Memorandum by Delia Jack June by Parliament


									SC/07-08/EA258 Evidence for the Economic Affairs Committee on The Economics of Renewable Energy

1. This submission is made by a member of the public to provide evidence of the costs sustained by the public in the government pursuing renewable generation of electricity by promoting the development of on- shore wind farms. 2. I live in Cleveland where large areas of the landscape have been desecrated by electricity pylons. Already in this county, wind turbines are becoming a scar on the landscape just like the electricity pylons. I fully support, in common with many people, the drive for renewable energy, but when there is the option of having off-shore wind farms then why continue to desecrate the countryside? Why not move now to having all wind farms off-shore? 3. As I drive around County Durham for work, what strikes me is that for much of the time many of the wind turbines are non operational. I understand this is because, South of Scotland, apart from the odd site, there is insufficient wind to run the wind turbines continually. Because of this, I understand wind farms are falling far short of their targets. This suggests again that off-shore farms should be the policy, as it is these and not on-shore farms in England, which are most effective in contributing to the targets we need to achieve for renewable energy production. 4. Wind farms impact heavily on us all because they are so huge and these days already no long journey can be made without sighting wind turbines, but for those who live close by the effects are considerable. The blight on people’s houses begins immediately the possibility of wind farm development nearby becomes public. Perhaps the government should consider making those who make profits from wind farms compensate local people pound for pound for the financial losses they experience because of their development. 5. As a member of the public I would ask the committee to heed the evidence of the effect of the noise and wind generated by the turbines on the people who live close by. I understand people who are prone to epilepsy have particular problems but all those living nearby are at increased risk of emotional stress, physical ill health and certainly a reduced quality of life. There is no need for the public to suffer in this way when there is the alternative of placing wind farms off shore. 6. The simple fact is that the growth in on-shore wind farms is against the wishes of many members of the public and the government should heed this. The first line of action should be to consider whether wind farms need to be sited on –shore at all. I would suggest doing so is misguided in terms of the returns from such developments. If wind farms have to be on land then the height of the turbines should be restricted and the location should be a minimum of 3 miles away from any hamlets or larger areas of habitation. I would also hope for a similar restriction for ancient buildings, or monuments, and conservation areas. 7. Undoubtedly various wildlife organizations will provide evidence of the effect of wind turbines on birds, bats and other wildlife, so I will restrict my comments to say that, as a member of the voting public, I expect the government to choose options for providing renewable energy which do not have a negative effect on the wildlife of this country. 8. In a similar vein the committee needs to heed the effect of wind turbines on the radar equipment of aircraft. Safety in the air is of great importance to members of the public, not just from a personal safety point of view, but also because airports and the travel industry create jobs for people. Placing wind farms too close to airports can impact on safety and, in the future, restrict what might be much needed expansion. I would suggest the minimum distance from an airport needs to be much more than currently seems acceptable.

SC/07-08/EA258 Delia Jack, Writing in a personal capacity 15.06.2008

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