Welcome to the Highlands

Welcome to the Highlands, the land of  sparkling Burns, The Heather hughed Glens, High Mountains where the Eagles soar, a land of Deer and Salmon, Kilts and Pipes. The Corbetts, the Grahams and the Monros. A place to revitalise the Spirit and the Soul. This is a land of proud people, people that will give any man the time of day.

But today a certain sadness pervades all. In a desperate drive for fame our politicians have sold Scotland and its wild places to the lowest bidder. The march of the wind factories is heard in the Glens. Tourism for Scotland is dead. Our way of life crushed beneath the greed of mostly foreign adventurers and aided by our Government and Planners.

This is the opportunity for all you to have your say and perhaps we will save something for our children.

The first great requisite of motive power is; that it shall be wholly at our command, to be exerted when, and where, and in what degree we desire.The wind, for instance, as a direct motive power, is wholly inapplicable to a system of machine labour, for during a calm season the whole business of the country would be thrown out of gear.

William Stanley Jevons (1865)

“God never made an ugly landscape. All that sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.”

— John Muir

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

— John Muir

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REGOs – The latest Wind Farm Scam

mars bar energy

I’m the 100% Renewable Energy from Lochluichart for Co-Op energy but I’m a bit intermittent.

Ever wondered how the Moy Wind farm can power a Mars Bar Factory 300 miles away with their renewable energy that only works part time. Ever wondered how Lochluichart can supply local (?) consumers with 100% renewable energy 100% of the time even when it isn’t working and using an energy supplier based in Warwick in the centre of England. The answer as they say ‘is blowing in the wind’. It is the latest wind farm scam. Otherwise known as Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates. These are batched with ROCs. As ROCs are traded separately as well as batched with power one concludes that it is entirely possible to buy ROCs and REGOs without actually buying any energy from a specific wind farm. Now we know that wind energy coupled with ROCs is twice the price and as much as four times the price of conventional power so we much assume that if power supply is only balanced against 100% renewable certificates the tariff would be at least twice and as much as four times the rate of standard supply. If not then they are noting using 100% wind energy. So the scam is to use the certificates against purchase of the green tariff whilst balancing the costs by buying nuclear or fossil fuel power. Now if they referred to this as full time equivalent or supplies will be balanced against our REGOs that would be honest, if a mite pointless, but the industry quotes 100% renewable energy from your local wind farm. Now that is dishonest and a scam. Needless to say the ASA have accepted the claims of the energy suppliers as power laid off against held certificates (REGOs) is 100% renewable energy. I think this turns on it’s head the maxim “you can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time”. This is designed to fool all of the people all of the time!

One REGO is issued for each megawatt hour (MWh) of eligible renewable output generated (with effect from 5 December 2010). Prior to 5 December 2010 one REGO was issued for each kilowatt hour (kWh) of eligible renewable output generated. The primary use of REGOs in Great Britain and Northern Ireland is for Fuel Mix Disclosure (FMD). FMD requires licensed electricity suppliers to disclose to their customers, and potential customers, the mix of fuels (coal, gas, nuclear, renewable and other) used to generate the electricity supplied annually.  Source: Ofgem

As you can see these are now being used beyond their remit.

 

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World Health Organisation – European Noise Report

Dear all,
The World Health Organization (WHO) are currently reviewing their Environmental Noise Pollution Guidelines for Europe, (details here:  http://en.friends-against-wind.org/health/who-environmental-noise-guidelines-for-the-european-region). If you haven’t done it yet, I encourage you to write to them at contact@euro.who.int , particularly if you have specific expertise or had direct personal experience with wind turbine noise or inaudible low frequency vibrations (infrasound).
If you suffered annoyance from the noise or infrasound of wind turbines, it would be very helpful if you sent them a description of what you and/or your family experienced, specifying when and how it started, and any other pertinent details (actions taken, complaints to the authorities or wind farm owners, their replies, etc.). May I suggest you start by saying who you are, where you live (country and general location), name of wind farm and its owner / operator, how many turbines, how big they are (height and power generation capacity of each), the make of the turbines, what the terrain is like (flat land, hills or valley), and how far is your home from the nearest turbine(s).
Please send your email to Mrs Heroux, at contact@euro.who.int
and put the following in copy Bccluanam@btinternet.com,
Subject line: Review of the WHO Environmental Noise Pollution Guidelines for Europe

You may write in the language of your choice, as I trust they will translate as needed.

