Ed Miliband – Question 1



CPRE recently published its vision for the countryside in 2026 – our centenary year. What changes do you think we will see by then to the character of the countryside as a result of climate change and new energy infrastructure?



We know climate change has already started, and last week the Met Office published new projections for what it will mean for us in the mid 2020s and beyond. In my own area of Yorkshire and Humber, we would not just have a rise in temperature of more than a degree, but we could lose 4 per cent of our summer rainwater if there are high emissions, and have to cope with 5 per cent more rain in the winter.

If we don’t cut global emissions early, the changes to our countryside would get more drastic in the decades that follow. In the 2080s, for example, if we don’t act on climate change, the Met Office projections are that my region would lose more than a quarter of our summer rain, and have more than 20 per cent extra rain in winter. While the summer heatwave of 2003 was just 2ºC above normal, the summer temperatures with unchecked climate change could be 4.2ºC above normal. You don’t need to a scientist to understand that this would have a devastating impact: our landscape, wildlife, and agricultural production would all be altered.

But the character of the countryside does not have to see these changes. It’s not too late to stop them – and in doing so, we have the chance to enjoy a more tranquil countryside as we move to quieter, electric cars, as well as a better public transport.


36 responses

  1. John Twidell

    The CPRE tends to see the countryside as a carboard cut-out, rather than active ecology in which mankind and other oganisms interact. Thus visual impact is important for the response it makes in us to behave ecologically. For instance, for me, a single species woodland monoculture is ugly because of its suppressed biological diversity and not because of its monochrome visual impact. Thus windturbines provide electricity without pollutant emissions and without significant adverse interaction with other species to the people and their workplaces living in an ecological balance. Such power generation is therefore beautiful.

    7 July, 2009 at 8:43 am

    • Neal Jackson

      I doubt Mr Twidell lives near a wind farm, if he did he would realise that “such power generation” is not beautiful. I live in south Durham and I’m gradually being surrounded by wind turbines. Mr Twidell thinks that the noise and shadow flicker the turbines cause is not significant, it is to me and my neighbours! Where is the balance he talks about? Where has all the wild life gone? These things dominate the landscape and destroy habitat. My home and homelife has been ruined by the arrival the turbines. to add insult to injury i then get labelled a nimby and am told i am socially irresponsible to dare question the “wind power dream”. The developers lie to get wind farms passed planning, then once the turbines are operational the local residents are left to try and get on with their lives. No one wants to know about noise or shadow flicker problems. Surely the degrading of the quality of life of neighbours of windfarms is a human rights issue.
      Miliband talks of weather forecasts for 10 years in the future, is he real? accurate forecasts for 10 days would be a start. But this is the kind of nonsense and non facts that we are fed regarding wind power. How about stating how efficient wind turbines are? how about telling us how telling us the cost of wind generated electricity compared to other methods? These figures which could be quoted as actual facts, never are because they destroy the wind power myth. The CBI have just stated that wind power is over emphised in gouvernment plans. when will more people apply some simple logic to the problem and dismiss wind power as an expensive waste of time and money.

      14 July, 2009 at 3:34 pm

  2. Tom Hill

    I agree entirely with the sentiments above. CPRE used to have a fairly knee-jerk reaction to wind turbines, but it appears as though the organisation is finally waking up to the reality of the situation we find ourselves in. It is high time we take responsibility for our own clean renewable energy generation.

    7 July, 2009 at 1:23 pm

  3. Dr Phillip Bratby

    Ed Milliband states “we know climate change has already started”. This is a facile statement. Climate change has been going on since the earth formed about 4.5billion years ago. Climate change has gone on in a series of warming and cooling cycles of varying length.

    Ed Milliband also states “last week the Met Office published new projections for what it will mean for us in the mid 2020s and beyond”. This is a nonsense statement. What is a projection? It is obviously not a prediction. Projections from computer models of the climate have zero validity since the climate models have no physical basis. Climate change as projected by computer models is an artefact of the assumptions in the models and those assumptions are not borne out by any evidence. Does anyone seriously believe the projections for Yorkshire and Humber in the 2020s and 2080s? Can we predict next month’s weather? And Ed Milliband talks about summer temperatures being above normal. What is the normal summer temperature and how do we know? Is it the average over the last 20 years, 50 years, 100 years, 1000 years, one million years, one billion years? Such statements are nonsense.

