Array is ‘for the future’

Whether you regard the wind turbine as a beautiful piece of engineering is subjective, but ideally they need to be in a windy non-populated area. The Bristol Channel meets these simple criteria.

I cannot believe that any sea mammal or fish is going to be affected by the base of a turbine, any more than they would be from passing ships or fishing boats or the building of a bridge, of which there are many through out the world.

As a spin-off, the Bristol Channel array might become a tourist attraction like the Thames Barrier or Delabole (one of the first West Country wind-turbine arrays).

I know it takes energy to make a wind turbine and that fiscal outlay against fiscal reward is not massive, but energy prices seem to double every 10 years (as in the past two decades), making an investment in wind-turbines (and solar power) look better and better.

I attended a lecture in Barnstaple Guildhall about 20 years ago to listen to a proposal that we should build a Severn barrage.

It has been shelved and revisited many times. Certainly the work of “naturalists” trying to preserve the habitat of a few wading birds near Weston-super-Mare did not help the cause.

The Barnstaple Bridge was stalled for similar reasons. In the presentation we were told the Severn barrage could have produced more electricity per year than all our nuclear power stations put together, around 10 per cent of this country’s needs without all the overheads of nuclear power, decommissioning and security of the radioactive waste.

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If global warming takes hold, not only will wading birds lose their habitat but the human race will be in dire trouble – a foretaste of what is to come will be experienced this year as the USA has had one of the worst harvests ever, due to drought, and we have had a bad harvest due to “inundation”.

The Siberian permafrost has started to release CO2, but more sinister is the release of methane – more potent than CO2 as a global warming agent – which is being released from methane hydrates. If that goes up we will lose control of global warming. The more methane that is released, the more the warming, the more methane that is released. The deep ocean contains trillions of tons of methane hydrates, in some areas a two degree rise in the average ocean temperature will prime the time bomb!

Back to North Devon, the only good reason I can fathom for objecting to the Bristol Channel wind turbine array is its visual impact and that is subjective.

If you are against the array on those grounds then surely isn’t it a small sacrifice to make for the benefit of future generations and a marginal inconvenience to yourself?

Let’s get on with it! Or are you going to say “I don’t care, to hell with the future”?

Chris Rainey


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