Should we wish to publish your message for maximum impact, we will contact you to ask your permission.
A letter co-signed by about 100 health professionals and various concerned individuals has already been sent, but it is important that Mrs Heroux receives as many individual letters as possible, from concerned citizens and especially from wind farm neighbours victimised by noise and infrasound.

Please circulate to your trusted and relevant contacts.

Thank you for your cooperation in this important collective endeavour.

Mark


Mark Duchamp    +34 693 643 736
President, Save the Eagles International
www.SaveTheEaglesInternational.org
Chairman, World Council for Nature
www.wcfn.org
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The sun is setting on solar power, the money’s gone and nobody’s asking any questions.

Solar is not something I comment on often partly because I was told years ago that it was useless north of Cornwall.

Pointman's

If you keep an eye on the financial world, which I do, and especially the green sectors, which I also do, it’s been an interesting time of late. Within the last few weeks, Solar Trust of America (STA), owner of the world’s largest solar plant, filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11, and nobody expects much of it, if anything, to emerge from it. STA joins a long list of companies in the solar energy sector, who’ve gone bankrupt, ducked into protection from their creditors, suspended production indefinitely or are simply circling the plughole.

Across the world, a few of the more prominent and expensive casualties are Solyndra, Solar Millennium AG, Energy Conversion Devices Inc, Q-Cells, Solon, Solar Millenium, Solarhybrid, Ener1, Range Fuels, Beacon Power Corp and there’s a whole lot of others. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s probably not a good idea to invest your hard-earned pennies in any company with “solar” in its…

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BREXIT -4 days in

EU truths

Well what effect will Brexit have on the wind turbines? Well they won’t turn any faster, that’s for sure. It is a fact that the EU is the architect of all the legislations that have closed fossil fuel power stations and encouraged wind development. That we are in a muckle has little to do with Brexit and has much to do with career politicians who are using this as an opportunity to promote their own interests. The Parliamentary Labour Party hated Corbyn as they see a future Labour Party as being unelectable and their futures destroyed by ‘The People’. And you thought Labour was for the working man. I think Schulz comment would fine favour with most Labour MPs. Now I don’t support Corbyn’s Politics and one might suggest he is the guarantee of Conservative supremacy for a generation. However as in the referendum it is the will of the people. So let’s consider the Conservatives. In a period which craves stability, Cameron has picked up his tiddly winks and gone off in a huff. Hunt, after making a pigs ear of the Junior Doctor’s strike suggests that he is the Statesman for PM  and Osborne after attempting to stabilise the market has reverted to Project Fear. They really couldn’t run a booze up in a brewery. Boris quite understandably (?) went off to play cricket. Well what else would a quintessentially Englishman do? Except of course he has been spending the last ten days telling us that he is actually the progeny of Turkish immigrants. Now the rest of us might suggest that what we need is stable leadership and statesman like qualities from our leaders. I simply fail to understand the Glasgie Fishwife and the SNP. The logic of wanting independence but then wanting to give it away to a European Super State leaves me and many others lost for words. What we are left with  is a political void.

So what of the future as to wind farms. Well in that we are as unsure as the rest. A new administration with a new PM is uncertain. We have Amber Rudd, a keen Remainer, and Andrea Leatham, a Brexiter. In the event of a Brexit PM we might suggest that Amber Rudd will be back to the back benches and Andrea could look forward to high office. But where does that leave Energy. We didn’t like Fergus Ewing as Minister for Energy, amongst other things, in Scotland but his replacement in the form of Keith Brown and Paul Wheelhouse leaves us much worse off. The only consolation is that Westminster have canned the subsidy for onshore wind. However with Hinckley Point in the ‘gift’ of the French Government owned Electricite de France and already mired in complex boardroom disagreement a quick fix by an inexperienced and poorly advised but enthusiastically lobbied new Secretary of State could bode ill for those ‘hosting’ wind.

