Britain calls time on wind farms

The Telegraph quotes John Hayes, the new energy minister, saying “enough is enough” on wind farms.

It’s quite refreshing to hear the DAGW nonsense called an “article of faith”.

The energy minister said he had ordered a new analysis of the case for onshore wind power which would form the basis of future government policy, rather than “a bourgeois Left article of faith based on some academic perspective”.

Last night, Mr Hayes said: “We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities. I can’t single-handedly build a new Jerusalem but I can protect our green and pleasant land.

“We have issued a call for evidence on wind. That is about cost but also about community buy-in. We need to understand communities’ genuine desires.”

“If you look at what has been built, what has consent and what is in the planning system, much of it will not get through and will be rejected. Even if a minority of what’s in the system is built we are going to reach our 2020 target,” Mr Hayes said. “I’m saying enough is enough.”

- h/t Andy

54 Thoughts on “Britain calls time on wind farms

  1. There are still a lot of wind farms in the pipeline in Scotland and I don’t know if they have separate legislation there on these issues

    Alex Salmond still seems intent on turning Scotland into one giant industrial wind park, destroying the iconic scenery in the process

    Hundreds of people protested against the SNP wind policy at the Perth conference recently, some people in their 70s who had never been to a protest before

    This is one of the most socially divisive issues in the UK today

  2. Doug Proctor on November 1, 2012 at 7:10 am said:

    Even if a minority of what’s in the system is built we are going to reach our 2020 target,” Mr Hayes said. “I’m saying enough is enough.:

    This is the part that negates all the good feeling to wind farm development: he is saying that Britain already has enough planned.

    They will still be built on his watch, and to the 2020 target level. Nothing has changed! The target was the key, not the total proposal number.

    Look better while doing what you were already doing that made you look bad. Brilliant.

  3. However, it is not as good as it looks, as Ed Davey gives the Minister a slapping, and Cameron states that there is no change in policy in PMQ

    http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83299

    While we are at it, Ben Pile’s documentary on UK wind is very good indeed.

    You can watch it here:
    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/10/31/lost-horizons.html

    • The Lost Horizons website, with the film, is here

      http://www.losthorizons.org/

    • Mike Jowsey on November 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm said:

      Thanks Andy – a very good doco. Succinct, but covers a broad spectrum of the issues.

    • “Lost Horizons” features the onshore wind farm at Fullabrook in Devon. I did a bit of research on this and found this article

      http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/Turbine-noise-destroying-lives/story-13380064-detail/story.html


      Turbine noise ‘destroying’ our lives

      Jeremy Mann, head of environmental health and housing services at NDC said: “I can confirm that a number of the residents near to the wind farm have now expressed concern regarding the noise levels.

      “The operator has strict noise limits imposed on their operation and is required to give evidence to the council of their compliance with these controls when the site is no longer working intermittently.”

      In the meantime several residents feel they are trapped living with the noise because if they tried to move house few people would be interested in buying a property next to a wind turbine.

      Nick Williams lives at Fullabrook itself with six of the turbines near his house. He claimed the wind farm had destroyed the area he lives in as well as his life.

      He said: “It is like having tumble dryers in my bedroom and so I mostly have to sleep on the sofa in my front room – why should I be forced out of my bed?

      This is an all-too familiar story which the advocates of wind power completely deny the existence of.

  4. Gary Kerkin on November 1, 2012 at 8:03 am said:

    Personally I don’t care if energy generators wish to build wind farms provided the requirements of resource consents are met and objections are properly taken into account. However, I do care if they are subsidized. Remove all subsidies and other economic support and then let’s see if they wish to build them!

    Ultimately the economics of generation should determine what types of plant should be built and how they should be operated.

    • Brandoch Daha on November 1, 2012 at 8:21 am said:

      Good idea, Gary, as long as we remove the annual US$ 400,000,000,000 subsidy on fossil fuels as well…

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-09/fossil-fuels-got-more-aid-than-clean-energy-iea.html

    • This idea that fossil fuels are subsidised more that renewables is one of the biggest lies that the renewables and green lobbies perpetrate

      I do recommend the Lost Horizons film above, if you have any care for the environment in the fragile North Devon and Welsh areas at all.

    • Alexander K on November 1, 2012 at 9:12 am said:

      Brandoch, I suspect you need to widen your sources of ‘information’. The article you link to is without veracity whatsoever and has been debunked as utter propaganda for the Renewables industry. As a man from Taranaki, you should be able to spot BS when you read it.