    As a physicist, I understand the scientific methodology and, since the climate obeys the laws of physics and is driven by physical processes (such as heat and mass transfer), I understand the behaviour of carbon dioxide and the so-called greenhouse effect. There is no scientific evidence for the hypothesis that man-made increases in carbon dioxide can cause significant climate change (so-called anthropogenic global warming – AGW). By the normal scientific methodology, the evidence does not support the AGW hypothesis and so the hypothesis is invalid. However, natural climate change is supported by the evidence.

    Anyone who believes in AGW and computer projections is either very naïve in not understanding science, is ignorant or has a hidden agenda.

    The global atmospheric temperature has not significantly changed in 30 years and in fact has been on a cooling trend this millennium. I could project, just based on my understanding of physics and the cyclical behaviour of the climate, that the global temperature will continue to fall for at least the next 20 years. Is that any less valid than a projection from a computer model? I think not.

    Thus all the massive amount of resource being committed to the “climate change industry” and renewable energy generation is in fact providing a very expensive solution to a global warming problem which does not exist.

    The whole climate change industry cannot survive much longer, because independent scientists all around the world are more and more questioning the whole issue of climate change (as claimed by the UN via the IPCC and supported by governments, their funded scientists, environmental extremists and the media) and the truth cannot be hidden forever. More and more people are beginning to question the gigantic fraud (or hoax) being foisted on them by the UN and its supporters.

    It is time that the government instigated an independent investigation of the whole issue of AGW, now called climate change. The actual cooling trend is far more worrying than the hypothetical global warming, since it could lead to severe energy and food problems. As a retired and independent physicist, I would be only too willing to serve on such a commission.

    So, Ed Milliband, do the honourable thing and let’s get the truth out in the open before it is too late.

    7 July, 2009 at 7:41 pm

  4. Richard Cowen

    I am not a physicist but my vote is firmly with Philip Bratby.

    But surely it is irresponsible to claim that those opposing wind farms are irresponsible. I live within sight of a number of wind farms in County Durham. Figures from the OFGEM ROCs register show these are performing at far lower ratios than claimed in planning applications. Indeed, during the past month many are the occasions when I have seen them not generating at all. And much the same happened in January.

    My own eyes show me that wind farms cannot replace conventional and nuclear power stations. On many occasions the propellers have not been moving at all. It is wholly irresponsible to suggest otherwise.

    In its current report the National Grid says, in effect, that there is always wind blowing somewhere in or around the UK that will generate electricity. Surely this year alone, in particular the past few weeks, must show that this is not correct. With claims such as this, one must seriously question other claims made in the report. It appears to ignore the claims of E.ON in its wind reports of 2005 and 2006 that up to 90% of shadowing is required from conventional power stations, even when wind farms are operating.

    Unfortunately, I have no doubt the report will be accepted. And so we will move inexorably to more wind farms which will seriously and detrimentally affect our countryside, its residents and wildlife.

    It is time we woke up to the fact that wind farms are not working and cannot do so.

    And we also need to be alive to the complaints that are made about noise from wind farms, the safety issues caused to radar for aircraft, the instability that, when wind power reaches given proportions of total generation, have occurred in Europe. No amount of NG reports, memoranda of understanding or other documents will in reality overcome these issues.

    May I suggest that those who do support wind farms come and look at some of the wind farms now in County Durham, which can be seen from significant distances, and then really weigh the actual benefit they provide (which is not the amount of “green energy” generated, but rather the amount of CO2 etc emissions saved) against the effect they have on the countryside and the other problems they can cause.

    7 July, 2009 at 10:18 pm

  5. John Twiddell thinks that
    “The CPRE tends to see the countryside as a carboard cut-out”

    That is not the case and as far as CPRE is concerned their aim is to plan constructively so rural beauty is not sacrificed.not to curtail development (condoned by Lord Falconer November 2001
    at a CPRE conference)

    I have heard it said many times that ‘Nimbies’ are now becoming ‘Bananas’(Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone)

    Peter Hain referred to nimby-ism as a curse and a plague.(Western Mail circa 2001)
    I see it as neither but as an essential element of a democratic society.

    8 July, 2009 at 3:26 pm

  6. Ed Miliband’s looks at New Energy for England’s Countryside

    There appears to be a missing link as I cannot see any reference to TNEI’s Energy for a New Century,this document was given a very high profile when it surfaced, without so far as I am aware any public consultation
    It became central to the Regional Spatial Strategy for the North East and subsequently those renewAble energy targets and those ‘w’ areas which I am sure I do not need to explain

    TNEI were heavily involved in PPS22 Companion Guide which surfaced after the document PPS22 it was suppposed to suppport
    Howeever it is those who are directly affected by the proposals conatained in the documents who seem not to have heard of them until faced with a development for Renewbale energy often a wind farm

    By then their planners and councillors have been ‘informed’ by workshops and websites. visit planningrenewables.org.uk
    managed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy on behalf of DECC
    and part of DTI’s ‘It’s Only Natural’programme

    Thet all meant well but is it working?

