Written Evidence from C Rees
I am very concerned about the proliferation
of wind turbine applications for Wales. Up to recently, we had
aver 30% of the UK's turbines while we only represent 5% of the
population. There should be a moratorium on wind applications
so that proper debate can be undertaken.
Wales exports half of its electricity.
We could lead the world in wave and tidal energy
TAN 8 WILL BE
The Government could halt this planned desecration
of our landscapes by removing the enormous subsidies available
to developers: This money would be better spent on tidal and wave
energy schemes. Since 1966, the big tidal power station at LaRance
on the Normandy coast has been producing 240 MW of energy with
its 24 turbines.
Many of our rivers often carry more water than
they can accommodate, so why not exploit this?
In 1998 the Government said that the power from the
sun by solar photovoltaic energy was greater than the then total
electricity demand for Britain. Much more research is needed into
making the storage of solar energy more efficient and Sharp, the
Japanese company seems to be close to a breakthrough.
Clean coal technology should have more investment
and this could be exported to developing countries to help them
reduce their emissions, especially as China is using more than
a third of the world's coal. This form of helping to reduce CO2
emissions could help far more than building thousands of wind
The manufacture of the aluminium castings for
wind turbines is very polluting/to produce just one ton of aluminium
consumes 2,000 kw/hrs of power. Each turbine requires foundations
of more than 1,000 tons of concrete which is also very polluting.
These foundations that remain in the ground forever could destabilise
ancient water courses and this would be disastrous considering
the flash floods we are already experiencing these days and will
continue to experience.
Many applications are targeting huge areas of
common land and precious peat bog areas and this should not be
This wind industry has the potential of dividing
once close communities by bribing some neighbours to give up their
land to developers whilst having little regard for the way these
turbines would affect those around themfor 25 years and
The consequences of this horrendous industry
is not explained to the people .A turbine area is regarded as
blighted, properties devalued by 20% or more, some people are
adversely affected by the infra sound emanating from turbines,
and the visual impact is unacceptable. Very few people realise
that their energy bills will soar once more and more of this turbine
energy gets into the system and little are they told that they
will be paying for these massive subsidies that are given to this
industry. The DTI insist that a higher and higher percentage of
energy is bought from these renewables, which at the moment spells
All the renewable industries should be represented
in equal number on the Board of the DTI because at the moment
it seems that the wind turbine enthusiasts far outnumber all the
We desperately need a moratorium on this wind
To provide energy?
The least reliable form of renewable
generation. Tidal power needs to be developed and needs investment.
There are other, more effective and less costly to the consumers
type of generating energy such as micro combined heat and power
and solar power.
This type of intermittent power is
incompatible with the needs of the electric supply system
Makes us more reliable on imported
gas especially once coal is rundown and the aged nuclear is closed.
Only operated unpredictably last
year for 24.1% of the time
EON a wind farm research from Germany
says the impact on the local grid is very serious. The German
grid system is adversely affected by wind energy.
Intermittent and inefficient
We waste 30% of our energy
A very large amount of energy could
be saved by using better insulation in our homes and using low
energy bulbs. Even insulation in new homes is not properly inspected
This energy costs three times more
than conventional energy source in capital cost per MWh. (Paul
Golby Powergen CE) Why is it necessary to hide this ROC (reneweable
obligation certificates) which almost trebles payment to the wind
power merchants? This will be taken from all electricity bills/from
Many coalfired plants which
produce a massive 30% of our energy will be shutting down over
the next 20 years. Those who think that giant wind turbines are
going to fill the gap are not thinking straight and don't understand
the limitations of wind.
The German E.ON Netz say that for
back up, traditional power stations with capacities equal to 90%
of the installed wind power capacity is needed to be permanently
Spain experienced two "brownouts"
when wind power failed across the country in periods of peak demandon
1 March and 21 June, so Spain is now building a huge number of
gas fired power plants and the government now wants to reduce
the subsidies to wind power.
To reduce CO2 emissions?