Negotiations with the EU on trade will without doubt be influenced by the multi billion euro deals of companies like Seimens, Vesta and Dong. To lose the energy business of the UK to China, the US, Canada or India would be a disaster for northern Europe manufacture. As we buy far more from Europe than we sell them and sell far more to the US the cards are in our hand. Problem is are those holding the cards in Whitehall and Westminster capable of playing a good hand or just twist and fold. In the end Commerce should dictate the future as it is the man of commerce that can lead us to the promised land, not here today gone tomorrow politicians. Let us hope that it does not end up as a tit for tat game of import levies. I think we would all agree that there are more questions than answers at the moment and what we need is a period of calm and careful consideration. As Europe staggers to a more centralised model in the wake of Brexit much against the wishes of most of Europe’s people one does wonder if they have learnt anything. They certainly aren’t listening to the people. What is frustrating is that had the Eurocrats and Brussels elite listened to Cameron and accepted his concerns much of this breast beating need never have happened. If he had returned with a good deal on the table, not one discredited by Junkers and Scultz before Cameron got out of the Eurostar at St. Pancras, Brexit would have remained Farage’s dream. In my view the EU has become too large, too cumbersome and too expensive to survive. Ambitions of a European Army, a central tax regime, an EU law very different to our Habeas Corpus and almost ‘thought control’ are simply not what we signed up for. Regrettably the fairly fine division of the vote rather than the clear mandate of 1975 has left Democracy the loser as the oft practised European habit of new Referenda until you get the answer you require is as prevalent in the Remainers as in the Scottish Nationalists.

In my mind there is still time for the EU to come to the table and address the issues, to emasculate the unelected Eurocrats and provide the UK with an acceptable and progressive plan.  Will they do so? Do turkeys vote for Christmas?

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Subsidy Sam – revamped

The book of the year has been revamped with additional pictures by Josh. Feel free to pass around Subsidy Sam

Subsidy Sam

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E-On pulls Glenmoriston Wind Farm

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/949729/ness-turbines-plan-scrapped/

Read the story as told in the Press and Journal.

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Wind Farms and Airports don’t mix!

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James Delingpole: Who Protects Britain’s Birds from the RSPB?

A forthright and well deserved attack on the RSPB

STOP THESE THINGS

eagle short-toed Wind turbine ‘saves’ climate change ‘victim’.

****

James Delingpole, hot on the hypocrisy trail, pops up a fair and reasonable poser: who protects Britain’s birds from its Royal Society for the Protection of Birds? (BTW: We’ve added a few graphics to help James make his point).

RSPB: We must build more bird-chopping eco cruifixes
James Delingpole
Breitbart
26 May 2016

Britain must build thousands more bat-chomping bird-slicing eco crucifixes in order to stave off “dangerous climate change” says the RSPB.

RSPB stands for Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and, no, this is not The Onion.

Yes, Britain’s oldest and biggest ornithological society really has put out a report demanding the erection of yet more avian Cuisinarts – despite swathes of evidence showing that these monstrosities are responsible for killing many millions of birds around the world every year.

Its rationale:

The way that we currently use energy in…

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Wind in the Gallows: Study Shows Badgers Suffer Merciless Stress & Torment from Wind Turbine Noise & Vibration

Simplest logic defies the wind developers and their political supporters.

STOP THESE THINGS

badger_profile

The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame) has been a childhood favourite for more than a century.  The exploits of Toad, Rat, Mole and the elusive but respected Mr Badger, stand as an allegory of what is deemed worthy in the British concept of character, and their understanding of what constitutes good and bad manners.