    14 July, 2009 at 8:09 am

  7. Roger Martin

    I strongly support your efforts to achieve an 80% reduction in our carbon emissions by 2050.
    This will be extremely difficult in any case; but it will become ever harder if the number of carbon emitters continues to rise without limit – like running up a down escalator. (It is self-evident that total emissions = average per person x number of people).
    There is not a single environmental problem that would not be easier to solve with fewer people, and becomes harder – and ultimately impossible – with ever more. So all UK population growth: ratchets up pressure on the environment; and ratchets down everyone’s share of finite, and dwindling, natural resources – like open countryside, and tolerable carbon emissions.
    Everyone knows this; yet politicians (and environmental NGOs) are still terrified of saying so. I have never understood why, but suppose that it is fear of encountering massive public opposition that sustains this bizarre and extremely damaging taboo.
    But let me reassure you (and CPRE colleagues) that your fears are unfounded. A YouGov poll commissioned by the Optimum Population Trust (which I chair) for World Population Day last weekend found overwhelming support for the view that the world and the UK are already overpopulated, causing serious environmental problems – 72% for the world, and 70% for the UK. Only 8% of us want the UK population to grow at all. Yet the ONS project an additional 25 million of us by 2080; and both HMG and CPRE are silent.
    There are 1.3 billion more carbon footprints in the world now than at the time of Kyoto; and the UN forecast that, depending on how much effort the world gives to sound, non-coercive population restraint policies, we shall have another 1.2 or 3.8 billion in 2050. Meanwhile, the UK last year was putting on over 1000 more carbon feet per day. Yet our climate change negotiators never mention the subject.
    It is a fact (not an opinion) that a stable population is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition of sustainability – on carbon emissions as on everything else. Please at least acknowledge that fact.
    Once you do so, we can have an intelligent debate on the difficult questions of how to achieve it, nationally and globally, so that effort and resources can be allocated sensibly.
    But as long as you all observe the irrational taboo, at Copenhagen and at home, the whole climate change debate will have a huge elephant-in-the-room-shaped hole at its centre.

    15 July, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    • Ron Shelton

      It is obvious that the world cannot support a monoculture of humanity alone However we shall need a large population of young men to defend this island against invasion of starving millions from less fortunate parts of the world. No man sits by and lets his family starve while there is a better alternative.

      5 August, 2009 at 8:25 pm

  8. Dr Phillip Bratby

    I want to add the following comments from my fellow physicist and weather/climate expert;

    “The UK Government insistance on carbon targets will dramatically increase the cost of energy for each and every person living in the UK thanks to Ed Miliband and the pathetic non opposition from the so called “opposition parties”. The UK climate change policy is completely unacceptable to the public, the world IS cooling and NOT warming, and there is NO scientific evidence whatsoever to support or justify the action of CO2 reduction.

    This is a shameful display concerning the misuse of science, each and every person in the UK should wake up to the idea we are ALL being conned, there has never been an influence of “Man Made” Climate Change, what we have experienced in the past few decades is the effect of an increase in solar particles from the Sun.

    The solar effect has been reduced during the past eight years and as a consequence the world has started to cool NOT warm.

    The UK Government action of increasing cost on energy will do more harm then good, especially amongst the poor.

    In the next 10-20 years we will need more affordable energy when the world becomes noticeably cooler then today, what will this Government do then, give each person a Wind Turbine in their back garden, or a refund for all the money they have spent on a non-existent problem.

    My door will remain open in this matter, if Ed Miliband wants to remain behind closed doors and listen to fools then there is nothing I can do to help him or the people in the UK.”