The West Danish generating company
ELSAM is now on record as saying that the international showcase
in West Denmark does not save CO2 emissions (evidence in an official
power point display) The Danish Wind Energy Association for the
Danish Government admits that increasing wind power does not decrease
With 1,043 turbines already in the
UK we only save one thousandths of CO2 emissions.
Even if we were to reach the 10%
target by 2010, which we clearly cannot, the CO2 saving would
be equivalent to just 0.0004 of world human emissions (DEFRADTI
figures). And, if we add to this the massive tropical deforestation
and destruction of peatlands, (which store huge amounts of CO2)in
SE Asia and other areas, then this figure would be more like 0.0002
We are a post industrial nation,
therefore producing less emissions cf the USA responsible
for 36.1% of global emissions, and refusing to join, and Russia
17% of global emissions , considering ratification in order to
gain trading deals and becoming a member of WTO China, India,
Australia and Saudi Arabia refusing to join. And why is this government
giving huge subsidies to China's coal industry?
The New Electrical Trading Arrangements
(NETA) that started in 2002 obliged the National Grid to buy the
cheapest coal. David Milborrow, BWEA's energy consultant said
that NETA had caused more CO2 emissions than wind had saved. In
2003 and 2004 there were increases in emissions as power generation
had turned to cheaper but dirtier coal.
And is aviation set to treble? 86% increase
in air pollution since 1990 and a 56% increase in freight since
The 1,000 plus Boeing 747s in flight simultaneously,
world wide, emit a total of over 400,000 tonnes of CO2 daily.
Three years ago the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
warned that "by 2050, air transport, unless curbed, will
be one of the principal contributors to climate change by human
We have seen the unveiling of the A380 Airbus,
the world's largest airliner and this aircraft is only 13% more
fuel economical than a Boeing 747. Emissions from aircraft are
twice as harmful to the atmosphere than emissions at ground level.
Air travel produces 19 times the greenhouse gas emissions of
trains and 190 times that of a ship. All this makes a nonsense
of global warming targets. (The Independent Sat. May 28/2005)
Stanstead is to have another runway which will
inevitably increase pollution The Royal Commission on Environment
Poll has said air travel will be the largest source of CO2 by
A still more ambitious target was slipped into
last year's Energy White Paper (DTI Our energy futurecreating
a low carbon economy), to cut CO2 emissions by "some 60%
from current levels by 2050". Even meeting these ambitious
targets will have no real impact on global greenhouses
gases. Man made emissions of CO2 are a small proportion of the
total (under 5% on some estimates) and the UK's share is modest2%
and one tenth of this for Wales. (Welsh Consumer Council)
October 2004 DEFRA issued a statement
saying that U.K industry could increase their CO2 emissions by
7.5% in the next three years. Are they beginning to realise that
this 10% target is not achievable and is going to cause our industries
to be less competitive , something that the CBI has been warning
the government for a very long while.
There are far better ways of reducing
CO2 into the atmosphere eg carbon capture where power stations
pump back CO2 into the porous rocks underground. Clean coal technology
could help to expand the coal industry without contributing to
global warming. By exporting this technology, especially to developing
countries like China which is using one third of the world's coal,
we would make a real impact on global warming. Clean Coal Technology
at its most advanced can offer Intergrated Gasifiication Combined
Cycle electricity generation In Wales, we have at least a 50years
worth of identified coal reserves.
If housing is to be part of reducing
CO2 we should be using micro combined heat and power. There are
no real policies in place to promote this. Also , it has been
reported that the many insulating schemes that have been put in
place in the building of new houses are not being met, that the
inspection system is at fault and that enforcement is missing.
The conclusion is that there is little, if any
benefit to Britain or the world in struggling to meet these carbon
targets by plastering the country with wind turbines. There are
far better ways of reducing CO2 emissions. Changes in British
generated anthropogenic greenhouse gases are far too small to
have a significant impact on global warming, which in any case
may be a good, bad or neutral thing for us with our temperate
climate and ability to adapt. So why have these wind turbines???
Why indeed !!!