Toad, as master of Toad Hall, entertains a number of self-destructive but fleeting obsessions, including boating and caravanning, which brings him into conflict with his long-suffering friends, Rat and Mole; and, eventually, the law.

It is the sober Mr Badger who is enlisted to help rein in Toad’s natural excesses: Mr Badger is horrified to learn that Toad has crashed no less than seven motorcars, has been hospitalised three times and has racked up a fortune in fines for his reckless motoring escapades.

Leading the charge, Mr Badger attempts to instill some commonsense and moral…

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Moy Wind Farm executes Osprey

Moy wind farm assassinates RSPB icon. Yes that’s true. An Osprey was seriously injured by one of the Moy Turbines and the Energen employee called the SPCA who took it to the vet who had no choice, such were it’s injuries, but to euthanase it. RSPB admitted that it was only twenty miles from their Loch Garten Osprey site. (Well within the feeding range of an Osprey). The RSPB spokeswoman seemed to suggest that it was not the Turbines fault and “If Collision is confirmed as the cause of death we will work with the developer to thoroughly assess how the incident occurred” Reading the small print the developer will cross RSPB’s palms with silver. Post mortem results confirm that the bird had multiple fractures to it’s right wing which is consistent with it having collided with a wind turbine. However the Developer is awaiting toxicology reports. What does she suggest. It was high on speed and that is why it was hit by the turbine. It’s the Osprey fault and RSPB agree! The RSPB should hold their heads in shame. Protection, no! Persecution of Birds!

Legal Status – Osprey
The osprey is afforded the highest degree of legal protection under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

It is an offence to intentionally take, injure or kill an osprey or to take, damage or destroy its nest, eggs or young. It is also an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb the birds close to their nest during the breeding season. Violation of the law can attract fines up to £5,000 per offence and/or a prison sentence of up to six months.

The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 widens this protection and provides additional protection for the osprey in Scotland.
SCHEDULE 6
Protection of wildlife

(introduced by section 50)
1The 1981 Act is amended as follows.
Protection of birds: offences
2(1)Section 1 (protection of wild birds etc.) is amended as follows.

(2)In subsection (1)—

(a)after “intentionally” insert “ or recklessly ”,

(b)in paragraph (b), for “or destroys” substitute “ , destroys or otherwise interferes with ”,

img133.jpg

Why haven’t the Police made an arrest yet? I am sure if you or I put put something that killed an Osprey we would not be treated so leniently!

And the Moy Estate has a long record. 

Moy’sTrack record!
Regular blog readers will probably remember what was found on Moy Estate in 2010:

A dead red kite in the back of a gamekeeper’s vehicle. It had two broken legs and had died as a result of a blow to the head.
The remains of a further two dead red kites.
A red kite’s severed leg, along with wing tags that had been fitted to a sateliite-tracked red kite, hidden in holes covered with moss.
Six illegal baited spring traps set in the open.
A trapped hen harrier (still alive) caught in an illegally set spring trap.
A poisoned bait.
Four leg rings previously fitted to golden eagle chicks found in the possession of a gamekeeper.
A 20-year-old gamekeeper (James Rolfe – straight out of game-keeping college) was charged with possession of the dead red kite and was fined £1,500. No charges were ever brought against anyone for any of the other offences.

Previous blogs on Moy: see here, here, here and here. It’s particularly worth having a look at this, especially in light of recent hen harrier ‘disappearances’ in England. They weren’t necessarily shot (as the grouse-shooting industry keeps telling us) – they could just as easily have been trapped like this (as the grouse-shooting industry keeps forgetting to mention).

The gamekeeper on Moy was convicted four years ago in 2011. Since then, several more satellite-tracked red kites have ‘disappeared’ since their last signals emitted from Moy, and several buzzard and goshawk nests seem to fail each year. It’s quite windy at Moy. It was probably the wind that blew off those rings from the young golden eagles’ legs and blew them straight in to a jar inside the gamekeeper’s house. It was probably the wind that severed the leg of the red kite and then blew it in to a hole on the moor and then blew moss over the hole to cover it. It was probably the wind that blew away the more recent ‘missing’ red kites. It was probably the same wind that blew holes in those buzzard and goshawk nests, too. Still no breeding hen harriers on this estate – yep, must have been blown away.