    16 July, 2009 at 11:21 am

  9. Green Man

    Wind Mills with “sails” were once predominant in many flat places like Holland and Norfolk England and Anglesey Wales for milling grain. These were not very windy locations. They also had an abundance of water. So why did they build Wind Mills? The reason is of course that there were very few locations in these flat places, where water flowed, dropping from one height to a lower height. In far windier locations, like the major parts of Wales, water power was preferred despite strong winds. Why? Because streams and small rivers came tumbling out of the hills and mountains to form cascading height drops full of kinetic energy. This was obvious to the clever people of centuries ago! They only used Wind Power if no other power was available. Wind is quite weak and unreliable. So also are these massive modern Wind Turbines. A Turbine of any kind produces energy by employing the momentum of what passes through its blades. Momentum is Mass times Velocity. Both Water and Wind do not have very high velocities whether driving an old Corn Mill or a modern Turbine driven Electric Generator. The big difference is that water is nearly a thousand times as dense as air, so water driven Turbines are far more powerful and reliable than wind turbines. Politicians are besotted with Wind Turbine Energy, which they subsidise with our public money to a ridiculous cost to us. Our Electricity costs will soon cripple our economy, as will the blackouts when the wind does not blow. We have massive tidal resources in Wales. The Bristol Channel has the second highest rise and fall of tides in the world. These tides are reliable, set by the moon’s position and gravity relevant to planet earth. We can predict tidal water movements to the minute for a thousand years into the future. We cannot accurately predict the wind for the next five minutes. We all need to beg our politicians, at all levels, Parliament, Assembly and Council, to see sense and to stop promoting this mad rush into Wind Turbine produced erratic electricity of an insignificant output at great costs to us the consumer and our national economy.

    16 July, 2009 at 9:21 pm

  10. Dr Phillip Bratby

    Green Man: You are right about windmills. However, I would add that windmills were mainly used in the Fens and Holland to pump water out of the lowlying ground to allow crops to be grown. In these circumstances it didn’t matter that the wind was intermittent – when the wind blew water would be pumped. However, for milling corn, the miller needed to be able to grid corn every day during daylight hours. This he could not do with a windmill, but he could with a watermill, because by having a mill pond he could guarantee a constant water supply during the day and he could refill the pond at night. In addition, as you point out, because water is more dense than air, the energy density of water is higher than air and thus the blades of a water mill could be about a thousandth of the size of the blades of a mindmill. A watermill is thus smaller, cheaper and easier to run than a windmill. No wonder windmills fell out of use; they couldn’t compete with watermills. Of course when the industrial revolution came along, water power was not sufficient, and the burning of coal was necessary to provide the power and watermills also fell out of use. The energy density of coal is about a million times that of flowing water.

    It is the kinetic energy of air or water that is relevant for a wind mill and water mill, not the momentum. Kinetic energy is proportional to the square of the velocity. However, it is the power produced by windmills that is important, and because power is the rate of production of energy, the power is proportional to the cube of the wind velocity. This accounts for the extreme variability and intermittency of the power produced by windmills. A doubling of the wind velocity results in the power increasing by a factor eight and a quadrupling of the wind velcity results in the power increasing by a factor 64. Of course this equally applies when the wind drops. If the wind velocity falls by a factor four, the power drops by a factor 64.

    As a result of the unpredictability of the wind (understatement of the capability of the Met Office to forecast our weather) and the extreme variability of the power produced by a wind mill, it is quite unbelievable that anybody would build an energy policy around wind turbines that generally only produce less than a third of their rated power output, and from which the power is produced intermittently and not when consumers use it. It is a policy straight out of the madhouse. All one can say is that the government has been well and truly taken in (deceived) by the proponents of wind power, who stand to make enormous profits from the subsidies that we electricity consumers have to pay for a technology which died out centuries ago when people were sensible enough to work out for themselves that wind power was useless.

    17 July, 2009 at 5:40 am

  11. Ed Miliband says “we have the chance to enjoy a more tranquil countryside as we move to quieter, electric cars, as well as a better public transport”

    Ihere is no mention there of wind turbines (which incidently do affect tranquillity) Wind power is expected to play a central role in the Renewable Energy Strategy. Planning is to change it seems to speed up decison making. People are to be persuaded they need to take some difficult decisions.

    Yet it is known people have significant and valid concerns about wind turbines particularly close to their homes
    I am sure we all appreciate Ed Miliband taking time to answer our questions but I hope he ‘listens’ to the heartfelt comments from Neal Jackson based on fact.
    Ten years and eight energy ministers ago we had a strategy in place or reducing our carbon footprint so why did we wait?

    18 July, 2009 at 11:12 pm

  12. INDUS

    Six sites all industrial on land immediately next to sewage treatment works identified as suitable for the development and each only one or two turbine schemes

    28 July, 2009 at 6:20 pm

  13. Apologies for the previous unfinished e mail
    It ws meant to have a title

    I have just been asked to comment on these sites as other organisations will be asked too
    Each turbine will be 2MW IC and 126m high I understand.

