MoD stalls Gordon Browns wind farm plans

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Blogg, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. Now some might think that would amount to a very grave mistake indeed.

    Especially if such objections were posted at the very last minute and after the developers had been assured there were no defence implications.

    Oh dear, another meeting without coffee and biscuits;jsessionid=MTJBYJVUP043JQFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/02/04/nwind104.xml

    MoD stalls Gordon Brown's wind farm plans

    By Laura Clout
    Last Updated: 6:34am GMT 04/02/2008

    Gordon Brown's plans for up to 30 per cent of Britain's energy needs to be met by wind farms are under threat because of opposition from the Ministry of Defence.

    The MoD has lodged last-minute objections to at least four wind farms on England's east coast because of concerns that the turbines could interfere with radar coverage.

    They claim the combination of blades from different turbines can "clutter" radar screens and be mistaken for unidentified aircraft.

    It has also been alleged that wind farms could restrict low-flying training.

    The MoD has now blocked hundreds of wind farm applications and their objections have resulted in delays, permission being refused, public inquiries and the withdrawal of some applications.

    Angry developers, who had previously been told there were no defence implications, have written a letter of protest to Des Browne, the Defence Secretary.

    In a statement, the MoD said: "The MoD is committed to Government targets for renewable energy and whenever possible we seek to work with wind farm developers to find a mutually acceptable solution."

    The Prime Minister has set a target for Britain to produce up to 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
  2. The objections were not posted at the last minute, they were initially raised several years ago but the Govt's energy gurus chose to bury their head in the sand, assuming that the MoD would both find and fund a technical solution. Moreover, Brown's statement in december was sprung upon the military.

    Unfortunately, Windfarms are a major issue and the laws of physics mean that a technical solution is unlikely. From a defence point of view they create considerable holes in radar coverage at a time where 9/11 style attacks, not to mention a resurgent Russian bomber capability, remains a concern. However, there is another aspect which has not been picked up on, that of the similar effect upon civilian Air Traffic Control radars. Holes in radar coverage means degraded flight safety for airliners in what is the world's busiest airspace.

    Finally, from a SAR point of view, windfarms could potentially significantly delay helicopters reaching an incident. In icing conditions, current RAF and RN Sea King helos may be unable to climb over the generators, and would have to re-route.

    The Govt is emphasising wind farms as it's trendy and gets them smartie points with the anti nuclear lobby. In reality, windfarms are inefficient and unable to provide a 'base' KW with any degree of reliability. Ironically they are also environmentally bad news as they disrupt the pattern of migrating birds and create low frequency resonance harmful to sea mammals. That is of course on top of their significant visual impact upon a landscape.

    Nuclear power is what we should be focusing on, not throwing £Bs into trendy energy methods that don't deliver.

  3. There is also the argument about the cost/benefit. It costs (so I heard) in the region of £1M to build each turbine. How long does it take to recoupe that cost?

    What about the environmental impact of building, transporting and erecting the bloody things?

    Yes, we need 'renewable' energy, but I fail to see that surround our nation, and covering every acre of space in these monstrosities is good for us. BUILD NUCLEAR (and dump the waste over France.... :wink: )
  4. All the better then. A dose a reality into the Eco-Marxist Bandwagon is well overdue
  5. Well I think they look pretty.
  6. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Typical, ignore anything thats not on message hoping someone will find a fix and so plough on regardless. Shock horror they weren't kidding when they said no and can't be brow beaten into submission.
  7. Prettier than trees and fields? Prettier than wide seascapes? Not so pretty when the dead birds pile at the base after flying into the blades. (I know - the birds shouldn't be so stupid and they should look where they're going - BUT THEY'RE BIRDS! They're meant to be stupid!)
  8. <types>

    Great feedline! :D
  9. The UK are so far behind the curve on sustainable energy developement its to be believed. Denmark has loads of wind farms and I am sure they must have considered the same problems. They seem to have got around them so why can't we?

    By the way, nuclear is not the way ahead, the waste will be around for many hundreds of years.

  10. Perhaps Denmark is not so high on various target lists? If Carlsberg did target lists...

    You have some inside knowledge on the Nuclear Fusion front perhaps?
  11. Legs... have you seen the amount of money involved in the nuclear power business? £1M is spare change to those lads....
  12. You'd be suprised at how many nations are completely ignorant on this issue. In fact, we brought the problem to the attention to NATO (not to mention the US and Australia) and the Danes have been very helpful in assisting our trials. Additionally, some of the problem in Denmark is mitigated by the ability to take feeds from Norwegian, Swedish and German radars which are of course looking from the other direction and partially 'gap fill'.

    As an Island, we don't have that luxury.

    Right now, it's fair to say that there is a very big 'oh f***' caption in the energy and defence communities of many nations as a result of the UK findings.

  13. As little as 2 years depending on construction costs and thanks to ROCs and the market in them you can make money without actually generating any electricity.

    There was a piece on the subject in last weeks Sunday Times.
  14. Clerk of Jerks - the Danes have learned the hard way about the windfarm scam. They have banned further builds, and are trying to find a way out of the mess they have got themselves in.
  15. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Is there any research on the horizon or at least some clever ideas about how to deal with the issues because wind farms are here and here to stay.

    The very fact is that whatever the climate change argument and the threat of islamic terrorism, energy is going to be the number one strategic concern for the UK and other nations in the next 50 years. Wind and other renewables might be costly in comparison now, but what about in 50 years time when we are being held to ransom by the Russians for their gas I suspect that it will not be as expensive. The UK has a lead in wind generation technology and it is going to be a growth industry why not exploit it. The argument about susbidy is easy to make but the nuclear industry has and will receive subsidies that make the costs being invested in wind power look like a couple of quid found down the back of the sofa.

    We dont have any fissile material in the UK so we just swap one dependance for another.

    I am not saying wind and other renewables are problem free or that nuclear is not part of the solution but we have to put things in perspective