Skip to content

Weirdly, a lot of sympathy here

“Wales has enough low-carbon energy already. The power from this wind farm will all be going to England, the money will go to the company and we will get nothing. And then the English wonder why we Welsh get stroppy.”

The arguments are not just about landscapes. Wind farm construction means drilling massive holes in the ground to install concrete foundations. It also means laying cables and building sub-stations. Usually a brand new road is needed too – so the construction phase often has huge impacts.

Once built, wind turbines can cause further disruption through “flicker” – caused by sunlight reflected off moving blades – and low level vibrations transmitted in the air or ground. Such prospects mean Welsh planning meetings have become heated or even aggressive.

An Englishman being sympathetic to the Welsh, yes, I know, see that aerial porcine?

However, over the years I’ve lived around the corner from an oil well and just over the slope from some windmills. And the windmills were definitively the more intrusive. Get up close to them and the noise is simply inescapable.

19 thoughts on “Weirdly, a lot of sympathy here”

  1. Wales was made by God to be dug up and burned. And what was left over to be stuck on peoples’ roofs.

  2. “How dare those English pay me money for power generated in the Atlantic that happens to blow over Wales!”

    That’s two types of madness right there 🙁

  3. Who cares what the welsh think?

    Is there any evidence they think at all? After all, they keep voting for socialism.

  4. Wind farms are a) fucking useless and b) a blight on the landscape, wherever they are. So even the Taffs have my sympathies.

  5. Wales is connected to the national grid. Electrons from Wales go into the grid to keep it balanced as needed, some will find their way back to Wales, they won’t all be used in England.

    It’s called – physics.

  6. The arguments are not just about landscapes. Wind farm construction means drilling massive holes in the ground to install concrete foundations. It also means laying cables and building sub-stations. Usually a brand new road is needed too – so the construction phase often has huge impacts

    We’ve got to tear up the landscape to save the environment, you see.

    Tim Smith, founder of Motvind UK, which works with anti-wind farm protest groups across Wales, recalls a local farmer punching a project manager on the chin at the start of a public planning meeting last year.

    “The farmer had lost his some of his rented land because the landowner wanted to lease it to a windfarm. What he did was wrong but it was threatening his livelihood.”

    Punching people on chins is weak sauce. The disenfranchised are going to find increasingly creative ways to find and impose consequences on the people who are ruining their lives.

    RWE, a German energy firm, wants to erect nine turbines each standing 660 feet tall – five times the height of the tallest local church.
    RWE’s project newsletter admits that 77pc of local people are opposed to the project but said it still planned to go ahead.

    77% of the locals are disenfranchised.

    Another Bute scheme, at Aberedw in Powys, will benefit the family of former royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke, who now goes under the name Alexandra Pettifer.
    Her brother Harry owns the 6,000-acre Glanusk Estate plus the 4,000 acres of land on Aberedw Hill where Bute wants to install 18 giant turbines that could earn him up to £500,000 a year.

    All of this is for the benefit of rich arseholes who contribute Net Zero to our society.

    But last year, Sir Keir Starmer pledged to more than double onshore wind – from the 15GW now to 35GW by 2030.
    RenewableUK, the British wind energy trade body, estimates this would mean installing up to 3,000 large new wind turbines across England.
    Asked what would happen if local communities across England also objected, Sir Keir added: “There has to come a point where, if we’re going to move forward, we don’t have simple individual vetoes across the whole of the country.”

    Just imagine, for a moment, if Sir Keir was even 10% as afraid of you as he is of Muslims.

  7. Non of the wind turbines around our way are turning at the present moment. I presume this means that anyone who has signed up for a 100% renewable tariff will be without power for a while.

  8. Whereas Scotland has the opposite problem, too much wind power which can’t get across the border to Englandshire because of the lack of grid interconnectivity.

    UK Gov has allocated £2 billion to fast track the necessary upgrades, but it’s mostly about NIMBYism in the planning process.

  9. Stoney @ 11.39, have a look at all those “100% renewable” suppliers, such as Dale Ponce’s ‘Ecotricity’, The last time I looked, they provided about 20% of their supply (when they were actually ‘supplying’ anything) from their own wind farms . The rest that they sell as 100% ‘ renewable’ came from dirty, filthy, planet destroying, Fossil fuels or nuclear (either home grown or bought from abroad). A total fucking scam, as others have pointed out, but unfortunately while the useful idiots (Tim, you know I’m talking about you) think CO2 is a problem and the best solution to this ‘problem’ is Stern, we better suck it up.

  10. @MrGalt
    One would think they’d build the windmills & the interconnector contiguously. It is like buying a car & then an engine for it several years later. But…

  11. Wonky Moral Compass

    It’s not just wind and it’s not just Wales. An outfit called Island Green Power want to build a 500 mw solar farm on North Wiltshire farmland. With Macquarie and Amber Rudd having their sticky fingers in the mix, you know it’s something that you want to oppose on principle.

  12. I do suspect a lot of windmill building is as much for show as anything else. Some years back I used to use the road from the M25 takes you down towards Barking. A13? There was one near the Ford factory. I don’t think I ever saw it turning at more than one revolution a minute. Not surprising. Dagenham has always been notorious for its fogs. More often than not. Low lying, flat as a pancake. It’s in the wind shadow of London. Winds are mostly westerlies, the warmer air rising over the city blocks them. It’s about the last place you’d want to put a windmill. Wouldn’t surprise me if that’s why Rainham marshes never got drained back in the C19th.

  13. I repeat my tale of taking a train across northern Germany. The wind turbines were all stationary except there would be the occasional flick of movement by one. I realised that they were responding to the vortices shed by the train as it rushed past. So the turbines were indirectly drawing power from the grid.

  14. @dearieme
    When I spent a couple of years travelling around France I kept count of what proportion were stationary. And I saw a lot of windmills. About 10k km worth Around 1 in 8.

  15. We have one that was put on top of a mountain, had to use the giant Russian helicopter to airlift blades etc up which was interesting to watch.
    I’ve hardly ever seen it turning, I think most of the money it makes is because there’s a viewing platform they charge people to access

  16. Given the history of flooding valleys to make reservoirs you can’t blame the Welsh for being a bit sensitive about the issue.
    That said they keeping voting Labour ( the stupid 20mph speed limit) so maybe they are getting what they deserve , isn’t that how democracy is supposed to work, you shouldn’t take people for granted as at some point they will vote for someone else

  17. I suspect the main reason for building windmill farms is to cash in on those lovely government handouts. Any electricity produced is entirely incidental.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *