No matter where I wander in recent times I seem to be coming across what can only be called a blight on the landscape. Now.. anybody that knows me will be aware that I like my technology. I like it new, I like it up-to-date and I’m a real fan of the cutting edge. If it’s modern, new, cool… then I have to say I’m a sucker for instant purchase. I am…. a modern technology ad man’s dream!
But, and it’s a big but, I’m becoming really quite worried about one piece of modern technology that is beginning to blight the landscape. I’m getting pretty concerned by the massive growth in wind farms. Yes…. I’m told they are better than oil fired power stations, cleaner than the coal fired varieties and safer than the nuclear option but …boy oh boy are they UGLY! A true blight on the landscape.
Every journey through the Sperrins or anywhere on the coast of Donegal, where the magnificence of the scenery used to lift the heart, now has the potential to make me wince. Everywhere I look the white stalks of the ugly whirling dervishes pierce the flesh of the mountains. Our fabulous forests now compete for space with these gigantuan man-made monstrosities.
Forgive me if this insults the Greenies among my readers, but I have to ask, ” Is it worth it?”
Is destroying a landscape worth the 50 pence worth of electricity that these German manufactured monsters are producing?
Now I see that we are set for a massive hike in the number and size of these wind farms – BWEA News – where I’m told:-
“By 2010, across the UK as a whole, the onshore wind industry could generate 50 per cent more electricity than previously predicted, expecting to install 6,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity, generating almost 5 per cent of UK electricity supply, avoiding up to 13 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and delivering nearly half of the Government’s 2010 renewable energy target, according to a report published by the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) today (27 March 2006).”
And BWEA goes on to tell me:-
About wind energy in Northern Ireland:
- There are already 12 wind farms totalling 107 MW generating in Northern Ireland, representing 8 per cent of the UK’s current wind power portfolio, including the newly commissioned 13 MW Callagheen project near Belleck in County Fermanagh.
- New wind farms identified for completion by 2010 will bring Northern Ireland’s total to 543 MW, representing 9 per cent of the UK’s total forecast build by 2010.
- 543 MW of onshore wind will generate 1.4 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in an average year, assuming 30 per cent capacity factor as applies across the UK, equivalent to the annual electricity needs of over 300,000 homes.
- Economic benefits accruing from wind energy development in Northern Ireland by 2020 include £35 million in landowner income and £11 million in payments to local communities
- A target has been set for 12 per cent of electricity demand to be generated by renewables in Northern Ireland by 2012/13.
Am I the only one who is worried by this build up?
Does anyone else care? Can anyone assure me that, at the very least, we’re destroying some of more spectacular views for a worthwhile cause?