BBC TV Wales and other broadcasters recently trumpeted that a new report showed that more wind-powered generators [known as wind turbines to the marketing men and scientifically backward] would bring more jobs and income into Wales. These wind-powered generators only produce power intermittently, and the latest models, 425 feet high, can be seen from 30 miles away. They need access roads, power from conventional sources, sub-stations and pylons to connect and balance with any electricity grid, and form wind power stations, not wind farms otherwise we would have coal farms, nuclear farms, gas farms and the like.
Wales is by far one of the poorest regions of the EU, and already has five times the density of wind-generated intermittent power generators as its larger neighbour England. It may be that the wind stops at Offa’s Dyke, because English pressure groups have succeeded in preventing their spread across that country. However, in Cymru it is different. Plaid Cymru has become known as Plaid Gwynt, the Party of Wind, which applies to its speeches as well as its backing for wind energy. Labour controls Wales under Arglwydd Carwyn of Millbank, and is itself, as always, controlled by Labour HQ in London, which is pro-wind energy. Its leader, the Croatian-Polish parented Ed Miliband, tells us that it is ‘morally inexcusable’ to oppose wind energy.
Wales has a population of just 3 million, and its only viable industry is tourism which is being wrecked by these wind follies, along with the lives of those who live near them. World population is growing by 3 million a week (i.e. the population of Wales!), and a new and dirty coal-fired power station is also coming on-line every single week across the world. For Wales to be littered with even more inefficient, ineffective wind follies is pointless, when we consider the global picture. Forget the mantra of man-made global warming – climate has always been changing, owing primarily to Milankovic Wobbles, as I outlined in my book Breverton’s Encyclopaedia of Inventions. The Romans had vineyards in Wales and there was not then a fuss about carbon emissions. They held fairs on the frozen Thames in the seventeenth century. A few years back, scientists told us that we would fry because of the gap in the ozone layer, while others said we were heading for a new Ice Age. Forget the cynical manipulation of facts and the fact that scientists now say what their paymasters wish them to say.
The point is, that whatever Wales does, it cannot affect anything upon an international scale. It is a tiny country, thirty miles across its waist, with hardly any industry or carbon emissions, smaller than New Jersey. It would be the 48th largest US state, just ahead of Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Washington DC. The land area of the USA is 375 times that of Wales, and its population over 100 times as much. The Wales Assembly Government wishes to ‘lead the world’ in green policies, rather than develop an economically viable future for the country. Welsh government planning guidance sets an absurd goal to generate 2,000 megawatts of electricity from onshore wind turbines by 2025, with most of it available by 2020.
However, Wales only uses 2000MW of electrical energy in total each year. Wales already produces over 6000MW of such energy, with 2/3 of it going via huge pylons to England. More conventional power stations are planned, which might effectively provide Wales with over five times the power it requires, nearly all going to England.
Wales is obviously far more than self-sufficient in energy, and if its government wishes to rely totally upon renewable energy, then the country will grind to a halt when the wind speed is too high or low. Not one of its conventional sources of energy can be closed down as they will be supplying England, and also Wales when the wind follies do not spin – so where is the green energy dividend in building more wind follies?
Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, was the person responsible for surreptitiously signing off the infamous Technical Advice Note 8 (TAN8). This effectively gave Forestry Commission land (which belongs to the Welsh people and covers large tracts of the most beautiful parts of Wales) over to wind power station developers. People’s protests are over-run by planning inspectors to fulfil the pledge to green energy, and peat bogs, archaeological remains and spectacular vistas are being ruined. If the Welsh Government is to reach its target, it could have fifty times the density of wind energy generators of England, and one will be able to see and hear a wind folly from any hill in the country. It is madness of the first order when politicians will not admit that they are wrong.
The Welsh Energy Minister is a former solicitor John Griffiths, who has loudly trumpeted the value of this ‘independent’ piece of research, showing that Wales will get 2,000 more jobs and a huge income from meeting its green energy target. This Cardiff Business School-Regeneris report upon renewable energy was sponsored by the Wales Assembly Government and Renewables UK, and therefore has no assessment of cost-benefit analysis, being merely a wish list of the propaganda that its sponsors wish to promulgate. It served its purpose – all media in Wales duly reported that more wind follies are good for the country. Deeply flawed, it is abysmal that a university research department has colluded in its publication. Cardiff University should immediately either repudiate it, or admit that it was paid for and virtually worthless.
I live near a wind power station, Alltwalis, and there have been NO jobs created there. Someone might come along now and again and pick up the chopped up birds and bats, but usually foxes and buzzards do that for them. There are more poposed all over Wales, including on the battlefield of Hyddgen, where Glyndwr’s War of Independence flared into life. Each wind generator requires a 1000 ton slab of concrete, which will cause flooding problems, and the machines themselves are not recyclable. We know that when the massive operating grants are due to end, they will be sold to shadow companies which quickly go into liquidation and will not be able to restore the land. The wind generators themselves will be left to rot in the landscape like the gibbets of old. Wales will be defaced forever.
The report’s only sponsors are the following, ALL windpower renewable companies and mainly foreign-owned:
1. Amegni Renewables is owned by a family of local landowners from Carno, near Llandinam. They allowed Carno 1 & 2 wind power stations to be built on their land (on one of the largest blanket bogs in Wales and cutting through a Roman road). The son built the 3rd windfarm extending the Carno disgrace towards Llanbrynmair, with 12 Wind energy generators reputedly raking in £3million a year. He has another application pending. The village of Carno, despite all this community benefit and income going to a few of the indigenous locals has lost its main employer, and the school is under threat of closure;
2. Pennant Walters is a renewable energy company based in Hirwaun which has built up a landbank of 25,000 acres across Wales to develop windfarms;
3. Renewables UK Cymru is part of the pro-wind lobbying body Renewables UK, representing all the UK and foreign companies involved;
4. RES is an international renewables company;
5. RWE npower renewables;
6. Scottish Power renewables;
7. Tegni Cymru Cyf – a German-Welsh wind power developer;
8. Vattenfall – one of the biggest wind power developers, hit by scandal in the past;
9. Welsh Government – demonically in favour of renewables; and
10. West Coast Energy – wind power developer.
It is almost impossible to get anything published critical of Welsh problems in Welsh media, as they need advertising incomes from councils and government. Carmarthenshire County Council recently withdrew advertising from the South Wales Guardian after some criticism, almost forcing it to close. My new book The Welsh: The Biography criticised the current situation in Wales, but could not be published by Welsh publishers for fear of losing their grants, and similarly has not been reviewed by Welsh newspapers and magazines except possibly for Cambria, Yr Enfys and Golwg. The editor at its English publisher wondered by Welsh people put up with poor government and said that Welsh, i.e. British, history should be taught in English schools. I replied that it is not even taught in Welsh schools.
Is it surprising that the report is in favour of more wind energy? Is it independent? Is it a rigorous piece of research? Does it have any use at all, except to scientifically illiterate politicians trying to justify a scandalous waste of public funds? Why does it take a 66-year-old former businessman to criticise its bias and the non-existent economic policies of Wales, rather than the media, politicans and academics? As a former management consultant, I would have resigned rather than have submitted such a biased piece of research.
gan Terry Breverton