 

 

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RSPB lurves Wind Farms and EU Grants – Hates Birds

Well I was going to write a post on this but Master Delingpole has done it for me. Read the Truth about the Royal Society for the Persecution of Birds HERE.

crane germany

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A Massacre of the Danish Climate Policy -WWF

Apologies for the Google translation but hopefully you will get the gist. The weasels are squealing whilst reality has dawned!

Danes stop energy revolution

The Danish government wants to slow down the development of wind and solar energy. It takes more coal power in purchase to “relieve economy” the.

Parts of wind turbines

No longer in demand? Parts of wind turbines in Denmark Photo: dpa

STOCKHOLM taz | “What do you actually complained,” tweeted the weekend a local politician of the Danish Left: “The government only ensures that there will be not less but more offshore wind power.One must wait until the sea level has risen correspondingly simple. “

So much gallows humor had not others. “Idiots! I’m speechless, “said the former Climate and Energy Minister Martin Lidegaard. WWF climate chief John Nordbo spoke of a “massacre of the Danish climate policy”.

 

The fact that the ruling in Copenhagen quite liberal Venstre wants to end the former leadership of Denmark in climate policy, was already emerging.Slices, the climate targets of previous governments had been withdrawn since last year. Late last week, came the decisive change. One of the German EEG levy similar tax, which previously co-financed the transformation of energy, shall be deleted gradually from 2017th

This “PSO levy”, from the proceeds of which green investments in wind and solar power production are supported, had been introduced already 1998th In its present form it has existed since 2007. The PSO levy is essential responsibility for ensuring that Denmark with a wind power share of over 40 percent of electricity production now Wind power “champion” is. By 2050, Denmark should even be completely independent of fossil fuels.

Internationally Competitive

The PSO levy appears on the electricity bill of all Danish households and businesses and is designed so that it at a current price reduction of 2 Öre to 1 öre (0.13 euro cents) increases, decreases accordingly at a current price increase. Converted approximately one billion euros annually flow through it at present in the state treasury. The budget gap is now open to balancing the government with a corresponding retraction in the promotion of green electricity.

Specifically, this would mean that the plans would have to be stopped for five new offshore wind farms. “Our goal, Copenhagen by 2025” CO 2 neutral “to make is sabotaged,” said Jesper Pedersen, wind power chief of Hofor, the municipal energy company complained. The millions that have already been put into planning, were thus thrown away money. From an “unimaginable energy policy breach” spoke: Ján Hylleberg, director of the Wind Energy Industry Association. The Swedish state-owned energy company Vattenfall announced that it will stop its investments in Denmark, if the government implementing its plans.

JOHN NORDBO, WWF“A massacre of the Danish climate policy”

“Venstre” establishes the energy policy pivot so that industrial electricity consumers should be relieved to be internationally competitive again. “As we anticipate increasing power consumption, there is also a growing CO2 give emissions,” said environment minister Lars Christian Lilleholt.

Denmark industry have already much lower electricity costs than comparable EU countries like Germany, however, said Brian Vad Mathiesen, a professor of energy planning in Aalborg. Pranks to the PSO levy, it’ll be a real subsidy equal. Due to the lower electricity price levels, the energy transition for Danish consumers had so far come much cheaper than originally calculated, also stressed Ex-Energy Minister Lidegaard: therefore there is no reason to cancel the PSO.

