Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 122 total)
  • Windfarms – yes or no?
  • Premier Icon crouch_potato
    Free Member

    For wind energy and combined wind/hydo schemes yes. But on a sensible scale and only combined with reduction and increased efficiency of energy production/distribution/use etc.

    Siting however is a real problem for me, even though as a designer I believe they can be of aesthetic value. ‘Wind farms’ inevitably alter the ‘sense of place’ where they are sited in a way that other human/non-human interactions do not (due to scale in time and space), and this can be problematic. Of course, nowhere is truly ‘natural’ and true wilderness scarcely exists (if it ever did). That doesn’t mean these are empty concepts. Seemingly remote, relatively untouched and wild places remain important (perhaps even more so as they appear more scarce than ever) to many, and the introduction of wind turbines to some sites would fundamentally alter their aesthetic character to the point that they lose their meaning and value to us, and more importantly, in a manner that cannot be redressed by future generations.

    Basically, as humans we have the uniquely privileged position of being able to alter the environment in this way. In many areas however, ‘wind farms’ alter the qualities of an area so dramatically that the place itself is changed irrevocably. Why we should site wind turbines in remote upland areas for largely short-term economic and political reasons in order to simultaneously ‘tick the box’ for sustainability whilst failing to address entirely vacuous political and social attitude towards energy consumption is entirely flawed is beyond me.

    Personally, I would love to propose the designation of all waste land, land alongside infrastructure (motorway/railway embankments, centre of roundabouts, landfills, brownfield…) for compulsory energy generation projects (turbines, short rotation willow/poplar coppices etc as appropriate), urban situated waste-fuelled combined heat and power plants, and some proper building regulations and incentives for improving efficiency in both domestic and non-domestic buildings (rather than the badly thought out nonsense that passes for building regs currently). This might at least force the problem of energy generation and consumption into people’s faces, rather than tuck it away out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

    Premier Icon druidh
    Free Member

    Oh – are we doing this one again already?

    Build more. Offshore would be better. Lots of wind up in the North of Scotland, so to minimise transmission losses, we should be moving jobs and people there too.

    Premier Icon MrAgreeable
    Full Member

    So I take it all of you people who moan about the way they look are also going out and chaining yourselves to trees wherever someone wants to build or widen a road? 😉

    I don’t see how the tourist trade at Afan is going to be affected by more wind farms. As for “reaping the subsidies”, can you explain exactly how the power companies get more money than it costs to build and run the things?

    Premier Icon crouch_potato
    Free Member

    Oh – are we doing this one again already?

    It would appear so… read the OP if in any doubt 😉

    Build more. Offshore would be better. Lots of wind up in the North of Scotland, so to minimise transmission losses, we should be moving jobs and people there too.

    Of course, because that development wouldn’t require any energy. No wait- even better, lets all move to the sahara, we can build photovoltaics on everything ’cause its sunny all the time there, and if it gets too hot we can use them to run our air conditioning. 😉

    Premier Icon deadlydarcy
    Free Member

    Out of interest, what would happen if we all had a small one on the roofs of our houses? Like…a decent enough sized one. Anyone have any idea what impact that would have on our bills etc? I can’t see how it would affect the urban landscape too much…tv aerials are ugly enough anyway.

    Just throwing that one in there to the mix…I’m not sure as I don’t really know enough about the returns/efficiencies/paybacks etc.

    Premier Icon crouch_potato
    Free Member

    deadlydarcy, plenty of people who live in remote and windy areas have been doing this for 30 years or more with success, although it’s generally not thought to be that efficient for various reasons (some real-world advocates would argue otherwise). As for putting it on your roof- if you had anything capable of generating any meaningful output it’d destroy the structure of the building fairly quickly or the vibrations would drive you insane. Easiest solution is to design them independent of the building where they can also be situated to optimise their performance. That’s not to say it can’t be done, some interesting attempts recently proposed in various schemes abroad, but retrofitting them would be risky business.

    Premier Icon deadlydarcy
    Free Member

    if you had anything capable of generating any meaningful output it’d destroy the structure of the building fairly quickly or the vibrations would drive you insane

    Ah right, good point. I realise people in remote areas have been doing it for years, just wondered y’know, about the prospect of doing it in an urban area. I suppose the bottom of my garden might be an idea. A bit on the pricey side I guess….would I be able to rig something up with a few scaffolding poles and a propeller I picked up from eBay?

    Premier Icon crouch_potato
    Free Member

    Might be fun to try but I wouldn’t spend much on it or hold my breath… Urban wind generation is tricky at the best of times due to turbulence caused by buildings even a seemingly reasonable distance away. You might need to chop down nearby trees and demolish your neighbour’s house(although then you could build a dedicated storage unit there). Forced eviction and demolition of the street could be justified if you dislike them too?