    • Gary Kerkin on November 1, 2012 at 10:26 am said:

      It really doesn’t matter though, Alexander, whether it is rubbish or otherwise. It depends how you want to do the arithmetic. For example were our government, in its wisdom, to remove excise tax from our liquid fuel supply, making the price of petrol commensurate with, say, at least, Australia, would we consider that a subsidy? Some, however, might suggest it is because we would be depriving the tax base of such income. I suspect that is how some of these numbers are derived—and distorted.

    • Alexander K on November 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm said:

      I struggle with your assertion, Gary, that it really doesn’t matter how one does the sums or defines the problems. I was taught very early that valid definitions are essential in any discussion. Without genuinely agreed definitions, we risk wandering in an Alice-in-Wonderland type maze of clever but unreal and unusable allegory. The fact that those wishing to profit from huge taxpayer support can write clever nonsense is no reason for any sane commentator to allow them to get away with their misdirection and chicanery.

  5. Clarence on November 1, 2012 at 10:59 am said:

    I believe most New Zealanders would favour the removal of all energy production subsidies, including any that might be offered for producing oil or gas.

    We have no reason to believe that the Government is good (or even average) at picking future winners!

    But let’s be clear that normal tax deductions are not subsidies. Revenue expenses incurred in the production of taxable income are deducted by all businesses. The $4 billion cited by Greenpeace as fossil fuel subsidies are largely just standard deductions.

    • In the UK, they have an additional tax on oil producers called the “supplementary charge”. They can reduce this in the case of marginal fields.

      The Greens call this kind of tax break a “subsidy”, even though no one else is paying this tax.

    • What I call a “subsidy’ is when a wind company gets paid to not produce electricity because there is too much supply, or the ROCs that ensure that the companies get paid substantially more than the market value of the electricity they produce.

      Unforntunately, arguing with pro-wind advocates is just the same as arguing with climate change activists. They are like a brainwashed religious cult. I really can’t be bothered any more
      My postion is that, by default, anyone involved with the wind “industry” is a criminal, con artist and generally a piece of vermin, and should be treated accordingly

    • Huub Bakker on November 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm said:

      If it’s only $4 billion then Branoch is out by a factor of 100 but what’s $396 billion between friends?

      On the matter of wind farms, the original Te Apiti wind farm, outside Palmerston North, was built and run without subsidies, if I have my facts right.

    • Brandoch Daha on November 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm said:

      For those lacking the fine motor control to click on my link to Bloomberg themselves, here is the quote, sourced to the International Energy Agency (like Bloomberg Inc., a not-so-obvious haunt of green commie windmill-hugging hippies):

      State spending to cut retail prices of gasoline, coal and natural gas rose 36 percent to $409 billion as global energy costs increased, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said today in its World Energy Outlook. Aid for biofuels, wind power and solar energy, rose 10 percent to $66 billion.

      Geddit?

    • I don’t care Rob. We don’t want your stupid wind farms. Period

      Geddit?

    • Brandoch Daha on November 2, 2012 at 8:01 am said:

      Farming wind sounds great for the ‘Naki, we have plenty to spare, but who’s “Rob”, and who’s “we”?

      As for your blinkered attitude to facts, who cares what you and your fellow anemophobes think?

      Professional help is available, if you want it….

      http://www.peterfieldhypnotherapy.co.uk/anemophobia-ancraophobia-fear-of-wind-fear-of-drafts.html

    • Rob is the guy who posts exactly the same links at the same time as you over on Hot Topic, sorry I got you confused

  6. ChrisM on November 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm said:

    If Brandoch was not so blinded by his own dogma, he would actually do some research on how that “subsidy” is made. It is almost entirely third world countries that sell fuel way below cost to their masses. The only Western subsidies they document is in some countries the excise tax on fuel is lower than for other goods. A reduction in tax is not a subsidy.

    And check out IEA. On their masthead they have:

    Working together to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy

    As I can’t imagine this means coal fired power stations, they have a bias.

  7. Alexander K on November 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm said:

    Sorry Brandoch, nothing wrong with my fine motor control, but that Bloomberg article only needs a good tune backing it to be a very entertaining piece of fantasy; said article has been dissected at length and exposed as imaginative nonsense by individuals who really do understand and are qualified in the most arcane outer reaches of the study of both economics and taxation. It’s mildly amusing that the enthusiasts for ‘alternative energy’ which in most parts of the world cannot function without being heavily subsidised, drag up this silly ‘fossil fuels are heavily subsidised too’ nonsense to make their own pet ideas seem half reasonable.
    Why am I unsurprised that you have attached yourself to this particular piece of nonsense?

  8. Delingpole discusses this issue with Green MP Caroilne Lucas, Ken Livingstone and Andrew Neil of the BBC

    Neil nails it with the numbers, Lucas and Livingstone are left burbling about energy efficiency

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20168738

  9. It seems that Mr Hayes’ comments have made the investors jittery
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/31/coalition-wind-farm-dispute-renewables?fb=native

    There are some pretty wild claims in that Guardian article about cost and jobs.

  10. This is a fun read from the Mail in response to this affair

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2226517/Energy-Minister-John-Hayes-sprang-despatch-box-bounce-Basil-Brush.html

    Ps I am in the Uk and we have snow here. It is also snowing back home in NZ.

  11. A new study from the USA shows the physical and mental effects of turbine noise are real.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9653429/Wind-farm-noise-does-harm-sleep-and-health-say-scientists.html

  12. From The Times

    wind farms will blight landscape and hurt tourism.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/scotland/article3590272.ece#

  13. Offshore wind turbine orders grind to halt

    Orders for offshore wind turbines have come to an abrupt halt in the UK, in what some industry figures say is the first clear sign of a long-feared slowdown in renewable energy investment

    http://view.ed4.net/v/3JFELL/Z80BAC/9LT7GS/HDPCIT

  14. Government causes wind farm ‘investment freeze’

    Orders for wind turbines destined for the UK have almost ground to a halt as industry figures warn that the Government has caused an “unnecessary investment freeze” in renewable energy projects.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/9655168/Government-causes-wind-farm-investment-freeze.html#

  15. Are there too many on-shore wind turbines in North Wales?; THE DEBATE

    The PM said there had been no change on renewable energy policy, with a large number of projects in the pipeline, on and offshore, which would help meet their 2020 targets.

    “We are committed to those, but frankly all parties are going to have to have a debate in this House and outside this House about what happens once those targets are met.”

    This is a big issue in North Wales, where there is a campaign against the planned Mynydd Mynyllod wind farm, 25 turbines each 145m tall at the foot of the Berwyn mountains in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The scheme would hit tourism and put the rural economy at risk, destroy the natural environment and profoundly alter the character of the area, protesters warn.

    Meanwhile almost 8,000 people – more than a 10th of Anglesey’s population – signed a petition demanding a 1.5km buffer zone around large wind turbines.

    Anglesey Against Wind Turbines says the proliferation of applications on the island has caused an outcry, and they will wreck views and damage tourism.

  16. WIND FARMS WILL ADD £410 TO YOUR POWER BILL

    ALEX Salmond’s plan to make Scotland totally dependent on wind farms for its energy will cost an extra £1billion, which will be added to household electricity bills.
    Every one of Scotland’s 2.4 million households would pay an extra £410 a year, according to respected think tank the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF).

  17. Now from Canada

    An ill wind for McGuinty
    -
    New scientific study links wind turbines to health hazards

    One of the worst things the Dalton McGuinty government did in its disastrous dash into green energy was to ride roughshod over the health complaints of rural Ontarians regarding industrial wind turbines.

    Basically McGuinty dismissed them as NIMBYS.

    That is, people who weren’t really suffering any ill health effects from wind turbines other than “Not In My Back Yard Syndrome” — NIMBYism for short.

    The Liberal government cited studies — many from the wind industry itself — claiming no adverse health effects from wind turbines, and a report by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, concluding there were no “direct links” between wind turbines and ill health.

    But wind farm opponents are now armed with a new weapon — a controlled, peer-reviewed, scientific study published in the current issue of the periodical Noise and Health which for the first time links industrial wind turbine noise and vibration to serious health problems.

