Friday, January 05, 2007

Polly masturbates over windfarms

Nimbys can't be allowed to put a block on wind farms

Plans to meet renewable energy targets are being stymied by local councils - mostly run by the Tories and the SNP

Those would be the renewable energy targets which the EU has set out for us, yes?

This is crunch time. If Britain is to have any chance of meeting its target to generate 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2010, then a great leap forward is needed right now.

Yes, but it's only needed because the European Commission tell us so, based on no actual fact. If anyone actually bothered to look into it then maybe we wouldn't be saddled with such arbitrary targets.

So far only 4.2% of energy is from renewables and three years is not long to more than double it. Wind power is the clean energy closest to profitability, yet many projects - on or offshore - are being held up or rejected by local authorities. Forty per cent of all applications were refused in the past two years, most by Tory councils or the SNP.

Another reason why those EU targets are as helpful as a pekanese guidedog - they're simply unachieveable on any practical level. And why are local authorities rejecting planning applications? Maybe because they are a fucking eyesore and have damaging effects on the local environment, perhaps, as well as being incredibly inefficient when it comes to actually producing energy.

It is a hard target, running up a down escalator.

It's a fucking pointless target, my little darling.

As the nation burns up an extra 1% of energy a year instead of cutting back, so every year more renewables are needed to stick to that 10% pledge.

Or how about this, Polly?

The biggest and best project caught up in the planning quicksands is the London Array - the world's largest offshore wind farm, a £2bn Shell 271-turbine project in the Thames estuary - due to deliver 1,000 megawatts, enough to power a quarter of all greater London's homes. It has government approval but the local Swale council (Tory) has blocked planning permission for a substation to be built underneath existing pylons to service it. Local Tories are using the substation as a way of objecting to the wind farm, although it will be 12 miles out to sea and beyond their jurisdiction. They have compared it to defending the Kent coast against Nazi invasion.

Shall we just say it again, Pol?


They represent the local area, they presumably have a greater local knowledge than you, darling. Perhaps, just perhaps, you should take into consideration their point of view, rather than some one sided rhetoric from your Labour Lovers who just see another opportunity to grab more taxes?

Wind farms now trapped in planning hell by local Nimbys amount to nearly the whole extra capacity needed to meet the 2010 target. Devon is a good case: the county has set itself a target of generating 150MW but so far has only approved 7MW of wind, as small local councils keep obstructing every proposal. Wales has set itself a target of generating 800MW by 2010, but local council refusals mean only 217MW are operating. Take Perth and Kinross (Lib Dem and SNP coalition): in terms of megawatts, a third of all wind energy refused in the last two years was by this one authority. Scottish Borders (Conservative) is responsible for 18% of refused wind farms. In Scotland, the SNP has been the main block.

Again, Polly: they presumably have a reason for not approving these wind farms. Let's not forget that the effect of carbon emissions is by no means cut and dry. It's not a proven theory and the Stern report was written by someone who Gordon Brown awarded a knighthood to and whose findings justified yet another tax opportunity, unquestioned by Westminster opposition.

Wind-farm objectors are getting strong support from the pro-nuclear lobbies and from an anti-wind outfit misleadingly called the Renewable Energy Foundation, founded by Noel Edmonds. It has been interesting to observe how an apparently non-ideological issue is turning strongly partisan. Rightwing commentators are rampantly anti-wind farms, with the same fever as they are pro-hunting.

Well, of course they are. Because if we get rid of these stupid ideas that we can save the world through windmills then perhaps we can have a proper energy policy by building a new generation of nuclear power stations. The pro nuclear lobby presumably overlap massively with the anti wind farm lobby: me, for example. As for the partisan angle, well it was rather obvious that would happen. Sensible, right thinking people realise what an absolute farce this whole renewable energy crap is.

For media would-be squires who voice old Tory passions, the wind farm has entered their hate list alongside such outrages to personal freedom as the seatbelt and the smoking ban. For some reason, most also harbour an emotional support for the nuclear industry.

