1,000 signatures reached
To: Powys County Council
SAVE POWYS COUNTY!
Conserve the beautiful hills of Powys County!
There is a shameless attempt to destroy a county drenched in history and wildlife with unnecessary wind turbines without consideration to more sustainable energy options.
We want to remove the Local Search Areas and the target of 600MW from the Local Development Plan.
In their place, an energy policy that:
· recognises the fact that Powys is already generating more electricity than residents consume
· recognises the need to protect Powys’s unique landscapes, rich ecology and the interests and livelihoods of local people
· and focusses on efficiencies, energy saving and micro generation (i.e. at individual home/farm/business scale)
Why is this important?
OUR LOCAL COUNCIL IS BEING PRESSURED TO ADOPT A ENORMOUS WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT WITH NO CONSULTATION.
This is not an argument against wind generated energy. It is an argument against the dogmatic imposition by our central government on a rural area of outstanding beauty, of an ill thought out program with huge long term consequences, which is being rushed through on an unsuspecting population.
The area involved is at least 600 square miles of the Radnor Hills from the Brecon Beacons all the way to the Shropshire Border. This is planning on a massive scale. The previous round of wind generations proposals was widely debated and resulted in the so called TAN 8 allocations in areas deemed to be of minimum environmental impact. These new proposals are for an area fifteen times larger, with no Environmental Impact Assessment.
What is being proposed is the expansion of the alternative energy target for our area from 50 megawatts to 600 megawatts. This is an eye-watering hike. The deployment of wind-power on this scale in to the national grid will necessitate the construction of huge windmills (the size of the London Eye) and the installation of ranks of pylons to take their output in to the grid system. This Grid presently goes from Gloucester to Shrewsbury and then in to Newtown, and from Gloucester to Cardiff. Pylons would have to march up our valleys into all our hills in the designated areas. Access Roads spurring off trunk systems would have to be built up to each windmill, and the depth of concrete footings under each mill (more than 50 feet) would have long term effects on water tables. So the visual effect of the windmills themselves are the least of our worries!
Do not be fooled in to thinking that this program will create local employment. The principal wind-power companies (who we suspect are lobbying central government for this initiative) are large Dutch, German and Danish multinationals. After Privatisation we seem to have abdicated our world leading capability in building our own power stations or thinking long term about our energy solutions.
The efficacy of wind turbines has improved in the past twenty years but they are still governed by a basic constraint: they only work when the wind blows. This means that they have to be backed up by conventional generators that can be turned on and off according to demand. At present the only effective large scale power storage facility is Dinorwic pumped reservoir facility, which is already working at capacity. This has other implications: when the wind blows too hard and energy demand is down, generation on this scale could cause the grid to melt down, as very nearly happened late on a summer night in Continental Europe in 2009.
Gloom and doom aside, Powys is a beautiful, un ruined part of Britain, soaked in wildlife, history and archaeology. In a time of unbearable chaos these hills stand strong, supporting tales centuries older than we could ever imagine. Let us support them as they have supported thousands before us. SAVE OUR HILLS!