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Full Member

    Shame the budget had only £525m for offshore wind development. That’s maybe what one opffshore wind farm would cost to develop. And not a particularly big one.

    Right now, all my work is on renewable energy projects (wind and biomass mainly), so naturally from a self interest POV, I like them.

    They are not the sole solution and, as many have alluded to, offshore is a good option from a “living wit them” POV (though, of course, the grid connection, consenting and environmental work (not to mention oeration issues) do make them a much more costly option).

    Follow the Crown Estate’s recdent release of the third round (Round 3, natch) of seabed for offshore windfarms – the succesful developers of the zones will have been selected in around the autumn. Of course, these projects are a way off being built and operational (the planning and environmental work is unbelieveably complex) – we’re still waiting for all of the ROund 1 and Round 2 projects to get going.

    Vattenfall are a big developer, so will realy only go for a site where they consider real value wilbe derived. That said, given their recent overpayment in a certain acquisition, I’m surprised they’re out there spending more cash right now….

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Full Member

    As for “reaping the subsidies”, can you explain exactly how the power companies get more money than it costs to build and run the things?

    Or to put it another way – why would the power companies expend that amount of money just to power 28,000 homes?

    Another solution to this would be to persuade everyone to stop using quite so much electricity. Turn appliances off overnight. Force businesses to turn their lights off when nobody is there. (Where I work for instance there are approximately 1000 people. The vast majority leave their PCs on overnight as it takes so long to start them up next day.) Do we really need the front of Specsavers to be lit up all night, for example? Why are most cities still using appallingly wasteful street lighting? Sort out even some of those and we wouldn’t need this discussion.

    Premier Icon mastiles_fanylion
    Free Member

    The location should be very carefully considered – generally I do not have a problem with them, but when I was driving along Bondmin Moor a couple of weeks ago, there were a series of them to either side of the road. As any peripheral movement attracts the eye, I actually found it very difficult to concentrate on the road as my attention was continually being drawn to the blades spinning around.

    They look beautiful though. I can see a few in the distance on the North Yorkshire Dales from my house and sometimes, on a cloudy/overcast day they can be lit up by shafts of sunlight and look really cool.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Full Member

    can see a few in the distance on the North Yorkshire Dales from my house and sometimes, on a cloudy/overcast day they can be lit up by shafts of sunlight and look really cool.

    I do agree about this, but I’m worried about the fact that where I live is literally surrounded by planning applications for these.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Free Member

    I think they are best as a personal supplimental source of power rather than a cover the countryside method, in case nobody has pointed it out the wind doesn’t blow all the time seen plenty of them not moving.

    Premier Icon mastiles_fanylion
    Free Member

    I do agree about this, but I’m worried about the fact that where I live is literally surrounded by planning applications for these.

    Absolutely – I wouldn’t want to be surrounded by them right on my doorstep.

    Premier Icon muddy_bum
    Free Member

    No

    Premier Icon rents
    Free Member

    If it came to having a wind farm near my house or a nuclear plant, i would go for the wind farm any day.
    Nuclear is just a quick fix IMO. They cost a fortune to build and run. Dont last that long and take about 150years to decommission at a cost to the tax payer.
    Nuclear is a big NO.
    Hydro is another option?
    I was up at fort william the other week and they have hydro electricity running the aluminium works. According to a local guy, the hydro power plant is only running at 1/3 capacity and the national grid dont want the other 2/3rds as it will effect there profit margin as its cheap energy.

    Premier Icon Gary_M
    Free Member

    I love wind turbines and I’m totally fascinated by their big sweeping arms. We stayed up at Carron Valley a couple of weeks ago and there were 11 wind turbines on the hill opposite the cottage we stayed in – I was compelled to trudge across the moor in a howling gale to get up close to them. I think they’re beautiful structures.

    They’re building a massive (140 turbines) wind farm on the Eaglesham Moor which is just outside Glasgow and about 8 miles from where I live. Scottish Power are also building a visitor centre, and developing cycling/walking/horse riding trails in the forest. There was very little there before, apart from few fire roads.

    But where they are places does require careful consideration – in the cairngorms, no, on a moor on the outskirts of Glasgow then yes. I would also thought off-shore would make more sense as it’s generally windier at sea and it’s generally not spoiling anyone’s view. And it’s not the only solution.

    Premier Icon mastiles_fanylion
    Free Member

    If it came to having a wind farm near my house or a nuclear plant, i would go for the wind farm any day.

