: "You have not even considered the community. These are people's lives you are dealing with. That should be your first consideration. "
Another angry resident said she was in her 70's and had a recent fall in which she had broken her shoulder. She said the time might not be far off when she might have to go into care. "How would she pay for that if she could not sell her home to pay for it? "
It was put to him that, in view of EDF's massive profits, the refusal to offer even a small amount of compensation to businesses and individuals directly affected seemed totally unreasonable.
Mr Scorer replied: "It's not unreasonable at all! "
The EDF pair were also in denial over the question of the distance turbines should be sited from people's homes.
The Conservative leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, had, just a few days before, called for the Government to enforce an existing and well established recommendation that they should be "no closer than two-kilometres from human habitation. "
She said this would "better protect the value of homes. "
The Airriequhillart Protest Group have already invited Ms Davidson to visit the site, where all of the eighteen turbines are planned to be put up within two kilometres of homes and many within less than one kilometre.
The pair were handed evidence of a dozen bodies, including a recent Scottish Government survey, calling for a two kilometre limit.
This included one from EDF"s homeland. The French National Academy of Medicine was insisting on a 1.5 kilometre limit as far back as 2005.
Despite this, Mr Scorer claimed this had "all been misinterpreted". The limit did not apply to "individual homes. "
He did not respond when it was put to him that Barrachan Village, which he had visited an hour before, was not "an individual home. "
He was asked what he thought the minimum distance should be and suggested six to seven hundred metres.
He declined to say whether that would be for one turbine, or ten? Several homes had many more than that within 1 kilometre with many facing up to a dozen 450-foot turbines within 2 kilometres.
Dr David Baird, a local GP, asked the EDF executives what studies they could produce which showed that wind turbines did not have any adverse effects on those living nearby.
Mr Scorer said: "Can I turn the question the other way round. Can you tell me what studies have been done to show that they do have an effect on people's health. "
Dr Baird leaned forward and replied: "Yes I can. "
He produced a large sheaf of research from both here and abroad and presented it to Mr Scorer to read at his leisure.
Afterwards Dr Baird said that if the wind farm goes ahead, with the clear and unequivocal evidence presented to EDF that people living in proximity to turbines are at risk of a number of health problems, then EDF will be leaving themselves wide open to future legal action.
The group also made it clear that they were not against green energy as such. But this project was clearly in the wrong place.
The meeting, which had been planned to run longer, had to be curtailed as the EDF men said they had to go to a meeting in Carlisle.
But, before they left, a spokesman told them that they had a real fight on their hands.
Before the meeting EDF had insisted that no local Press could be present, unless one of their Press Officers was also present. But no Press Officer was available.
AFTER THE MEETING one of the protesters learned that, earlier that day, EDF had approached a local paper asking that any coverage of the Airriequhillart project – including readers' letters – should first be submitted to them before publication.
The paper said that, since this project started, they had made many attempts to contact EDF, but EDF had never returned any calls.
THE DAY BEFORE THE MEETING the group put up protest signs along the route the EDF men would be taken. As has happened in the past, many disappeared over night.
A spokesman for the group said he'd like to thank those who did it. It gave a measure of just how concerned they are about the progress the campaign is making. It also gave us an insight into the intellectual level of their debating skills.
He added: "There's really no need to get out of their Land-Rovers to collect them, perhaps for their bedroom walls. If they want more, just get in touch through our web-site: stopwindturbines.com: and we'll send a batch. We have thousands of them. "
A hugely important report from the Adam Smith institute, released jointly with The Reason Foundation in the States, says that the government is over-investing in onshore and offshore turbines; will never be suited as the lone or primary source of grid electricity due to its variable nature and will not deliver the environmental benefits expected; and that the practical upper limit for wind is only 10% of total energy mix.
The study says wind blows at speeds that vary considerably, leading to wide variations in power output at different times and in different locations. To address this variability, power supply companies must install backup capacity, which kicks in when demand exceeds supply from the wind turbines; failure to do so will adversely affect grid reliability. The need for this backup capacity significantly increases the cost of producing power from wind. Since backup power in most cases comes from fossil fuel generators, this effectively limits the carbon-reducing potential of new wind capacity. Of course, this will be completely ignored by Salmond and his cronies who act like spoiled brats in a toyshop when it comes to windmills.