    Why did they wait until permission was granted to so many inappropriate locations before looking at these which could on balance be suitable

    28 July, 2009 at 6:37 pm

  14. (Mrs) Joan Mazumdar

    As a CPRE member I find scientific facts confusing. Such as those above.

    Some individual scientists refer to Climate Change as a means of governments simply scaring populations into accepting solutions to energy costs, which are continually rising.

    These scientists in their own way attempt to undermine the general scientific consensus.

    Certainly we shall need the production of more energy for future populations. Anything that provides clean air is to be encouraged.

    We got rid of coal, why? Dirt contained in the atmosphere and especially during foggy conditions as history records, resulted in severe health problems.

    Discharges from industrial chimneys have been cleaned up, why if there was not a cause for concern?

    Countries which are increasingly developing ways and means of bringing industries into production to raise the standard of living are being encouraged to make use of nuclear energy, and other means of renewable energy, rather than increase air pollution. Nothing in the atmosphere is static worldwide.

    On a personal level, I support any means possible to keep populations all over the world healthy. If clean air means ‘hoodwinking’ populations (as some scientists would have it) then so be it. I don’t care if climate changing is scientifically proven or not if government measures produce benefits to health, and importantly cheaper means of energy production for the benefit of the majority of the population struggling financially to meet these costs.

    There is always capital outlay initially to obtain better results in the long term.

    29 July, 2009 at 12:34 pm

  15. (Mrs) Joan Mazumdar

    Please notify me by e.mail, forgot to tick box below, if any replies come to my submission. 29.7.09. Thank you

    29 July, 2009 at 12:46 pm

  16. Dr Phillip Bratby

    I repeat here that the idea of man-made global warming due to carbon dioxide emissions only exists inside computer models of the climate used by such bodies as the Met Office. There is no scientific evidence to show that climate change is anything other than a natural phenomenon that has been going on since the earth was formed.

    The climate changes due to natural physical processes obeying the laws of physics. As long range (seasonal) weather forecaster and physicist, Piers Corbyn, says to the Met Office “It’s not a question of technology but application of Physics – You say you want us to publish more about our Solar Weather Technique but you (The Met Office) and Governments will not welcome that because it will pull the rug from under your belief in Man-made Global Warming. The World is now cooling and we can explain why.”

    In response to the question ‘Does the technology exist?’ to do the ‘seasonal forecasting’ the Met office find so hard, Piers said: “It is not a matter of technology but of the application of Physics and equations. Just as computer models of the economy fail so does the Met office approach to long range forecasting. We can predict in detail months ahead how solar particle and magnetic effects modulated by the moon cause the Jet stream – the tracks of lows – to shift. That is the key to weather type change prediction in Britain & Ireland.”

    The Met Office forecast that last winter would be milder than average and yet it was the coldest for many years. They said this summer was going to be a BBQ summer and we all know how good that prediction has turned out to be. The reason they make these wrong predictions is because they use their very expensive computer models of the climate, and these models are programmed to calculate global warming. They do not use basic physics, which Piers Corbyn does in his very accurate seasonal forecasting.

    It’s time for a new broom to sweep through the Met Office and all the other tax-payer funded organisations which have thrown away basic physics in favour of computer models.

    Remember the old saying about computers – Garbage In Garbage Out – GIGO.

    For more information go to http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=68&c=1

    1 August, 2009 at 6:21 am

    • Ron Shelton

      The tobacco companies succeeded for decades in arguing that there was no proved connection between their products and the risk, and could always find scientists to support the argument; does anyone now doubt it?
      A few decades ago there was a problems with CFCs and the ultra-violet transmission rates in the antarctic; since the CFCs were phased out the situation has improved I believe.
      Perhaps we cannot prove the our CO2 and even more, methane production, is having a disastrous effect on the climate but we should do our best to reduce it just in case the majority sscientific opinion is correct and we leave it too late to stop
      the consequences of delay.

      5 August, 2009 at 8:41 pm

      • Dr Phillip Bratby

        Ron, can you tell us where this majority scientific opinion is to be found? Tens of thousands of scientists (not those funded by governments to tow the party line) do not believe that CO2 has anything more than an insignificant effect on the climate. The main greenhouse gas, and the one that keeps the earth habitable, is water vapour.

        5 August, 2009 at 8:46 pm

  17. Will Symonds

    No to the destruction of our beautiful landscapes. The UK emits far less carbon than many other industrialized economies currently and even if we reduced our emissions to zero it isn’t going to make much difference in the grand scheme of things. Why therefore, do we have to destroy the only precious natural resource that England has left? Surely we could find better and more innovative ways of reducing carbon emissions?