    • Richard C (NZ) on November 6, 2012 at 6:59 am said:

      ‘Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health’

      Nissenbaum, Aramini and Hanning

      2012

      http://www.noiseandhealth.org/article.asp?issn=1463-1741;year=2012;volume=14;issue=60;spage=237;epage=243;aulast=Nissenbaum

      Abstract

      Industrial wind turbines (IWTs) are a new source of noise in previously quiet rural environments. Environmental noise is a public health concern, of which sleep disruption is a major factor. To compare sleep and general health outcomes between participants living close to IWTs and those living further away from them, participants living between 375 and 1400 m (n = 38) and 3.3 and 6.6 km (n = 41) from IWTs were enrolled in a stratified cross-sectional study involving two rural sites. Validated questionnaires were used to collect information on sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index – PSQI), daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Score – ESS), and general health (SF36v2), together with psychiatric disorders, attitude, and demographics. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were performed to investigate the effect of the main exposure variable of interest (distance to the nearest IWT) on various health outcome measures. Participants living within 1.4 km of an IWT had worse sleep, were sleepier during the day, and had worse SF36 Mental Component Scores compared to those living further than 1.4 km away. Significant dose-response relationships between PSQI, ESS, SF36 Mental Component Score, and log-distance to the nearest IWT were identified after controlling for gender, age, and household clustering. The adverse event reports of sleep disturbance and ill health by those living close to IWTs are supported.

      # # #

      1.4 km is the radius of what should be a circle clear of habitation going by this study. Just formalizes what should be a no-brainer.

  18. Scottish Borders ‘on course for 1,000 wind turbines’

    A thousand wind turbines are on course to be built in the Scottish Borders thanks to the SNP’s “backroom bullying” of the local council to ignore public opposition, it has been claimed.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/9665259/Scottish-Borders-on-course-for-1000-wind-turbines.html

  19. Compensation for homeowners close to wind turbines in Denmark too low

    http://cphpost.dk/news/national/wind-turbine-compensation-stirring-disconent

  20. Check out the video from Greenpeace in this Telegraph article
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9678627/George-Osborne-is-driving-force-behind-anti-wind-farm-agenda-says-his-father-in-law-Lord-Howell.html

    apparently they have uncovered a massive conspiracy involving James Delingpole and the Conservatibe Party

  21. Here is an interesting article from the Spiegel on problems with intermittent renewables, ie wind and solar

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-energy-expert-argues-against-subsidies-for-solar-power-a-866996.html

    Note that Poland is putting in expensive infrastructure to protect itself from power surges from Germany

  22. Apparently the WWF has been huffing and puffing about this issue, saying that it is scaring away the investors.

    Isn’t it funny, then, that they have financial interests at stake? Follow the money:

    http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83349

  23. Via Tallbloke

    Carmarthen Council: Permission for 21 turbine windfarm refused

    THERE were cheers and applause from the public gallery as plans for 21 wind turbines in Carmarthenshire were rejected by councillors this afternoon.

    The planning committee refused to give energy company Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Ltd permission to build on Mynydd Llanllwni, in north east Carmarthenshire.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/carmarthen-council-permission-for-21-turbine-windfarm-refused/#more-9799

    Incidentally, the zealots at Hot Topic are suggesting that we carpet NZ with 10,000 of these useless monstrosities.

    • Richard C (NZ) on November 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm said:

      >”…the zealots at Hot Topic are suggesting that we carpet NZ with 10,000 of these”

      I had a similar suggestion put to me by a Greenpeace beggar some time back but it revolved around replacement of France’s nuclear capability with wind. The impossibility was not a barrier to be considered of course and it was apparently justifiable to erect towers everywhere all over France (a “carpet” as you put it). Even in urban neighbourhoods. To save the planet.

  24. This is a pretty shocking story

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8766481/the-great-british-wind-scam/

    The big turbines are being throttled back to produce less electricity so they get more subsidies. Turbine manufacturers even cater for this segment of the UK market.

    • Richard C (NZ) on November 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm said:

      >”If a turbine pumps out more than 500kW, its owners receive 9.5p per kilowatt hour. But a ‘smaller’ sub-500kW one receives a subsidy of 17.5p per kilowatt hour”

      Unintended consequences again. Reminds me of the Spanish variation a while ago, solar electricity produced at night – with diesel.

  25. Calls to shut down UKs biggest industrial wind facility over noise limits

    http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/story-17401807-detail/story.html

  26. Glenmorie wind farm objections “count for nothing”

    CAMPAIGNERS against a 34-turbine wind farm are outraged a planner has recommended that Highland Council should not object to the development, despite fierce opposition from four community councils and hundreds of people.

    In a stinging response, the Ardross-based Save our Straths group said the recommendation to councillors not to challenge the Glenmorie wind farm plan made a mockery of public consultation and meant local opinion “counted for nothing”.

