It is as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for UKIP, Gainsborough that I write to you about my concern for the seemingly unfettered proliferation of wind farms in West Lindsey, Lincolnshire and the UK as a whole.
Being recent newcomers to Gainsborough, having bought our house in September 2012, my wife and I have spent the last 11 years living in France, and are likely to make this our final home. Therefore we do have a vested interest in the affairs of the area.
In France we lived, for the final 5 years, in the shadow of a wind farm and have carried out much research into wind turbines and their effect on people, property and the environment. In addition I spent 12 years as an Air Electronics Engineer on Vulcans at RAF Scampton and therefore feel reasonably qualified to pass comment.
There are, unfortunately, no absolutes in the arguments regarding Wind Turbines and each side will, at the end of the day, make a decision based on what is best for them, or what they have been led to believe by the media. However I must point out that I am not a NIMBY. We will probably not be able to see or hear the Wind Turbines from our house, and we do not want to sell our house. Therefore my comments and findings are not tainted by emotion.
However here are the facts as I understand them.
Winds Farms cannot reduce our reliance on Fossil Fuelled or Nuclear Power Stations. No power station will close as a direct result of Wind Turbines and, even if the country were covered from North to South in Wind Farms, almost all Power stations would remain operational and serviced. However in times when Wind Turbines are able to operate, Power Stations are on ‘tick-over’ producing the same amount of greenhouse gasses for a massive reduction in KW output.
I do not believe that Wind Farms reduce greenhouse gas emissions; they OFFSET them, according to EU rules. In our house in France our wood-burners OFFSET the emissions produced by using the storage radiators and it was rated as a zero emission house. Quite remarkable for a house built in the 17th Century. Clearly, we did not have zero emissions but some EU bureaucrat was able to put a tick on a form. Many Wind Farms produce only 17% of the designed output, due to wind too low, too high, servicing, downtime, etc. We noticed in times of no wind ‘our’ Turbines in France were turning merrily because they ‘back fed’ surplus power to them from the power station.
The Carbon Footprint of their manufacture, the 600 tons of concrete required for each one, transportation costs, servicing costs, and the removal and recycling costs of each Wind Turbine, at the end of their predicted lifespan, is immense. The people who profit from wind farms are, primarily: The landowner - who can earn upwards of £12,000 per year from each Turbine, The Company who installs it - through subsidies and the Manufacturers of the Turbines themselves who are invariably Danish or German. At this point it is quite remarkable to note that Germany has recently announced a building programme for new Coal and Gas fuelled power stations throughout their country.
We, the public, on the other hand have rising electricity prices, lowering house values and, contrary to assurances otherwise, will hear the turbines if the wind is in the right direction. Having heard it on many occasions, I liken it to the sound of the warriors advancing in the film ZULU.
Finally, wildlife will disappear. We had a very considerable bat and owl population and many other birds. After a while we noticed a lack of bats and owls a severe reduction in the variety of birds. Apparently, according to research, ‘the chances of a bat, or a bird, colliding with a turbine are remote’ but bats and birds are NIMBY’s and they will migrate to an area where they don’t have to put up with the disturbance and noise.
UKIP appears to be the only party to have recognised the futility of Wind Farms in the attempt to deal with Climate Change and have included the development of sustainable and alternative sources of energy in their Manifesto.
The other parties will of course continue to support Wind farms. Perhaps because they, and their relatives, are among the very landowners who stand to benefit the most from their continued development and construction.
John E Saxon
PPC UKIP Gainsborough