Posted by: Bob | April 16, 2008

Renewable Energy

I’ve always been someone that loved the idea of renewable energy and long for a time where that is all we use. But as time goes on there seems to be more and more problems with them and it’s not really to do with the technology but how its implemented.


Creative Commons License photo credit: Ross_Goodman

Take for example the wind turbine farm being built next to my home town on the Eaglesham Moors.

Going on the reports that have made the newspapers the farm is going to be the biggest in Europe. That accolade was claimed at the planning stage so I’m not sure if it can still lay claim to it. There were many fears over the impact it would have on both the local animals as well as Glasgow Airport as the farm falls under their flight path. There were also many fears that the farm would have a large impact on the migratory birds in the area.

For years, as far back as 1984 I believe, the towns skyline has seen 2 wind turbines on the south western horizon. And now they are building a further 140 turbines! I can only applaud the government, for once, for going ahead with such a scheme but the infrastructure involved in building these places never gets thought of. I used to cycle up to those hills during the summer and I know for a fact you would have struggled to get a car up to the top of some of those hills and now they’ve built the roads needed to drive the turbines right up to each site as well as get all the cement and other materials needed for the huge foundations each turbine needs. Whilst they haven’t decimated the area they have certainly destroyed a lot of the natural habitat! Everywhere I go and find wind farms it’s always the same story. They rape the land they build them on and whilst carbon emission reduction is a worthy aim there has to be some way for the ecological footprint to be reduced as well?

In saying that we have thought about getting a turbine to help power our home. Last summer it would have set us back £1,600 to get a turbine that covered a small percentage of our monthly electrical bill. Adding that up over the 10 year life span of the turbine and there would be no monetary saving at all and without that ‘carrot’ £1,600 is just too high a price to pay for your Average Joe. If the price comes down or the efficiency goes up or, and I know this is a long shot, the government subsidises them then I may be able to have one installed. Until then I’ll just need to be happy with the knowledge that at least the power going onto the grid to power East Kilbride will be 100% renewable.

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Responses

  1. Well said! The only place I see wind turbines doing minimal damage to the land is near my parents’ home near Palm Springs, California. There are thousands of wind turbines out there in the desert between San Bernardino (east of Los Angeles) and Palm Springs which help power LA and that huge valley. The land itself doesn’t appear to be damaged as it was desert, but they are still watching to see how the bird populations are faring.

    In my paranoid little mind, I imagine that scientists have already discovered ways of producing clean energy but have been either bought out or bullied by big industrialists or governments wanting to control world energy…like that Keanu Reeves movie called “Chain Reaction.” Just like they are jumping on the ethanol bandwagon to prop up the US’s overproduction of corn now that people are cutting back on transfats, corn oil products, etc. Oh, this tangly web we weave!

  2. I’ve only just started hearing about the problems with Ethanol over the weekend. Yeah its great that it can help the farmers etc but would you not be better just not driving 4% less or what ever the figure for emissions is in the first place.

  3. I agree, I hate natural environments being industrialised into wind factories andwasvery glad to see the plas for Lewis rejected (though there will be an appeal). My favourite windfarm is the one at Amsterdam harbour, its already an industrial setting. I read somewhere about an idea to build windfarms on the roofs of factories, sounds good to me! And energy conservation and efficiency need to be a large part of any solution to our problems.

  4. My problem is I actually like the look of them in the wilds. It isn’t until I remember just what its taken to get them there that I remember why I have a problem with them.

  5. Years ago, when coal mining was going on in Ohio, the companies were made to do reclaimation on the lands to attempt to restore it to a more natural area. This should be the standard worldwide.
    Also, I believe any chemicals developed and produced (such as PCBs) should have a neutralizing agent required before production and use is authorized.
    But, that’s just me!
    Kevin
    by the way, I loved traveling thru Scotland while stationed at RAF Upper Heyford in the 70′s

  6. I live within 100 km of the Darlington Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario, Canada – will trade for safe, clean, waste free Wind Power any time, day or night, just call collect, deal in 24 hours guaranteed! I used to live too close to the Sudbury Ontario “Super Stack” another great monument to a resource flow being wasted, and thought I did myself a favor by moving here – no such luck! The province of Ontario is expanding “Nuclear Power” since they have no oil, wind, solar, tidal, or coal to exploit, and mines, chocked full of uranium already discovered. Just imagine, a Chernobyl in the heartland of industrial Canada, like I do, nightly, and you will learn to love your windmills, and live frugally, wasting none of that pure clean, perpetual, or renewable if you prefer, power, a Godsend to be certain. Count yourself lucky not to be in my position, one human error from Armageddon, the fission fire lit and burning furiously day and night, and waste piling up as we speak in water filled chambers waiting for a wild eyed, crazed, terrorist or nut-case! Give me the Wind solution every time over this!

  7. If you want to get pedantic I’m less than 70km from the Hunterston reactor…


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