Monday, 11 March 2013

Tilting at Windmills

There is a headline today on the BBC website that reads 'Lancashire farmers in wind turbine row with MoD'. What would you expect to read? My initial thought was that the MoD wanted to build some turbines and local farmers were objecting. In fact the farmers wanted the wind farm because  of 'crippling costs' but the MoD felt this would affect their radar system 20 miles away at Warton.

The trouble is that the prospective turbines would have been built in the shadow of much taller turbines on Oswaldtwistle Moor and there are many other turbines within a 20 mile radius. It strikes me that Warton's radar system is compromised already. Wouldn't it be nice to have a reasoned discussion on how radars are affected by wind turbines? I wrote about plans for a wind farm in Heysham and these would be less than 20 miles from Warton. I guess there is a reasonable answer but it's just hard to see it from today's article.

Whether wind turbines affect radar systems or not, it looks like the tide is turning and wind farms are now recognised as efficient and desirable as well as a cleaner fuel. As far as beauty is concerned it is in the eye of the beholder. I have always thought that turbines were beautiful in the way that enthusiasts admire steam engines or in the way that back to back houses are conserved for their insight into history. A few years ago they were just slums.

The main argument that is no longer being debated concerns the efficiency of wind farms. When I wrote about wind farms in January it was because I had spoken with someone who felt they could never pay for themselves, even if their power source didn't use up the earth's resources.It sounds like the world is changing...

Change the world

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