    2 August, 2009 at 9:27 pm

  18. Professor Derek Smith

    As a scientist who has spent many years involved with economical electricity generation and the impact of “renewables”, I have to endorse Dr Bratby’s comments. There is strong evidence that climate change is natural and cyclic, the small warming (0.8 deg C) which occurred during the last century being associated with gradual recovery from the ‘little ice age’ observed during the period 1750-1850. Any contribution to a greenhouse effect by man-made carbon dioxide (which makes up less that 0.03% of our atmosphere) is too small to be measured. The only greenhouse gas worth consideration is water vapour but its effect in clouds and so on is not yet well understood and not properly represented in the Met Office and other computer models upon which our present disastrous energy policy is based. Water vapour does not contain carbon, and it has been shown that there is no link between carbon gases and water concentration, so that, despite the government hype, reducing carbon emissions is a pointless waste of money.

    For the past ten years, carbon dioxide has increased but, rather than rising as predicted by the models, global temperature has actually stabilised and declined so that we may soon have to contemplate global cooling which would require a total reversal of EU/Obama climate policy. Arctic sea ice this April covered approximately an area equal to the average since measurements began in the 1970s. Polar bears have flourished; their population has increased substantially since it was made illegal to shoot them from planes as a variant of big-game hunting!

    It is sad for sincere politicians and tragic for us that we have all been misled by well-funded Green charlatans intent on destroying Western civilisation, either to make money through carbon trading schemes or for political reasons known only to themselves. It is not up to the CPRE to act as their mouth-piece.

    But if the clamour for low-emission energy continues, the only immediate source is nuclear. Besides being eyesores, wind-farms are inefficient, intermittent and horribly expensive to make and run; they require installation of an equivalent capacity of conventional generation capacity to operate at a loss only when the wind is too light or too strong. Carbon-capture applied to coal burning is at an early stage of development and may never prove economic. Tidal, solar and other renewables are not yet developed to a sufficient scale to forestall the energy outages which the UK will face from inadequate capacity as from 2015. But why do we not think more about importing geothermal electricity from Iceland?

    5 August, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    • Dr Phillip Bratby

      Dear Professor Smith,

      Thank you for your endorsement. It is clear that independent scientists around the world are increasingly speaking out against the falsety of man-made global warming due to carbon dioxide.

      On your last question about importing geothermal electricity from Iceland, I would refer you to the excellent book by Prof David Mackay ‘Sustainable Energy – without the hot air’. I have bought a copy, but you can read it or download it and print it from his website at http://www.withouthotair.com/ On page 183 he discusses the pros and cons of geothermal electricity from Iceland. His book is useful in looking at our energy consumption and the viability of various sources to meet the demand. The book is all round numbers and contains errors, but it is nevertheless a very useful reference book and an entertaining read.

      5 August, 2009 at 6:47 pm

  19. (Mrs) Joan Mazumdar

    Reading the recent comments made by scientists in response to others, as a lay person I find the following interesting. I quote Professor Derek Smith:

    ‘But if the clamour for low-emission energy continues, the only immediate source is nuclear.’ I gather from this that scientists do not believe we need low-emission energy due to the contentiousness of CO2 production.

    Coal high-energy emissions caused health problems whether from CO2 or not and ceased. Apart from ‘cleaned up coal emissions’ what other healthy sources of the production of energy are available, other than from low-energy emissions?

    ‘Tidal, solar and other renewables are not yet developed to a sufficient scale to forestall the energy outages which the UK will face from inadequate capacity as from 2015. But why do we not think more about importing geothermal electricity from Iceland?’

    i agree, a very good form of electricity provided by nature. We could as I understand it, get geothermal heat from the ground on which our buildings stand; very expensive method I believe if the boring depth has to be considerable. Although there are alternative means to boring, it appears. Water pumping in a heating cycle, bringing hot water into houses from underground for domestic purposes..

    However, if we bought geothermal electricity from Iceland, are we not placing ourselves economically in a rather dubious position? Iceland’s recent financial problems are rather dire I understand. We need desperately to reduce costs to families, here and worldwide by the advantage of cheaper fuel.

    Attending a meeting a while ago, I understood China has first call on the production of Nuclear stations, so that we are presumably a bit low on the list of those who can produce these. Perhaps those we have can be up-dated!

    I enjoy the debate.