Because it's the best option, perhaps? Unlike the smoking ban, which is a big pile of statist crap (she says, smoking)

It leaves Tory green credentials in disarray, since it is largely its rural seats that are blocking wind farms. David Cameron famously called wind turbines "giant bird blenders" when running for the leadership, needing Tory membership support. Now he is putting one on his roof (perhaps blending pigeons is not as bad as blending grouse). But he has a real credibility problem. His party hates wind farms, and in those Tory rural seats his people are not as green as their wellies and Land Rovers. His parliamentary private secretary, reporting to him last summer, revealed the depth of the party's hatred for wind farms. Caroline Spelman, his communities and local government spokesman, speaking in Scotland, called for a moratorium on all wind farms.

Yes, but the Boy Blunder is a moron. Of course Tory Green credentials are in disarray, because it's just spin and rhetoric.

If Cameron is serious about climate change, here is one really useful thing he can do while in opposition.
He's in opposition?

He can order his party locally to stop obstructing wind farms, on pain of excommunication.
Brilliant idea! More defectors to UKIP! And yet so typical for someone as statist as Polly to come up with: Thou must obey

Indeed all parties should do likewise, to make sure their Westminster rhetoric matches what their own people do in reality.
Oh honey, I wish they'd do that about more things. Tax, EU membership, immigration on top of renewable energy. Because I suspect then we would have fewer stupid decisions being made in Westminster / Brussels.

In Scotland and Wales, devolution makes this more difficult,
Ha ha

but the same political principle applies. All parties competing to be the most localist should consider how often their own Nimbys stop developments of all kinds that are in the national interest. Wind power is only one example of how the dash for localism may be badly misguided.

But Polly, you are assuming that local activists want windfarms, just because you and your other chimps like it. Surely by definition, nimbys, i.e not in my back yard, are people who are local and who are actually being affected by it. Wind farms aren't a good thing just because you say they are, my sweet. What David Milliband and the Gobblin' King talk to you about in the throws of passion isn't generally what the man on the Clapham omnibus thinks.

The government has now promised new planning guidance and laws that will require local planning authorities to look favourably on wind farms without each one going through the pantomime of ascertaining whether there really is a need for renewable energy. (Denial of the efficacy of wind power is now in the same flat-earth category as climate-change denial.) New planning rules will weaken local residents' right to raise aesthetic objections to wind-farm applications, so long as they are not in national parks.
ah, more harmful legislation which will once again undermine local democracy for no other reason than meeting stupid EU targets. Lovely.

Labour may feel smug on reading the British Wind Energy Association's findings that show Labour councils are more likely to approve wind farms. But it turns out that the greatest blockage in the system is inside its own Department of Trade and Industry. Section 36 applications for the biggest wind farms go direct to the DTI. Here, 465MW of wind farms have been held up, some for as long as four years. The Labour-Lib Dem Scottish executive is even worse - 4,148MW of wind power is currently stuck in limbo. However, the DTI and Scottish executive say it's not their fault - they have to consult local councils, which trigger long public inquiries as a blocker.

They may feel smug, but that's because they as a group are as useful as a racehorse with callipers and can't quite grasp the importance of actual fact, nor how their legislation is harmful. Surely the issue that local councils are blocking these applications show that there is a high level of debate and contention surrounding wind farms. I'll say it again, Polly my love: inquiries and finding out the actual impact of planning on an issue which is no means cut and dry is not a bad thing.

Every year, wind energy gets closer to profitability. Every time I see those great white wings turning on the horizon, it makes my spirits soar.

As much as GK gets your heart pumping when he stands proud and upright, waiting for your juices to start running down your legs? I tell you what would get my spirits soaring: if you actually wrote something which made any kind of sense whatsoever. Because if you grasped it, then anyone can.

How do these country folk tolerate monstrous pylons needlessly bestriding their best valleys whose cables could easily be buried, yet object to these breath-taking beauties? Those who object to wind farms should remember how easy they will be to dismantle as other technologies succeed, their scrap value more than paying to grass over where they stood. In the meantime, no party should tolerate its own local authority Nimbys stopping the most cost-effective clean energy currently available.

Way to go, Pol. End with yet another utterly pointless argument. Yes, let's all put up fucking windfarms, because when it is finally realised that they are inefficient, unnecessary and a fucking eyesore then we can take them down fairly easily!


Please, chop of your hands and never write again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He can order his party locally to stop obstructing wind farms, on pain of excommunication.

She doesn't think much of democracy does she. The leader of a political party is to order all its members how to behave. Did she mix up the Tories with the Baath Party?