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The Fifth Carbon Budget

Whilst the rest of Europe fails miserably to meet it’s targets the UK is still in thrall to the Climate acts. We do still have a lot of very stupid people in powerful positions in Westminster. The Fifth Carbon Budget resume by Christopher Booker makes uncomfortable reading. The Lunatics are still in charge of the Asylum despite the changes made in the Energy Act 2016. There is little point in adding to the detail in this  article so just click the link. Until such as Lord Debden (‘let them eat burgers’ Gummer) ,Tim (the trougher) Yeo and the ‘Baroness’ (FoE Climate Change Campaigner and Labour Peer) Worthington*are consigned to history, preferably in a locked and padded room, we will still have this festering sore supporting the “Science”(an oxymoron if ever there was) of Climate.  In reality what we have is a certain cadre amongst the political ‘elite’ and the Westminster village to whom stupidity and self interest sit close side by side. The infection of Groupthink engenders the image of sheeples rather that of Critical Thinking.

euro sheep

 

*Lady Worthington launched Sandbag in 2008 to raise public awareness of and improve the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Initially Sandbag provided members of the public with a way of tackling climate change, enabling them to buy ETS permits and cancel them, meaning that European companies covered by the ETS would have to emit fewer greenhouse gasses. Since that time, Sandbag has changed and grown. With a general remit to ‘defend against climate risk’, Sandbag now focuses on researching and suggesting improvements to the ETS, how to phase out coal-fired power stations in Europe, and how governments and the EU can work to support Carbon Capture and Storage. Lady Worthington has been Sandbag’s Director since its foundation. 

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Energy Act Passed by Lords

Amber-Rudd-credit-DECC1

As the Energy Bill which includes the removal of all onshore subsidies for new wind farm applications moves towards Royal Assent we need to address the next issue. All those existing wind farms that are still getting subsidies and could do for the next twenty five years. Simple remedy comes in two swathes. Reduce the ROCs entitlement from 0.9 per MW output to 0.4 or less halving at a stroke the income from subsidy and then repeal the climate act and reduce or remove the renewable obligation from energy retailers. As ROCs are a traded entity we would then have thousands of ROCs chasing a must smaller obligation, or none at all. This would reduce the value of ROCs to that of monopoly money. At a stroke the subsidy would be valueless and that cost would be removed from consumer and industry bills reducing fuel poverty and increasing the competitivity of our industry. For the Renewable Industry the Bubble would truly have burst!

The Battle is won but the War against Wind continues!

Latest news on the Energy Act 2016

Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill it received Royal Assent on 12 May. The Bill is now an Act of Parliament (law).

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To Save the Environment are we actually damaging it?

img115

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Cnoc an Neas – Truth will out

A short video produced for STAG Click to view

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Private water supplies at risk

Something else barely mentioned in the Wind farms’ PR onslaught

Save Straiton for Scotland

water drop

It’s now known that wind farm construction can have serious detrimental effects to water supplies. Two reservoirs and a water treatment works near Whitelees have been so badly polluted that they’ve been abandoned and a new water pipe brings water from the north of Glasgow to East Ayrshire at a cost to the public of £120 million.

If you have a private water supply and a wind farm is proposed in the area it is essential to find out where your supply is fed from. Wind farm companies should be monitoring water quality over a period of time taking account of differing weather conditions. We’ve found this rarely happens. Make sure there is a geohydrology report and contact the Environmental Health department at South Ayrshire Council if you have any concerns.

Wind farm construction which involves creating tracks, digging cable trenches, borrow pits (quarries, up to 4 metres deep at Knockskae), turbine bases (4 metres deep…

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What Energy Policy

An analysis by Euan Mearns

http://euanmearns.com/one-step-closer-to-blackouts/

Private Fraser

And follow this by the Nuclear option:

http://euanmearns.com/decarbonising-uk-power-generation-the-nuclear-option/

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Wind farms are bad for the Environment – Official

Wind farm alters the local climate of a Scottish peatland

Dr Jeanette Whitaker, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Newly published research shows that the action of wind turbines has a measurable effect on the local climate, but this is unlikely to affect carbon storage in peatlands, where the majority of Scottish wind farms are located.