    6 August, 2009 at 9:36 am

  20. Joan
    Pleased you are enjoying the debate.

    I believe that Councillors and Planners are faced with an extremely difficult task of meeting energy priorities within the constraints of current and proposed planning policies.
    Yet needs and concerns of local ratepayers must not be overlooked

    The right to peaceful enjoyment of one’s home is something we must not allow those who govern us to forget.

    6 August, 2009 at 10:44 pm

  21. Joan
    You say you find scientific facts confusing as many do especially when couched in the language of professionals
    However I have found over the years there are some scientists who are easily understood by us all,in particular Prof Platts and Fells the latter whom I heard lecture in LondoN. Hence this post with some background

    •Professor Michael Laughton, UK’s most senior academic power engineer(Platts “Power In Europe” Issue 383, 9 September 2002,
    “Regardless of the amount of wind power capacity installed wind
    generation has no reserve capacity credit It follows that the entire peak load plus reserve margin has to be covered by conventional plant as at present”.

    Prof. Ian Fells, one of the world’s leading experts on renewable energy, states that behind the building of ‘wind farms’ is a gold rush, created by a government struggling to meet its own renewable energy targets. It has led to developers racing to build turbines with little care for the environment. The real profit comes from the sale of renewable obligations certificates (ROCs)that ingenious hidden subsidy.
    A wind farmer is allowed to create one ROC for every MWh of electricity generated, potentially 2628 ROCs each year for each I MW turbine installed using a load factor of 30% for onshore wind.
    eg A 4 MW wind farm over 25 years and assuming one ROC is worth £50.The subsidy of £4x25x50 x2628= £13,140,000.
    Certificates can be sold to the big electricity suppliers, who need them to prove to the government that some of their electricity comes from renewable sources”

    Thus each 2MW turbine installed onshore has the potential to attract from the ROCs, £ 6 million.
    The Budget announced that new orders in 2009-10 will now benefit from 2 ROCs instead of the 1.5 ROCs so offshore could attract 12m per turbine then £10.5m
    Can we really afford this covert subsidy?

    Some background
    The RO required suppliers to derive from renewables a specified proportion of the electricity supplied to their customers. 3% in 2003, rising to 10.4% by 2010, and 15.4% by 2015. Law until 2027 (I have now read till 2037)

    •In February 2005.The Auditor General reported that “The level of support provided by the RO is greater than necessary is currently at least four times more expensive than the other means of reducing carbon dioxide currently used in the United Kingdom”. HC 210 Session 2004-2005 (11/02/05)
    •In 2005, the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts said the RO was not transparent or amenable to parliamentary control The cost of the RO is passed on by electricity suppliers to consumers through higher prices *. .

    •The cost of the RO does not appear on electricity bills and is not explained to consumers *, Renewable Energy. 6th Report of Session 2005-6

    7 August, 2009 at 7:53 am

  22. Daniel Snith

    Instead of arguing about power generation we should first be doing MUCH more to cut our fossil fuel use. How can the government be taken seriously on any green issues when it continues to subsidise the aviation industry by not taxing fuel thus encouraging airport expansion, and running the car scrappage scheme.

    7 August, 2009 at 9:45 am

  23. James Connors

    CPRE’s vision is too backward looking, at least in energy terms. If we are to do something about our greenhouse gas emissions, parts of the landscape will have to change and I don’t think we should be afraid of this. I just worry that incoherent strategy from the government means that we’ll get lots of relatively ineffective wind turbines everywhere. I’d much prefer to build thousands close together in places with high wind rather than having small clumps everywhere, especially in not very windy places.

    10 August, 2009 at 11:04 am

  24. Fiona Macartney

    I have no issue with increased wind farms as an environmental reply to climate change – but we MUST have better control over them.

    I have a friend who is trying to resist having a turbine a few hundred from his home – that is too close. They should be further away.

    But they also should be built on realistic planning for the wind levels. They should also be based on being cost effective without additional funding once they are running – I heard this is not always the case, they have funding for running as well as building which is not a true picture.

    10 August, 2009 at 4:00 pm

  25. Fiona says “I heard this is not always the case, they have funding for running as well as building which is not a true picture.”
    She thinks there is subsidy for building – which, onshore, is not usually true.

    Obviously Fiona is not aware how “funding for running” operates and would no doubt be shocked at the size of the ROC as a proportion of the electricity value.

    Please read earlier post Aug 7th 7.53 abstract below
    “Thus each 2MW turbine installed onshore has the potential to attract from the ROCs, £6 million”

    11 August, 2009 at 7:54 am

  26. Brian Gallagher

    James Connors should read the earlier posts by Professor Derek Smith and Dr Phillip Bratby on the physics of wind generation. It is pointed out that the energy in wind is limited – as well as unreliable. They also correct the CO2 position.