The Conservative party has said that no Turbine Site should be built less than two kilometres (one-and-a-quarter miles) away from housing in Scotland. All 18 proposed by EDF fall within that distance, several of them are well within 1km. Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said it is not fair that anyone should have to live in the shadow of a turbine. "The SNP may think it's acceptable to plaster the countryside with wind farms, spoiling the scenery, but the least it could do is offer some kind of quality control on the policy. Invoking the two kilometre limit would simply be enforcing the rules that are there, but in too many cases have been ignored. " The Scottish Conservatives will call on the SNP to ensure legislation is properly enforced to better protect the value of people's homes. The plan would apply only to new turbines, not those already built. The Tories will also sources urge ministers to carry out a rigid health assessment of turbines to reassure communities living nearby.
A wind farm protester has been taken from his home in Dumfries by police over correspondence he had with a member of the SNP's planning committee. He was arrested at nine-o'clock at night. The 45-year-old man, who is caring for this 90-year-old mother, was taken to a police station where he was charged under the Communications Act. Because he has actually been charged we are unable to give full details at present.
You can help support the Airriequhillart Wind Farm Protest by making a Donation. Please use the button below to make a secure payment:
For months we have been challenging Christian Egal to have the nerve come and see the valley he wants to destroy in person. Well he partly took up the challenge in that he attended, mob handed, a meeting of the small rural business association in Whithorn, turning up at the last moment. It was a closed meeting, but we managed to negotiate a couple of seats. Mr Egal did not, however arrange his visit to visit us or the Airriequhillart site in person. Here's a press report of what happened next:
An MP has made a face to face appeal to the head of an energy firm not to destroy a Machars valley with wind turbines. Russell Brown told the Chief Executive of EDF that the peaceful and unique Airriequhillart valley should be left as it is.
Mr Brown was speaking during a "Question Time" style debate at the Annual General Meeting of the local Business Association. Speakers from the Conservatives, the SNP and Visit Scotland also took part.
EDF, which is planning to build eighteen massive 450-foot turbines across the historic Airriequhillart valley, had sent an unusually strong team for such an event to Whithorn in an attempt to persuade the business community to back wind energy.
Besides their Chief Executive, Christian Egal, two more senior executives and a Press Officer turned up for the session. Mr Egal had made a surprise last-minute appearance. The Business Association had simply asked for "a representative" to take part.
Mr Egal had been in direct contact with the Airriequhillart Protest Group over several weeks and had been coming under increasing pressure to make a personal visit to the proposed site. As none of the protest group were members, the Association generously decided it would be right to allow two of them to attend as guests.
However, Mr Egal, who had travelled from London on the day, did not choose to make the extra 12-mile journey to Airriequhillart. He arrived after dark and returned the same night.
Not surprisingly, all but a couple of questions for the two-and-a-half hour session concerned the growing threat to the region by the swiftly growing number of turbine sites.
Questions ranged from the way some companies plan to squeeze turbines close to people's homes, despite the recommended two-kilometre guideline and why no compensation was built into the process for those whose properties were blighted by turbines.
There were gasps of disbelief in the crowded room when both EDF and the SNP representative, Aileen Mcleod, argued that the imposition of a turbine site did not affect the value of adjoining properties.
Mr Egal, a rather imposing Frenchman, argued that there was "no evidence" that Turbine Sites affected property prices, despite the fact that compensation schemes are in force in other countries.
The Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson blamed a lack of order or specific guidelines from central government. He gave an example of a house which was proving unsaleable because of Turbines.
Mr Fergusson detailed his own interest in, and income from, seven turbines on land he owns. . But both he and Russell Brown, thought turbines had now become an unfair burden on Dumfries and Galloway.
Mr Brown reminded the meeting that tourism was about all the area had to offer. But Aileen Mcleod, of the SNP, argued that "wind farms had no effect on tourism". Some of her party insist they even "attract" visitors.
The panel was asked if the development of Britain's huge reserves of shale gas would make turbines redundant and should there be a moratorium on further wind projects.
Over the past few years shale gas has reduced the unit cost of energy in America from 12 dollars to three and American no longer needs to import gas from the Middle East.
