Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Councils consult on windfarms in 'Gwynedd'

Wind farms especially the new generation of wind turbines; which are much larger than those we currently have on Ynys Môn, have of late become a contentious issue. The pressure group Anglesey against wind turbines "exist to oppose any further erection of commercial on shore wind turbines on the grounds that they are unsightly, damaging to our fragile economy, uneconomic, noisy and damaging to our wildlife."

Large non-commercial wind turbines being OK I assume?

I myself have previously stated the in my humble opinion wind farms are the short term answer to our electricity needs, as part of a sustainable national grid.  However having said that I think 'Anglesey against wind turbines' are doing a good job in that wind turbines "has recently become a hotly debated topic".

As Paul Williams (aka The Druid) points out, even the Council has taken notice. Last week Anglesey and Gwynedd Joint Planning Policy Unit published a draft Supplementary Planning Guidance document which you can download from Ynys Môn Council website.

The consultation period runs till Friday 10th February 2012.

Update: With thanks to Mairede Thomas (see below comments) who makes reference to the following documents:

Electricity Market Reform (EMR) White Paper 2011 (July 2011)


Written ministerial statement by Chris Huhne on Electricity Market Reform: technical update. (December 2011)

or Press release by Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary.


mairede thomas said...

readers of this blog may be interested to know about the Department of Energy and Climate Change's new White Paper, published this week.

It has been produced because wind energy is totally unreliable and cannot be stored even when it is generated. This fact is starting to become a very real threat to our energy security.

The National Grid has to be able to meet demand at any given moment in time, otherwise the lights, and a few other things go out!

So those power stations that can produce a reliable source of electricity have to supply the national grid when there is any shortfall in wind generation. Obviously those reliable suppliers want to be paid a premium for doing that, after all why should they leave their plant underperforming just because a few turbines are spinning.

Naturally they want to organise their business in the most efficient way, and indeed that is how they will be able to reduce the cost to us as electricity bill payers.

So as more wind-powered electricity is planned this problem has become critical, and indeed the White Paper forecasts that the lights could go out if a solution is not found.

So the UK Government is planning to offer long-term contracts to those suppliers who can deliver a predictable and reliable source of electricity.

So now we have a situation were not only do we (as customers and taxpayers) pay a massive subsidy to developers and operators of wind turbines, we are also going to be paying massive contractual subsidy to all the other conventional power plants that have to back-up crazy windfarms!

My solution is stop building unreliable wind turbines. There are better ways of reducing CO2 emmissions!

Rhys Williams said...

@Mairede Thomas

Sorry for delay in approving your comment - you know things to do, visiting relatives, christmas shopping etc...

Do you have a link to the white paper you mention?

mairede thomas said...

Actually its a Technical Update to the White Paper and I will email the document to you for some bedtime reading. What it is saying is that the UK Government will legislate early next year to provide a "Capacity Mechanism (that)will ensure we have enough capacity on the system to keep the lights on for a period when demand is high and wind is low for a number of days".
The legislation will do this by creating a "Capacity Market (that) will put in place contracts to provide reliable capacity up to the total volume required in GB to cover periods of high demand. The first auction of contracts will be 2015".
The Capacity Market will ensure that "providers of reliable capacity exchange volatile revenues in the electricity market for a steady, predictable revenue flow".

The White Paper was originally published in July and is called Planning Our Electric future: a White Paper for secure, affordable and low-carbon electricity.

Does that help?