Scientists installing temperature and humidity sensors around wind turbinesResearchers from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, National Centre for Atmospheric Science, the University of Glasgow, Lancaster University and the University of Leeds placed a grid of more than 100 temperature and humidity sensors around wind turbines at ScottishPower Renewables’ Black Law Wind Farm in North Lanarkshire. Over six months, the scientific team took readings from the air every five minutes and from the surface and soil every 30 minutes, including during a period when the turbines were switched off for maintenance.

They found that when the turbines were operational at night the temperature around the turbines increased by nearly 0.2 °C and absolute humidity increased fractionally. The turbines also increased the variability in air, surface and soil temperature throughout each 24-hour cycle.

Susan Waldron, Professor of Biogeochemistry at the University of Glasgow’s School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, said, “The trapped organic matter in peat bogs represents captured atmospheric carbon dioxide, which can help slow the pace of global climate change. A change in the atmospheric conditions of peatland could change their capacity to store carbon.”

Dr Jeanette Whitaker, a Plant-Soil Ecologist at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, “In the UK, over half of all operational and planned wind farms are on peatlands which are important stores of soil carbon. This study has shown that whilst wind farms do change the local climate, changes are small and considerably smaller than many other natural variations caused by the landscape and vegetation cover. These microclimatic effects are therefore unlikely to affect carbon storage in peatlands.”

“It’s important to understand all the environmental effects of on-shore wind farms, as renewable energy is an important component of low-carbon energy systems for mitigating climate change whilst meeting society’s energy needs. This study contributes to the evidence base informing these decisions.”

Windfarm with micro sensors below the turbines
Above: Wind farm with micro sensors beneath the turbines (photo: Felicity Perry)

The study was supported by funding from the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and access to Black Law Wind Farm was provided by ScottishPower Renewables.

The paper, titled “Ground-level climate at northern peatland wind farm is affected by wind turbine operation”, isopen access in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Additional information

Ground-level climate at a peatland wind farm in Scotland is affected by wind turbine operation. Armstrong et al2016 Environ. Res. Lett. doi: 11 044024

Staff page of Dr Jeanette Whitaker, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

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Aviation v. Wind Farms

Often referred to in these pages Aviation and wind farms don’t mix. Recently the family of an agricultural spray pilot in the US was awarded $6.7 million after he flew into a hastily erected unmarked, unlighted and unnotified met mast. It is by the grace of God that no similar accidents have yet happened in the UK. Back in the dark days where all the politicians thought that the world would stop on it’s axis if we didn’t cover the earth with wind farms, the RAF was routinely gagged by the introduction of the MOD Safeguarding organisation. Effectively an arm of Chris Huhne’s DECC, mitigation was the order of the day and that meant the RAF re-directing flying away from wind farms. Now as training of military aircraft is inherently risky and therefore performed over high open wild unoccupied terrain, that caused a dichotomy. Wind farm developers want to build them on high open wild and unoccupied terrain. In Wales, in a major training area, a wind farm was built after the MOD Safeguarding forgot to oppose the planning application until the last minute and then decided unilaterally it would upset the developer as he had done all the application preparation. It leads one to question whether the “Safeguarding” unit was to safeguard military pilots or the wind developers profits. Before the creation of the MOD Safeguarding most wind farms were opposed by the local military airbases. After the civil servants took over opposition was silenced. Of recent years and post the loss of two crews in the Moray Firth, opposition based on the impact to radar has regularly surfaced, often dealt with by a Section 75 planning obligation stating that a wind farm cannot be constructed until the radar issue is addressed to the satisfaction of the MOD. Interestingly two of the recent wind farms referred to by the Lords in their defence of subsidy, Sorbie Hill and Twenty Shilling Hill are both frozen on this basis. Their Noble Lords are either indifferent to pilot safety or mislead by the lobbyists from the Developers. Profits before pilots?

Now quietly we have learned that many RAF pilots have been raising serious concerns and a recent article, well publicised in Australia but ignored by the AGW compliant BBC, has come to light and is produced here:

Air disaster in the making: RAF pilots have almost 60 close-calls with wind farm
Sunday Express
Paula Murray
20 September 2015

RAF pilots flying over Britain have come close to mid-air disaster because of wind farms on almost 60 occasions in the past five years.

