Gransnet forums


wind turbines

(40 Posts)
carboncareful Wed 08-Jun-11 19:32:23

It seems a lot of well off middle class people in this country are more interested in the view from their land than the welfare of their grandchildren. How can they be so selfish? Every time I see a wind turbine it makes me feel good.

elderflower1 Wed 08-Jun-11 19:38:37

I agree I love wind turbines but it is a touchy subject in this house. Husband sees them as a blot on the landscape I find them artistcally pleasing as well as being environmentally more sound. He says they harm wildlife and do not create enough enery to make them worthwhile. I am still not convinced - still love them.

elderflower1 Wed 08-Jun-11 19:39:02

energy even

carboncareful Wed 08-Jun-11 20:42:09

Please tell your husband that they wouldn't have them if they did not make energy/money. Germany has huge numbers of wind turbines and they are not even as efficient as ours (our conditions are better) yet they are going to have to depend even more on alternative energy now that they are going to do away with nuclear power.

crimson Wed 08-Jun-11 21:28:33

I love wind farms. the first one I saw was at Delabole in Cornwall a long time ago. Found it incredibly beautiful, but it made an awful noise, like The Mistral in France I would imagine, and enough to drive one to suicide a la Van Gogh. They improved them and stopped the noise later on [thank goodness]. I love to see them from the motorway in the distance when we drive up north. Why do they harm wildlife? I wouldn't mind seeing one from my house as long as it a) was safe and b)was silent.

baggythecrust! Thu 09-Jun-11 06:42:40

Apparently wind turbines can be noisy enough for it to be classed as noise pollution for people living nearby.

carboncareful Tue 14-Jun-11 18:24:35

Well, we havn't got very far with this discussion have we? Is nobody bothered that all these nimbys are trying to stop wind power because they just don't like the look????

mollie Tue 14-Jun-11 20:33:02

I am...I don't understand the argument against them and do think that the nimby argument doesn't stand up. Don't know how that can be changed talks and the educated will always know how to fight their corner...

baggythecrust! Tue 14-Jun-11 21:16:58

The Scottish government is determined that Scotland will be in the vanguard when it comes to renewable energy production. We certainly have a lot of wind and waves though we can be a bit lacking in sunshine. Has anyone worked out how to make electricity from rain? We'd be good at that in the west. I think there is still a long way to go with renewable energy technology before it is truly cost effective but we will get there in the end. Meanwhile I am less worried than I used to be as I think there is a lot of alarmism in the media. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Levels in the past have been far far higher than they are now and the planet has survived. Plants love it.

artygran Tue 14-Jun-11 21:20:59

I read in the paper this morning that turbines have to be turned off for 25 days a year because the national grid can't cope with the surge of power from wind farms when it is too windy! Wind farm operators are given "constraint" payments to keep the turbines idle so that they don't overload the power transmission networks. It is thought that this will cost around £300 million a year by the year 2020 and that -surprise, surprise - the cost will be passed on to consumers. The National Grid say that the number of days they are turned off will increase as and when more turbines are built with a commensurate increase in the cost of constraint payments. According to the article I read, the average turbine is thought to produce power worth around £150,000 per year, but is awarded subsidies worth £250,000 a year. It wouldn't take a Mr Micawber to see the lack of economic sense in that one! And no, I am not against renewable energy but I would like it to be cost effective.

baggythecrust! Tue 14-Jun-11 21:28:36

arty I read something similar quite a while ago. It is rather disturbing, isn't it? I think I may have seen it on the science blog wattsupwiththat.

numberplease Tue 14-Jun-11 23:10:32

I too find them strangely beautiful, and more pleasing to the eye than those horrid pylons.

artygran Wed 15-Jun-11 06:02:56

I also find them aesthetically pleasing, depending on where they are. A group of turbines in a vast moorland landscape seems easier on my eye than a group built off-shore, although I understand that organisations such as the RSPB are unhappy with off-shore windfarms as they are disruptive to migrating birds. The problem with the RSPB is that they seem to want their cake and eat it.... yes we want renewable energy sources, but on our terms. And before anyone asks, I have been a member for fifteen years (well, I don't have to like them, do I)!

harrigran Wed 15-Jun-11 12:12:14

Wind turbines are a bit like marmite, love them or hate them. I fall into the latter and believe that beautiful countryside has been spoilt with these grey monsters.

numberplease Wed 15-Jun-11 15:22:57

It was spoilt before by pylons.