    It’s my understanding that concentrating turbines will mean that they would operate at even lower ‘efficiency’ than the typical derisory 27% of designed capacity. Turbulence from closer spacing would reduce output further.

    Smothering a land area the size of Wales is already planned for the Government’s unachievable targets. It is known that turbines don’t reduce CO2 emissions. And they need the costly duplication of conventional power stations in spinning reserve to back up wind’s intermittence. The heavily subsidised destruction of landscape is not the answer to the looming energy crisis. Turbines are part of the energy problem – not the solution.

    12 August, 2009 at 6:26 am

  27. (Mrs) Joan Mazumdar

    On reading the contribution by Professor Derek Smith, 5th August, would he mind telling me what has caused the increase in carbon dioxide to which he refers in his quoted paragraph which follows? If global warming is not the culprit then I assume that it is man’s contribution rather than nature’s. In which case we have to reduce our method of production of energy, if that is the fly in the ointment?

    “For the past ten years, carbon dioxide has increased but, rather than rising as predicted by the models, global temperature has actually stabilised and declined so that we may soon have to contemplate global cooling which would require a total reversal of EU/Obama climate policy”.

    If the method of production of man’s CO2 (I assume that is the nub of the problem)cannot be checked internationally ‘in time‘, would you agree that ‘clean’ energy production must be a priority?

    If nature has its way, and global cooling will be effected, then we shall all need more energy, produced by one means or another.

    To Elizabeth Mann: thank you for the very detailed explanation, re. wind turbines, costs etc, Subsequent contributors have made their points too.

    The contributions, from Greenman 16th July and Dr. Philip Bratby 17th July in their information about windmills, have impressed upon me the lack of efficiency of Wind Turbines.

    Like Richard Cowen 7th July, I have seen Wind Turbines static on my travels. Some in the west country and some up north. Not 100% efficiency for the outlay it would appear. A form of false economy. Or a desperate means of somehow gaining some National clean energy reduction (in time) before a more expensive building of nuclear power stations, can be introduced? And/or geothermal means.

    Which brings me to the opposing scientists re. Climate Warming. It would appear to me that those against (which appear a minority) have a point in blaming governments if their predictions, based on pro-climate warming scientists, produce false assumptions. However, if the effect to which Professor Derek Smith refers: the increase in CO2 in the last 10 years, is nothing to do with climate change, then it must be by some other means, which results in the same necessary awareness of the need to produce energy which excludes CO2 emissions. As I see it!

    Joan Mazumdar

    12 August, 2009 at 11:31 am

  28. Please wait a minute for the viideo to load This provides some extraordinarly powerful evidence.

    A renewable energy conference in London used a case study from Australia showing how to win over any oppposition and so gain planning permission. It wss very wekk presented by Rynd Smith
    Yet another chicken and egg situation as here is a wind farm in operation

    Note; Rynd Smith is Head of Policy and Practice for the Royal Town Planning Institute. He is a Member of both the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Planning Institute of Australia

    19 August, 2009 at 8:54 am

  29. fyi

    Smith leaves RTPI for Inspectorate role
    Domenic Donatantonio, PlanningResource, 21 August 2009

    Rynd Smith is to leave the RTPI to take on the role of Planning Inspectorate director of policy, quality and development plans.
    Smith, currently RTPI director of policy and partnerships will succeed Leonora Rozee. He will also become head of profession for inspectors.

    Smith served the RTPI as head and then director of policy, leading the RTPI’s response to the Planning White Paper and preparations for the Planning Act 2008.

    Between 1999 and 2006 he served as a senior Planning Inspector in Victoria, Australia, chairing major examinations and inquiries.

    Smith said: “The Planning Inspectorate lies at the heart of the planning systems for England and Wales, where it stands for sustained excellence. It has a key role to play in the ongoing delivery of planning reform and I look forward to making my contribution there.”

    22 August, 2009 at 8:32 am

  30. Thursday, 20 August 2009 12:41 UK BBC News Channel

    “In 10 years’ time people will look back and think, ‘gosh, there was a huge fuss about this idea of renewable energy and wind energy but actually it was the right thing to do”

    Ed Miliband, Energy Minister

    Jonathan Porritt’s commented to the effect that Ed Miliband has done more in a few months than has previously been done in several years It makes one wonder if we will have any say at all in our vision for 2026

    23 August, 2009 at 8:24 pm

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