British Mountaineering Council to discuss wind turbines

The BMC will be holding a meeting for climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers to discuss our current position on wind turbines in the uplands on Saturday 10th September at the Electric Mountain Visitor Centre, Llanberis
The seminar, ‘Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Landscapes’ is a BMC seminar exploring developments & wind turbines in the uplands. The event will be chaired by Steve Evison from Resources for Change.  More details.

This is an opportunity to influence the BMC’s work in this area.  If you are interested in attending this event then please contact Cath@thebmc.co.uk or telephone 0161 438 3333.

Nuclear weapons test treaty could halt Cumbrian windfarm plan

A report from the Cumberland news outlining the MoD’s concerns about two proposed windfarms:

The planning officers’ report says: “The turbines will generate additional seismic noise that will compromise the capability of the UK to detect distant nuclear tests.” The only solution, the report adds, would be to fit dampeners to reduce vibration not only on the six new turbines but on other turbines in north Cumbria and southern Scotland.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) says its equipment at Eskdalemuir in Dumfriesshire can tolerate a degree of seismic noise but existing wind turbines mean it is at the limit and can cope with no more.

Full Story

NIMBY – accusation or compliment?

The word NIMBY is almost invariably used pejoratively, sometimes to dissuade communities and community members from objecting to developments.  But this is a quotation from  somone who has studied rural areas, spatial planning, landscape, rural tourism and agritourism:

‘Nimbys are in fact protecting the whole community from decisions that might not be in the best interests of the locality. The interests of the developers is obviously to make a profit but will they do anything for the quality of life of the rest of the community? The answer is often NO, and so protesters are an essential part of getting the proper arguments and merits of any plan discussed’

- Dr Valeria Carril Geography- from the University of Barcelona.

FELLS and Cumbria Wind Watch

There are many arguments against wind turbines but in Cumbria the protection of the landscape is key: the landscape is what tourists come for, and it is tourism that holds the key to Cumbria’s economy.    Other issues include noise, shadow flicker, negative impact on homes (“amenity”), the intermittency of energy production and the enormous cost to subsidise wind power.  Recent press coverage suggests that those opposing wind farms may soon stop being regarded as the social pariahs that they can sometimes be made to feel: Windwatch is an American based web site but they cover wind energy stories from around the world, including the UK.  They are noticing a backlash against wind energy.

Friends of Eden, Lunesdale and Lakeland Scenery have long been involved with protecting the natural landscape from inappropriate developments – not just industrial wind farms – in Cumbria and Lancashire.  Frequently the first port of call for individuals learning of a proposed windfarm in their locale FELLS will continue their work but it is intended that this website will provide a central information point about windfarm proposals, applications, public inquiries in Cumbria, as well as information that may help opposition groups.  

In due course the library of documents that FELLS have accumulated and written will be available from this Cumbria Wind Watch site.  At the recent AGM Chairman Mike Hall confirmed that he would be standing down, as were other committee members.  A new committee will be meeting soon and no doubt contributing to this site!

Under construction

CWW is still under construction! The website will be expanding over the coming weeks to encompass all the data about wind farms both planned and operational, and it will become a fully searchable database. Please bear with us as we put all the necessary information in place behind the scenes, and watch this space for updates.

If you have any comments, please leave them below or email us using the link above.

Britain is ‘Running out of Wind’

The Daily Telegraph reports:

The Coalition has drawn up plans to open more wind farms in an effort to meet Britain’s European Union target of providing 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.More than 3,600 turbines are expected to be installed in offshore wind farms over the next nine years.

But statistics suggest that the winds that sweep across the British Isles may be weakening. Last year, wind speeds over the UK averaged 7.8 knots (8.9mph), a fall of 20 per cent on 2008, and well below the mean for this century, which stands at 9.1 knots (10.5mph).