Power to the people
Just when we thought the UK and US Governments’ budgets might have added some stimulus to the UK’s sustainable energy economy, news reaches us that Britain’s only wind turbine manufacturing plant on the Isle of Wight is to shut with the loss of 600 jobs. The plant, owned by Danish firm Vestas, makes blades for windfarms in the US but the chief executive of the plant, Ditlev Engel, blamed a number of factors including the weak pound, a lack of local political intitiatives and a culture of ‘nimbyism’ and inflexible planning regulations in the UK which has meant that the UK wind market had stalled. Elsewhere BP reported a slump in sales of solar panels and that it would cut 620 jobs from its solar energy division in the US and Spain and that solar sales in the first quarter of 2009 were 15MW of power, down from 34MW in the same period in 2008. Shell has already pulled out of solar, hydro and wind power, no concentrating on biofuels and carbon capture and storage, Siemens cut 400 jobs from its wind farms in Denmark and Scottish Power owner Iberdrola has cut green investment by a half this year. The Guardian also revealed that one of the UK’s most efficient windfarms, Haverigg on West Cumbria’s ‘energy coast’ was in danger of demolition to make way for a new nuclear power station
Posted in GENERAL
Tagged turbine, wind
I'm going underground
A Lincolnshire family have been forced to move from their farm in Deeping St Nicholas after noise from wind turbines made life unbearable. Jane Davis told a meeting of SALT (Strategic Alliance against Lakeland Turbines) that her family had originally supported the wind farm but had now moved into rented accommodation to escape the noise and vibrations. She also explained that many wind farms did not have the problems of noise and vibrations but about 20% did – although no one could explain how or why these particular farms caused such nuisance and damage. Mrs Davis also spoke about the potential impact on wildlife and animals saying “within 48 hours all the swallows had let. We suddenly had no molehills” adding that vibrations broke down the soil structure so that funghi at the bottom of the food chain could not survive. Another speaker at the SALT meeting in Mugrisdale in Cumbria said that he had also suffered after a wind farm was built at Bothel. Ron Williams said that noise and light pollution from the Wharrels Hill wind farm had blighted the local community. Cumbria, known as the new ‘Energy Coast’ is now facing the potential of at least one new nuclear power station after RWE said it was looking at two sites on the West Cumbrian coast as potential sites for a new facility.
Mole from at: wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/living/moles.htm
Is it all sunny in the renewable energy world?
Its seems that the UK government’s plans to meet renewable energy targets are ‘Gone With the Wind’ after news that Iberdrola Renewables, the Spanish company that is the world biggest investor in wind energy plans to reduce investment in UK renewable electricity by 40% from a high of E700 million to a reduced E400 million. Iberdrola blames the drop on the world’s economic crisis and said it was committed to the UK sustainable energy market but tellingly their chairman also said that planning delays and complications as well as problems connecting to the national grid were also factors. Doug Parr, the chief scientist of Greenpeace, said the UK renewables industry was moving “at a snail’s pace” and called for urgent action by the Government to accelerate its plans for a green energy revolution. “It really is a case of getting off their backsides and doing what they said they were going to do,” Dr Parr said. But Energy Minister Mike O’Brien hit back at claims that the Government was failing to deliver on an ambitious plan to foster a green energy revolution by building thousands of onshore and offshore wind turbines telling a meeting of renewable-energy chiefs that he was determined that Britain would meet its goal of generating as much as 35 per cent of all UK electricity from wind, wave and solar power by 2020, up from less than 5 per cent at present. It is estimated that £100 billion in investment is needed to meet these targets.
See: Ministers pore over incentives to save growth in green energy http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article5983602.ece