A “shocking” military dossier reveals a catalogue of potentially catastrophic air safety incidents, many of them related to unlit turbines and new or uncharted developments.

However, the Ministry of Defence withheld more information on national security grounds meaning the real number could be much higher.

Last night, campaigners called for an urgent review of the mapping and lighting of wind turbines to prevent a fatal crash involving a low-flying aircraft.

The 59 near-misses were classified from negligible to high in terms of severity with 15 cases – most of them from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray – in the high-risk category.

One Sea King helicopter captain revealed that search and rescue crews were having to manually update flight charts to keep pace with the renewables industry.

He said: “Occasionally up to a hundred amendments per cycle are required to be plotted and this must be repeated on up to a dozen copies of some charts.

“If a chart is used by the aircrew or becomes dog eared that chart must be replaced and the amendments re-done.

“On average, over a thousand hand plotted and written amendments are required per month, taking many hours of work.

“Cumulatively over a period of months or years the task becomes mindless, very onerous and extremely prone to error.”

One third of the reports were made by pilots or ground crew from Lossiemouth, which is often used for low-level training flights over the Scottish mountains.

A hazard report filed in September 2013 concerned an uncharted 300ft wind turbine, adding: “It is of particular concern as it is on the Inverurie Heli Lane into Aberdeen.”

It also noted that a single turbine marked on their charts had been “developed into a wind farm with over 10 turbines”.

Others relate to temporary anemometer masts, which are erected to measure wind speed. One Sea King report said: “Over the course of a 5 day detachment to Glencorse Barracks, Edinburgh, several unlit anemometer masts up to approx. 200ft were sighted… The masts were thin and difficult to see by day, and would have been near impossible to see at night being unlit.”

Last night, Scotland Against Spin spokeswoman Linda Holt said the catalogue of “shocking” incidents represented only the “tip of the iceberg”.

She added: “What about civilian aircraft, including private planes and helicopters, microlights and gliders? Aviation impact is yet another aspect of wind energy where public safety has been given short shrift.

“The problem of unmapped or unlit turbines and masts is the result of the subsidy-driven frenzy in speculative wind development since 2008.

“We know of a number of turbines and masts where aviation lights have not been fitted, or fail to function, despite being required by planning conditions. Taken together with inadequate mapping, it is only a matter of time before these unlit hazards cause fatal accidents.”

Ms Holt said ministers had to act now to prevent accidents and added: “This requires urgent action from the Energy Minister Fergus Ewing if he is not to have blood on his hands.

“He should order an immediate review of the mapping and lighting of all operational wind turbines in Scotland. A comprehensive inquiry into aviation incidents involving turbines and masts should also be undertaken with the aim of improving future planning and enforcement and reducing unnecessary risks to pilots and the public.”
Sunday Express

As an old, if not bold, pilot of the past and whose son is a professional pilot flying photographic and survey flights in the UK, I am happy to declare an interest. Not only military pilots; MOD Safeguarding once told me that military pilots are trained to see and avoid(like the rest aren’t?); but general aviation; that catch all for everything from sunday fliers to crop sprayers; to helicopter operators; fly around this country every day often at relatively low level and often under VFR(Visual Flight Rules) Unfortunately the weather, like wind turbines, is intermittent and changeable and a pilot can be forced low by clouds into that nether area where wind turbines push their flailing blades into the area habitually populated by aviators where no fixed intrusion should be. I am quite aware of helicopter pilots in particular that have experience of an encounter with met masts and indeed turbines. The concerns expressed by some sixty military pilots in the UK alone suggests that people’s lives come very low in the priority for profits and the mistaken belief that wind farms will have a positive impact on Global warming. That those sixty reports are but the tip of an undisclosed iceberg is without doubt.

WT Crash

US fatal crash with a wind turbine.

As I say an accident looking to happen!

You may find this link interesting.

Texan Senate to Curb Wind Farms Threatening America’s Naval Aviators

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