JessM Wed 15-Jun-11 22:11:58

The moorlands of Britain are not a natural landscape. They are a "man made" landscape. Some of them have been engineered for grouse moor and the rest have been deforested and grazed. Just another way that humans have found to use them.
I think turbines are beautiful but are not going to solve our energy problems single handed, as it were .
We just had a very non windy winter...

Baggy and I are disagreeing on another thread about the dangers of all-natural carbon smile.

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 06:49:24

Hi jess smile. Are we disagreeing on this thread? If so, I hadn't noticed. I don't object to the harnessing of wind power. I think we should do it. I just don't think the technology is quite advanced enough yet. Wind turbines quite close to me had to be turned off during the coldest part of the winter because the grid couldn't cope with the overload of power. That's an argument for re-structuring the grid. The turbines also had to be turned off during our rather frequent storms last winter because they couldn't cope with the force of the wind — just when the demand for extra power was at its greatest. That's an argument for continuing to refine windmills, which I'm in favour of. We even investigated having our own windmill but, sadly, the air turbulence around our house on a hill is so great that it would have caused more wreckage than power.

Please, everyone reading my posts on the threads carboncareful started, don't think I'm opposed to sensible renewables and recycling. I'm not. My own carbon footprint is low, but I don't believe (because the science I have read is unconvincing and some cases just plain wrong) that CO2 is (a) a driver of climate change, or (b) a pollutant. This colours my interpretations, as you would expect. Scientific scepticism in the face of uncertainty is a good thing.

pompa Thu 16-Jun-11 08:12:17

Love them or loath them, we have little option. Power from fossil fuels are destroying our planet, we have to find a cleaner fuel source. in the UK we do not have the landscape for hydro electric power, wave/tide power is still in development, we are left with nuclear power with it's inherent dangers and wind power. Nuclear power appears to be the only option for the bulk of our power, but wind power can provide a significant amount and will reduce our reliance on nuclear until other clean sources can be developed.
Personally I don't find wind farms a blot on the landscape, they blend in better than nuclear block houses and can be removed when their day is done.

Zephrine Thu 16-Jun-11 10:09:34

I've been to Delabole too but it must have been after they improved them because I didn't find them noisy at all. I think they are elegant and safe. We all use electricity so we should be prepared to live near where it is produced. Where would you prefer to live near, a coal fired power plant, a nuclear power plant or a wind farm? I know which I would choose.

Grandmacool Thu 16-Jun-11 10:20:32

The first time I saw a windturbine was in California about 16years ago.

Bring on more wind farms!!!!

Zephrine Thu 16-Jun-11 10:35:03

artygran, you can't believe everything (anything?) you read in the papers. I was reported on once, nothing in the article was right even my name! Also I think the RSPB is beginning to work out that birds that can fly through woods and chain link fencing are not going to be caught out by a wind farm that they can see from several miles away. smile

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 10:42:39

I think one of the RSPB's concerns is that the feeding grounds of sea birds might be disturbed by off-shore wind farms. They may be right. It is certainly worth checking. No point moaning about the damage we are doing to the environment on the one hand and then going and spoiling another bit in an attempt to correct the first mistake.

Elegran Thu 16-Jun-11 10:58:14

I read a BBC report saying that one reason birds and bats are often found dead under wind turbines is because they are chasing the insects which are attracted to the turbines.

The study found that the insects liked white or grey almost as much as they did yellow, but would be least likely to congregate around purple.

So we can look forward to gaily painted turbines !

But the researchers thought that the heat generated by the turbines might also play a part, and that the bats found them difficult to detect using their echolocation.

Elegran Thu 16-Jun-11 11:00:29

I too think that wind turbines can look quite elegant, but I do understand how people don't like them interrupting their favourite view.

I wonder if the first builders of traditional windmills faced opposition from the neighbours?

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 11:04:23

Elegran, that thought has crossed my mind too! I also wonder if, in 2 or 3 hundred years' time, people will look at the windmils we're building now and think them rather cute.