    The proposal to establish the wind farm on Kildermorie and Glencalvie Estate has whipped up strong feelings over the past year, with Ardross residents claiming it would lead to their community being completely encircled by 125-high metre turbines

    http://www.ross-shirejournal.co.uk/News/Glenmorie-wind-farm-objections-count-for-nothing-23112012.htm

  27. UK triples subsidies for renewable energy

    Britain will triple subsidies for low-carbon power generation by 2020 after its coalition government this week forged a compromise over how to fund wind farms without harming the future of gas-fired power.

    The compromise became possible after the government agreed to postpone until 2016 setting a target for decarbonisation, which was opposed by many members of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party. The target is the extent to which carbon emissions are to be reduced by 2030.

    The deal is expected to boost the share of renewables in Britain’s energy mix to 30 per cent by 2020, outpacing European Union targets of 20 per cent, and create thousands of new jobs.

    “Today we’ve reached a landmark agreement on energy policy that’s going to deliver a clear, durable signal to investors,” Cameron’s spokeswoman said.

    Under the agreed Levy Control Framework, spending on renewable power generation will increase to 7.6 billion pounds ($12 billion) a year in real terms by 2020, from the current 2.35 billion pounds, to reduce dependence on gas.

    The renewable spending plans will be funded through further rises in household energy bills, which are increasingly unaffordable for many consumers.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/uk-triples-subsidies-for-renewable-energy-20121124-29zom.html#ixzz2DBgqmoV9

    Just to repeat that last bit The renewable spending plans will be funded through further rises in household energy bills, which are increasingly unaffordable for many consumers.

  28. Yet another Devon anti-wind farm activist group (it is hard to keep up with them all) post this picture of the proposed turbines in North Devon village of MeddonHarbourcross

    http://www.stopitmeddon.co.uk/Turbine%20Size%20PSA1.JPG

  29. Guardian Poll

    Would you be prepared to pay more for green energy?

    The government’s deal over a new energy bill is expected to lead to higher gas and electricity bills in the coming year. The Guardian has calculated an increase of £60-£80, while the Telegraph expects bills to “rise by up to £178 a year”. In principle, would you prepared to pay more for renewable energy?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/poll/2012/nov/23/would-you-be-perpared-to-pay-more-for-green-energy

    Currently 33% Yes, 67% No. Polls close in 2 hours

    • Final result of poll

      answering question
      “Would you be prepared to pay more for green energy?”

      31% Yes, 69% No

  30. Infighting over wind-farm policy descends into ‘utter shambles’

    “The Coalition has been accused of being in an “utter shambles” over wind farms after the Energy Secretary moved to strip powers from a Conservative minister for being “prejudiced” against turbines.”

    Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat, said he took legal advice after John Hayes, one of his junior Tory ministers, called an end to wind farms “peppering” the countryside.

    In a newspaper interview, Mr Davey said he had written to the Prime Minister pointing out the energy minister had spoken out against Coalition policy. He also said there was a “question mark” over whether Mr Hayes should continue to be responsible for green energy.

    “I asked the legal department here whether there was a danger John had prejudiced himself because he had made these statements, and they said there was a danger. They said they could not say it would end up in judicial review, and challenging decisions in which he was involved, but there was a greater potential danger,” he told The Guardian.

    David Cameron has not responded to Mr Davey.

    “I think it is fair to guess that he has come to the conclusion that renewable energy deployment could stay with John. I can only assume he has decided the legal risk is quite small,” Mr Davey added

    Yesterday, Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary, said Mr Davey’s move to strip powers from his deputy was a sign of an “utterly shambolic government”.

    Mr Hayes has repeatedly criticised onshore wind farms, amid anger from more than 100 backbench Tory MPs about their intrusion on the countryside.

    In a letter in July, the MP for South Holland and The Deepings in Lincolnshire wrote to his local council saying wind farms were “inefficient”, “costly” and generate “barely a trickle of non-storable electricity”.

    Last month he said Britain could “no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities”. He also promised to “protect our green and pleasant land”.

    The debate over the future of wind farms comes as

    Mr Davey prepares to unveil his Energy Bill this week,

    paving the way for more nuclear power stations and wind farms over the next two decades.

    He will also travel to Doha, Qatar, next week for international talks on how to tackle climate change.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9702342/Infighting-over-wind-farm-policy-descends-into-utter-shambles.html

    • I’d like to point out that most of the shots over wind in the UK are being called by the LibDems, the party that came 4th in the Corby by-election after UKIP

      A foster family had their foster children taken off them last week by Rotherham Social Services because the foster parents were members of UKIP, which provoked national outrage including from all main political parties

      Not related stories, but interesting anyway.

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