    Why not? They have their benefits…

    Premier Icon druidh
    Free Member

    Gary_M – Member

    They’re building a massive (140 turbines) wind farm on the Eaglesham Moor which is just outside Glasgow and about 8 miles from where I live. Scottish Power are also building a visitor centre, and developing cycling/walking/horse riding trails in the forest. There was very little there before, apart from few fire roads.

    I’ve wondered why there isn’t more joint development of this sort. After all, if they’re gonna have to build access roads up to the top of a hill, the least they could do is put in a little singletrack back down again…..

    Premier Icon porterclough
    Free Member

    Another solution to this would be to persuade everyone to stop using quite so much electricity. Turn appliances off overnight. Force businesses to turn their lights off when nobody is there. (Where I work for instance there are approximately 1000 people. The vast majority leave their PCs on overnight as it takes so long to start them up next day.)

    One problem with that is the word “force” – what does this mean exactly?

    Another is, there might well be good reasons why for example PCs are left on overnight in offices, virus scans and network backups for example. High electricity prices might convince IT managers to think of ways around this, and low power laptops replacing desktops will help. But where I work many machines are doing proper work all night, not just the servers but people’s desktop machines are used overnight to build and test our software. Lights being on in offices might just mean people are working late, and if they are all on late at night the cleaners are in.

    But the big problem is that, if everyone just does a little, the net result is… little. Talk of turning off mobile phone chargers etc. is hugely to miss the point – if I walk or cycle to work just one day a year it saves the same amount of energy as leaving all my ipods, phones, wifi, computer etc. turned on for how long exactly? (answer – probably longer than you think).

    Premier Icon Gary_M
    Free Member

    Talking of leaving the lights on, what really, really bugs me is this new ‘need’ to light up the exterior of every **** buildings in Glasgow city centre. Do we really need to light up 1970’s architectural gems for all the world to see.

    Premier Icon Terrydactyl
    Full Member

    Right, here is the plan:-

    Build a f***** great big fusion reactor somewhere in UK. Reverse power all the wind turbines as motors. Wind up the fans to full power pointed east and either sail the UK to somewhere nice or just Pi** off a load of Europeoples with 150mph wind…….

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Full Member

    http://www.penycymoeddwindfarm.info/welcome/the_project.html

    This is the website for Nuon, who are trying to build ‘approximately’ 100 turbines above Glyncorrwg, basically stretching from the Wall trail area, up as far as Aberdare, crossing the area of the Whites and Skyline trails.

    Nothing is said about how that will affect the trails but judging by the map they will be affected in some way.

    Not a local issue for me but this is the website for Lewis POwer who want to build 181 turbines on the Isle of Lewis:

    http://www.lewiswind.com/projectcentre/stats.php

    These are just two proposals that I know of, there are a lot more around.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Full Member

    They’re building a massive (140 turbines) wind farm on the Eaglesham Moor which is just outside Glasgow and about 8 miles from where I live. Scottish Power are also building a visitor centre, and developing cycling/walking/horse riding trails in the forest. There was very little there before, apart from few fire roads.

    I was up there on a ride yesterday. It’s awe inspiring when you’re standing right underneath one as it’s spinning. the sheer size of them is breathtaking.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    So a windfarm which will be visible for around 20 – 30 miles will supply the energy needs of approximately 12% of the Swansea urban area.

    Not even that. Note the very careful use of words – they’ll generate enough on average to provide the average needs of those homes. Trouble is people tend to still want to boil a kettle when the wind isn’t blowing. In reality, given the lack of sufficient storage capacity, or sufficient flexible capacity, it will make far, far less difference than that to the requirement for conventional generation.

    I quite like the way one, or even a few look. I’m a lot less keen on huge swathes of them spoiling the natural landscape.

    Shame the budget had only £525m for offshore wind development.

    Why does it need more? Oh sorry, I’m forgetting they only make sense with massive subsidies.

    Really not sure why nuclear is being brought into this debate – I’d suggest those doing so have a very poor understanding of the potential of wind generation. It’s not an either/or – wind can’t supply the base load nuclear can. The choice is between nuclear or lots more conventional stations.

    Oh, and in case it wasn’t obvious, I’m a no (even if they were all built in or near London).

    Premier Icon druidh
    Free Member

    aracer – Member

    > Shame the budget had only £525m for offshore wind development.

    Why does it need more? Oh sorry, I’m forgetting they only make sense with massive subsidies.

    And by how much have we / are we / will we subsidise nuclear? If a fraction of the cost of nuclear had been spent on alternative technologies (wind / wave etc), we’d be self-sufficient already.

    Premier Icon hh45
    Free Member

    I think they are good as part or a range of provision including nuclear, clean coal (if the scientists can crack that particular nut), hydro, tidal and perhaps even bio mass / rubbish incineration. The bit about using less is also key.