There is strong political backing for this wind
Deliberate ploy to take away any
local opposition. eg Prescott's PPS22 -any installations above
50 MW to ignore all local planning laws and to go straight to
the DTI. Then WAG's TAN 8 to do the same thing. Is it true that
a majority of the members on the Board of the DTI have wind power
No attempt made to inform the public/nothing
on the TV etc.
Where was the Public debate on TAN
8was there even a full party debate on TAN 8 in the Assembly?
This document has the potential of changing the face of Wales
forever and of having a profound effect on the lives of the people
and yet, most know nothing about it. An unprecedented number of
letters of objections for any planning document,(1,800 letters)
were sent in concerning TAN 8 and CPRW asked for a public enquiry
but this was refused.
No attempts made for public consultation.
Not allowed to complain to the local
councils until an application goes in and then they give us only
3 weeks to respond, study the Environmental Statement and to tell
the public what is happening.
These wind installations are imposed
on us despite strong local oppositionlook at Cefn Croes
and Scarweather (the people of Cefn Croes in the Cambrian Mts
wrote a book about their struggle to fight off the 39 massive
turbines that were built in this most beautiful area of mid Walesan
area that should have been designated as a National Parkwww.cefncroes.org.uk)
Scarweather, 3,100 letter of objections were received compared
to nine letters for, and an independent Inpector recommended against
the proposal and ALL were overthrown.) The opinion of the Welsh
people was asked for but what did they do with it?
Some Councils encourage wind farm
proposals. Very often, local councils are forced to abandon their
age old and trusted environment protection planning laws in order
to pass a developer's application. Often local councillors are
not competent to making a rational decision and some still believe
that the choice is between nuclear and wind power. (A nuclear
station of 1,500MW yields base load generation of 1,350 MWwe
would need 2,250 gigantic 2MW wind turbines to match this) Here
in Ammanford, our Town Council voted for an application despite
the fact they had not read the mining report which was 13 pages
long, that was placed in the Appendix of the developer's Environmental
Report and made no enquiries about the mountain that is honeycombed
with old mines, has an earthquake fault running through it plus
Taking away our democratic rights
in order to please the developers causes increasing dissatisfaction
as more and more protest groups are formed all over the country
Costs to the public/the rate payers and British
Who picks up the cost of the devalued
properties20-30% for hundreds of homes in the immediate
area? These power companies say they don't take into account the
devaluation of our properties when making their plans. There is
the proven Cumbrian case and more have followedcases in
Carmarthenshire where an estate agent has advised prospective
vendors to reduce their prices by £45,000for a typical
three bedroom house if a turbine site is built near them.
New relay stations have to be built
for TV stationswho pays for this?
What is the cost to the Tourism Industry,
which, for Wales accounts for £2.5 billion a year and employs
We will have to pay three times more
for this wind electricity.
Will these turbines come down when
other more efficient renewables are launchedand who will
pay to dismantle them when the companies have disappeared with
This industry is receiving 27
times the subsidy that coal ever received
How do we regain the pasture rights,
the food source if these are to be built all over the country?
The cost in trying to reach government
targets is enormousaccording to the Office of National
Statistics, environmental taxes amounted to nearly £34 Billion
in 2003, over 3% of GDP. This is justified by the government on
the grounds of protecting the environment. 67% comes from the
duty levied on petrol and diesel. Then there are the climate change
levy, further new "environmental" costs in the pipeline
including the European Union's greenhouse gas emission trading
scheme(ETS) which will result in companies having to purchase
additional "emission allowances" if their emissions
exceed Governmentimposed allocations. All this will damage
British business's competitiveness, and if they drive business
from the UK to places like China or India, CO2 emissions will
increase as these countries are less efficient users of hydrocarbon
Taxpayers will be subsidising
this industry to the tune of £6.5 billion by 2010 and by
£12.5 billion by 2015. In February 2005, the National Audit
Office wrote, "the level of support provided by renewable
Obligation is greater than necessary". The Commons Public
Accounts Committee themselves complain that this is not value
for money and that a carbon tax would be a far less complex way
of reducing CO2. As consumers are providing this massive subsidy
to the renewable industry, unlike public expenditure, this subsidy
does not receive the annual scrutiny by parliament and this is
unacceptable. This country is the most attractive place in
the world to build turbines because of the huge tax breaks and
About a third of the funds given
to this industry exceeds the support it needs.