However, most of the panel saw shale as only "part of the energy mix" and thought it did not warrant a moratorium.
Dr Angela Armstrong raised the question of health issues, such as Wind Turbine Syndrome. She detailed research by doctors in several countries on the effects of noise and vibration on humans – especially that caused by low frequency sound waves.
But the EDF team argued that there was "no such evidence" and one compared the vibrations from their huge turbines to "those of a washing machine".
Both during the meeting and in conversations before and after it Mr Egal made it clear that, in his view, if the planning went through, then the turbines simply went up. That was that.
However, Tony Scorer, the EDF executive in charge of development, and Project Manager, Dennis Garry, who were both present, have agreed to travel back to meet members of the Airriequhillart Protest Group and visit homes threatened by their project in February.
A Scottish Government committee
has published "a report" on the achievability of it's renewable energy targets. We have long been pressing for an INDEPENDENT report. No chance. On Page 3 (of 43) pages of what amounts to sheer propaganda, it boasts: "The committee supports the Scottish Government in its efforts to develop the renewables industry"....etc etc. No real need to read on then. It just reiterates all the inane fantasies we've heard before. Turbines have "absolutely no effect" on tourism and so on.
However, one significant paragraph stands out and it affects us. It reads; "The committee recognises that small numbers of people can be inconvenienced by noise and shadow flicker caused by wind farms. We recommend that planning authorities and the Scottish Government continue to apprise themselves of research in these areas and take reasonable steps to mitigate the impacts. They must monitor whether the guideline of placing larger developments at least TWO kilometres from settlements is being interpreted appropriately.'
Well that would account for ALL 18 of the turbines being proposed close to Barrachan, Faldaroch, Jacob's Ladder and the homes around Airriequhillart. Please make mention of this whenever possible, especially in your protest letters to the CEO of EDF. His address in in the Help Us section of the site.
Struan Stevenson, MEP has written a strong letter to the authorities pointing out the recommendation in the report. We'll keep you posted.
Two council scoping reports which are damning to EDF's abysmal plans for our area. One on the landscape says that if turbines are to go up, then they should be smaller ones -- 20 to 50 metres high. Not the 136.5 metre giants proposed by EDF. The report also points out that there are already more than a dozen schemes within the 35km Radius Area. It calls for a detailed landscape character assessment given the complexity of the area in terms of "diverse local landscape character and features of local distinctness". There are at least fifteen archaeological sites on or around the site.
If anything the roads report is even more damning, with many routes being classified as unsuitable with complex approaches, including frequent crossings of the Bladnoch Bridge. A real bottleneck for everyone travelling south of Newton Stewart. But even this route, which is classified as a "consultation route for the straightforward extraction of timber" will "require significant up grading due to it's substandard width and lack of passing places." There's loads more detail in this report. But, in short, we're talking about a total nightmare for residents and businesses for a long period of time and major costs for the developers. Are they just thick? Why can't EDF cut it's losses now and admit this is the wrong plan on the wrong site in the wrong area.
Recently EDF 'agents' turned up at Barrachan Home Farm Road end at dusk. They were armed with a camera and complained that the trees were stopping them getting a photograph of the house. They had the gall to complain that we had not replied to a letter they sent asking to snoop around both inside and outside the house. They were told that, in the circumstances -- the effective destruction of the property's value and the owner's lifestyle -- a letter addressed to the "occupier" was an insult. (The language was a bit less formal!). They were sent on their way with the firm message that their employers had a major battle on their hands. The next day they were snooping round Barrachan Village, taking pictures of protest signs. But they did not dare to call on the owner of the home showing them.
Our protest signs have struck a raw nerve with EDF's lackeys. A large sign and some smaller ones were ripped down on Liz Clarke's property -- directly opposite to the southern entrance to the site. This road provides access for Peter Cockrell and another sell-out landowner whose details will be on the site shortly. We're told he boasts that he's "keeping his head down". Not for long, John. Whoever was petty enough to do it shot themselves firmly in the foot. The Galloway Gazette ran the story and photograph over two pages and was followed up by letters of support for two weeks, together with a repeat of the story in the local paper's round up of the year. There are now about a dozen signs where the old ones were taken down. We also brought the matter to the attention of the EDF representatives at Whithorn. They admitted they were upset by the bad publicity their supporters had dumped on them. We've sent copies far and wide, including one to the CEO of EDF!
WIND farms are likely to run out of the ability to generate energy after little more than a decade of use ˆ about half of the previously thought
lifespan for the turbines. An Edinburgh University study found that onshore wind farms, instead of lasting for 25 years without a drop in input into the grid, are more likely to reach the end of their lifespan in 10 or 12 years. The report, commissioned by the Renewable Energy Foundation, which is against wind farm expansion, says it could mean massive hidden costs for the renewables industry.
This makes a mockery of EDF's illusions about how it would repair or replace the walls, plant replacement trees and restore power lines etc after the initial build. If, for instance a turbine or it's blades had to be replaced it'll all be torn up again. We put this directly to Christian Egal in Whithorn. He had no answer, other than to plead that "his turbines were "very reliable". Interesting, that, according to EDF's web-site the design and manufacturer have yet to be chosen!
Airriequhillart Wind Farm Protest PETITION
Please show us your support by adding your name to our petition!
Click the picture, a new page will open then follow the links to the petition.
Painting by Local Artist Pauline James
This is a splendid painting of a Picasso-esque parody of what we're going through at the moment. It should not be sold or used in fund-raising. Picasso died in 1973 and his family retain -- and are enforcing -- the copyright to his works until 50 years have passed.
In the 2nd photo Pauline presents the painting to Angela Shiells.
SNP CONFERENCE PROTEST MARCH There was a strong contingent from Dumfries and Galloway among more than 200 marchers to the Conference Hall in Perth. These included several children, assorted dogs and the 92-year-old widow of the author Tom Weir. A wonderful lady with our heritage at heart. We were mostly polite, middle-aged country folk. Hardly a threat to public order.
However, we spent a few hours penned in outside the entrance to the hall, with a moderate, but friendly, police presence. The ever-spooky camera van was recording everyone's faces. If you were ever on an old CND march, wait for the knock on the door!! Towards the rear of the really noisy part of the protest, several of us tried to lobby and engage delegates in conversation as they went to and from the hall. Some were concerned, came over and there were a few polite little debates across the steel barricade.
But most, tried to ignore us and rushed past avoiding eye contact, especially the ministers. However, there was a significant minority, apparently frustrated by the low level of debate within the conference hall, who decided to move things onto a higher intellectual plane. Several inspired political arguments were gently proposed to the eagerly attentive crowd of protesters. These (ignoring the presence of many children) included "Why don' youse jus F***-OFF!" or, on a more delicate note, some, (perhaps those with an O-level) chose: "Just P***-OFF."
It made us wonder what on Earth made these "Delegate" badge wearing louts think they might have the ability, or intellect (could they even spell it?) to run a country. A sad, sad day for Scotland.
TAKING A LOOK AT SALMOND AND THE FACES OF HIS CRONIES ON THE TV COVERAGE LATER, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT WE ARE, INDEED, NOW A MARXIST STATE. NOT THE GUY PLANTED IN HIGHGATE CEMETERY, OF COURSE -- MORE LIKE THE BROTHERS!
On Saturday 20th October 2012 we released a Protest Song at the PROTEST AGAINST SNP WIND POLICY in Perth, Scotland.
The song has been recorded to help us raise funds for the Airriequhillart Wind Farm Protest and to help raise awareness about the increasing Wind Turbine problem in Scotland. "I.T.S A Protest Song" was commissioned from www.yoursongyourway.co.uk and written and performed by the Bob Bradbury Band (www.bobbradburyband.co.uk).
The song comes on CD & costs £3.00 per copy plus p&p The price includes a contribution to help support the Airriequhillart Wind Farm Protest.
For Postage within the UK:
For Postage within Europe:
Sadly, the overall protest organisation, CATS, has broken up because on internal disagreements. It's unfortunate; but let's thank them for all the good work they did.
A NEW OVERALL PROTEST GROUP CALLED SCOTLAND AGAINST SPIN has been launched. You can get more details at www.scotlandagainstspin.org. It's headed by some really experienced and vocal anti-turbine campaigners. Please take a look. Membership is just £10 a year and you can use PAYPAL on their web-site.