    Why is electric cheaper the more you use (and gas too)? Surely that is subsidising people with big houses, not enough jumpers and too idle to turn off lights and stuff. This is no incentive to use less is it?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    If a fraction of the cost of nuclear had been spent on alternative technologies (wind / wave etc), we’d be self-sufficient already.

    You obviously didn’t read all of my post (re. it not being either/or wind or nuclear). Yes nuclear is massively subsidised, but at least it supplies base load, and is a whole different debate.

    Oh, and also a complete load of rubbish – assuming by self-sufficient you mean relying just on renewables.

    Premier Icon scuttler
    Full Member

    Big fan of Emley Moor mast (aesthetically) especially compared to Holme Moss. Don’t have a problem with the wind farm above Langsett, in fact I think they look pretty good. At the same time I love getting to the top of Cut Gate and looking South (or walking up to Grinah Stones) because bar aircraft overhead you can’t see or hear any evidence of civilisation – not many places you can do that in England.

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Full Member

    Don’t forget wind farms are reversible – if nuclear fusion becomes a reality we’ll be able to take down all the windmills one day and restore the views / ecology which may have been spoiled. If fusion does not become a reality, we’re going to need a lot more windmills some where. And tidal generators. And biomass biolers. And Waste-to-Energy plants. And everything we can.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Full Member

    ‘Don’t forget wind farms are reversible ‘

    Only in the sense that every industrial unit is reversible. They still need foundations, cabling etc. Do you really believe that these companies will leave no remains if they move on?

    (The copper works behind my house was reversible – it was built somewhere around 1840 and is still there, slowly falling down. Despite not having been used for many, many years. Need I carry on?)

    Premier Icon ooOOoo
    Free Member

    Well if you think wind turbines are ugly, what do you think about irreversible climate change??

    Premier Icon Gary_M
    Free Member

    BoardinBob are there any new tracks up there yet? I haven’t been up for a few months and I went in via the dead end road at Waterside onto one of the main spine roads. Did you go in via the Eaglesham road or onto the fire road at Carrot. I went over the moor on a road ride yesterday and noticed the visitor centre is coming on.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Full Member

    Well if you think wind turbines are ugly, what do you think about irreversible climate change??

    So its turbines or climate change?

    Well that simplifies that rather complicated argument then.

    Premier Icon ooOOoo
    Free Member

    Thanks.

    I would add that wind turbines are a better visual manifestation of the quantity of energy we use.

    That’s why they upset people. 100MW of Coal Station covers a relatively small area. 100MW of wind farm is bigger. Instead of bitching about it, maybe we shouldn’t have got used to using so much?

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Full Member

    Instead of bitching about it, maybe we shouldn’t have got used to using so much?

    see my post above…..

    Premier Icon ooOOoo
    Free Member

    Yes I agree.
    As long as we can just plug something into the wall and it works, whether it’s a 1Watt phone charger or a 2500Watt heater, then nobody will have a clue as to what they consume.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    I would add that wind turbines are a better visual manifestation of the quantity of energy we use.

    That’s why they upset people. 100MW of Coal Station covers a relatively small area. 100MW of wind farm is bigger.
    Good point. We should be campaigning to make windmills which are even more useless and inefficient then, so we can have even more of them polluting the landscape, just in order to make that point.

    Premier Icon ooOOoo
    Free Member

    Well if you don’t like it you could just get rid of all your electrical appliances?

    Premier Icon GEDA
    Free Member

    Just looked out of my office here in southern Sweden and I counted 4 windmills turning with little wind (I can see far more when it is not so hazy) and one decommissioned nuclear power plant. That is in a built up area a to tell you the truth you can hardly hear them when you cycle under them. The power station will be radioactive for quiet a few thousand years I believe when the windmill can be taken down quite quickly. Coming from the country side I can see why the townies who have paid top wack for a quite get away in the country would not want them built but do we really want to listen to them. Governments like Nuclear as it seems to be a big box that solves all the problems. A lot can happen in a few thousand years but most people are too stupid to think about that.

    danish windfarms

    While wind power accounts for almost 20% of the power generated in Denmark, it covers only 10–14% of the country’s demand. Power in excess of immediate demand is exported to Germany, Norway, and Sweden. The latter two have considerable hydropower resources, which can rapidly reduce their generation whenever wind farms are generating surplus power, saving water for later. In effect, this is a cheap way for northern Europe to store wind power until it is needed — an opportunity which is not generally available for wind power generators.[13][14]

    So what we need is some big dams built for power storage and lots of windfarms. Job done.

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 122 total)

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