Already, firms are leaving this country
because of the high energy costs and taking their factories elsewhere,
no, not to countries with cheap labour but to countries like Belgium
where the costs are lower. Concerned about the high cost of energy
in this country, Alan Eastwood, head of Competition and Utilities
at the Chemical Industries Association, told the Financial Times
recently; "We can't live with prices 50% higher than our
competitiors on the Continent. This is threatening the future
of industry." We have problems with high energy costs even
before this wind energy comes into the equation.
In order to produce just a 2MW turbine
machine, between 100 and 200 tonnes of steel has to be smelted
for the tower and another 40 to 50 tonnes of steel for the nacelle
at the top of the tower , plus a mix of metals like copper and
aluminium to bring the total weight of the nacelle to 60 tonnes.
Smelting is a very high energy process.
Cost to the environment?
They take away our essential, could
be life threatening, food source. These sites cover large areas
of our uplands and common land where there might be hefted sheep
and cattle. Wind developers minimise the effect of turbines on
animals but there are many cases of cattle aborting near turbine
sites and who would want to farm in such blighted areas? Once
an area becomes marked as "industrialised" there is
no going back.
What devastation is caused by embedding
these turbines in 1,000s and 1,000's of tons of polluting cementthe
greatest polluter of alleffects of which reacts to the
soil for years to come. These bases remain in the ground forever.
Electric cables are buried deep into the ground and these remain
Disturbing peat bogs in construction
causes huge release of CO2. On any turbine site, one sees huge
mounds of peat tossed to one side and just left to dry out. The
destruction of the world's peatlands is contributing significantly
to global warming, according to research presented to the annual
conference of the Royal Geographical Society (2/9/05)
Massive environmental impact on birds,
flora and fauna, and these are supposed to be protected by European
laws. Habitat destruction is the single most important danger
to wildlife. The entire ecological community is affected. Cefn
Croes construction site is an ecological holocaust of some dimensions,
which is now being visited and filmed from all over the world,
a disgrace that this was ever passed by the then Brian Wilson
of the DTI (www.cefncroes.org.uk)
Lines of pylons have to be built
to connect turbines to the grid, causing even more disruption.
Wide access roads are built to connect
the turbines and often, developers quarry the very upland or plateau
to provide the aggregate needed, adding to the devastation.
These turbines have a massive visual
impact. Proposals often go on the edges of constituencies and
the cumulative impact is never considered.
They destroy areas of scientific
Most of our uplands have prehistoric
remains which should be preserved and not desecrated.
In Germany, they call the turbines
"bird slicers". In the Navarre region of Spain, a biologist
studied the effects of turbines over one year on wild life and
found that 6,000 birds, including golden eagles and 600 bats were
slaughtered. This is repeated all over the world even along bird
Cost to people's health
Harmful effects of audible noise
and low frequencystudies at Salford University.
GP Dr. Amanda Harry who works in
Cornwall reported the low frequency noise is known to cause extreme
stress to some people and she reported her cases in the House
of Lords. Last research, seven years ago and should be reviewed
every year but it has not been reviewed. The new 300 foot
to 400 foot turbines are much larger than the existing turbines
and their effects on human health should be studied. (see added
Cause physical and psychological
Enormous stress on our farmers
who could lose their livelihood after years of tending to their
land and animals and keeping the balance of nature and especially
after having gone through the disastrous foot and mouth episode.
Is plastering our countryside with these
environmentally damaging turbines going to alter or have any effect
on the climate???
Is this wind industry far too high a price
to pay for by the consumers ???
Are these wind turbines going to produce
enough energy to fill the gap left when our coal stations, at
present providing us with 30% of our energy, are closed down in
the next two decades???
If the thousand or so turbines at present in existence
are providing us with only four thousandths of our energy, then
clearly this proves this is the wrong technology.
Wind Turbines and their effect on human health
Onshore wind turbines are a health hazard to
people living near them because of the low frequency noise they
emit, according to new medical studies. Dr Amanda Harry, a GP
working in Cornwall, who presented her findings to the House of
Lords said that some of her patients demonstrated a range of symptoms
from headaches, migraines, nausea, dizziness, palpitations and
tinitus to sleep disturbance, stress, anxiety and depression.
These symptoms had a knock on effect on their daily lives, causing
poor concentration, irritability and an inability to cope."
Dr Harry said that low frequency noise induces
headaches and anxiety attacks and could cause disturbed sleep
at even very low levels. She said it travels further than audible
noise, is ground-borne and is felt through vibrations and some
people have to leave their homes to get away from the nuisance.
Despite their obvious suffering, little is being done to relieve
the situation and people feel their plight is ignored.
Conservative peer Lord Dixon Smith urged ministers
to investigate a study that showed that 93% of people living close
to wind turbines had been adversely affected, with some having
to move house to get away from the problem. Lord Dixon Smith said
that Denmark had ceased building new turbines, in part, as a consequence
of health concerns.
Dr. Harry explained that this problem was happening
all over the country.
Another doctor, Dr Bridget Osborne from Moel
Maelogan, A village in North Wales where three turbines were erected
in 2002 has presented a paper to the Royal College of General
Practitioners detailing a "marked "increase in depression
amongst local people. She says there is a perception that wind
power is "green" and has no detrimental effect on the
environment but these turbines make low- frequency noise that
can be as damaging as high -frequency noise. She said that
Wind power developers measure the audible range of noise but never
the infrasound measurement-the low frequency noise that
causes vibrations that you can feel through your feet and chest,
This frequency resonates with the human bodytheir effect
being dependant on body shape. For some, she said this is incredibly
A Dr Stephen Briggs, an archaeologist living
in the village of Llangwryfron in West Wales says that once the
turbines near his home started operating, he couldn't work in
his garden any more as the noise was unbearable and described
it as if someone was mixing cement in the sky. After four years
of frustrated appeals, he and his family had to leave their home
of 17 years. House prices near to wind turbines have also plummeted.
Mark Taplin, who has lived close to wind turbines
near Truro in Cornwall for almost a decade said it had been a
miserable, horrible experience. He says they are only 440 metres
away from him, that they grind one down, you can't get away from
them , make you very depressedthe chomp and swoosh of the
blades creates a noise that beggars belief.
The results of a Mori Poll and research commissioned
by the National Trust confirms the countryside provides essential
emotional, spiritual and physical benefits to millions of people
.According to the findings, "far more than 80% of adults
visiting the countryside find that it is a vital counterbalance
to the stresses of daily life, not an optional extra, but crucial
to the quality of their lives".
Low frequency noise permeating buildings and
ruining the lifestyles of people is now being taken seriously
by medical research.
New research from the Dunlaw wind power station
in Scotland has shown that the effect of noise and vibration from
wind turbines, especially these new, larger turbines used today,
is felt at a much greater distance than claimed by the turbine
developers The Keele University researchers found that when turbines
start to generate at low wind speeds considerable infrasound signals
can be detected as far as 10 kilometres. Professor Peter Styles
led the team from Keele University.
This study is backed by a recent study by acoustic
experts at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Denmark
and Germany are now at the forefront of serious research into
the detrimental effects of wind turbines In some cases they cause
psychological problems, heart rhythm irregularities and depression.
Professor John Ffowcs Williams, professor of
engineering at Cambridge University and a world expert on acoustics
and noise reduction has said that the regulations as they are,
are outdated and in ways inadequate and that it is known that
modern, very tall turbines do cause problems and many think the
current guidelines fail adequately to protect the public.
The present government research available was
done on much smaller turbines than those used today.