Sunday, 23 January 2011

green wind for energy

Sustainable Energy from Druim Ba 

Some kind of future his catching up with our area; so far we only watched such future going up from very high and very far, thankful for it not coming any closer. That changed when plans arrived for a huge wind farm that would alter our landscape, hardly making it any nicer.

Will it help to make future any better?

From the DBSE brochure:

On a purely technical basis, the site could accommodate 37 turbines.

A Scoping Report was submitted to the Scottish Government in the spring of 2010, for a wind farm with 31 turbines with generating capacity of 3MW each and a maximum tip height of 155 metres.

As a result of consultation with various consultees, the scope of the project has been reduced to 28 turbines and a reduced tip height of 150 metres maximum.

Interested in all kinds of energy generation, owning a (small) wind generator and depending on an highly efficient CHP-off-grid supply I am always trying to look at such a project from an angle as neutral as possible; it is difficult but clear figures and numbers on a spreadsheet help to keep that angle.

In an earlier post titled new thinking I said:

To question the efficiency of a wind generator asking from what point during its life span the 300ft cast-iron pole based in >1,000 tons of concrete will net generate electricity is seen as an anti sanctum.

That was two years ago! This time it is 28 times 500ft and much more concrete and iron, still you won't find anything answering that pretty simple question. One would think it would be the most straight forward calculation the want-to-be-wind-farming-company would present to its critics. An overall and detailed foot-print calculation putting input and output into relation from birth to death, from first scratch to the final recycling and regenerating process 25 years later; such a calculation could then be presented and steal most of the campaigners' thunder - if it was in favour of the technology producing carbon free energy.

Kiltarlity residents rally to fight plan for wind farm, a legitimate process (update 09-02-11: see what they have to say); however, in the majority of all cases these activities look like lame yogurt-knitters fighting bloated capitalists and vice versa. Pretty much useless when reduced to birds or bats, to "don't want" or "don't like", only, and even less entertaining where one democratic voice wants to eliminate the other:

A meeting led by campaigners against the Druim Ba wind farm will be held at Kiltarlity Village Hall on Saturday from 11am. It is understood that Druim Ba representatives will not be allowed to speak at the meeting.

Seeing what it could look like should rather force them to speak and explain.

Not allow the representatives to speak matches the picture of the underdog having a sit-in and a yogurt while listening the green energy blues:

The invitation to discuss the project is found in the project's description and even its name: "Druim Ba Sustainable Energy"; so to take it by the word and investigate the project's true sustainability must be the prime aim prior to challenging the project's feasibility; the result could range anything from "Yes, it is!" to "No, it is not!" but any serious campaign could only be based on the above calculation which would then be put into proportionality e.g. with our society's or be it government's targets, the habitats, the environment, may be its costs, ROI, pay-back-time, its disruptiveness, influence or even beauty - or ugliness.

Anything else, a campaign for the campaigners' sake or a non-sustainable shareholder-value-first project are pure entertainment or sheer propaganda!


propaganda: the many words that you read and hear around those catchwords like green and sustainable, renewable or carbon-neutral while lacking numbers and thorough calculations often even proper thinking enhance the feeling of one party trying to pull a fast one on the other. It reminds me very much of the many bubble words that were made about the Highland Expo.

politics: some time ago the collective decision was made that energy generated from wind should become a major part of our grid supply; obviously the collective decision did not include to calculate the technology's footprint - why?

Carpe diem!

update 25-01-2011
P&J: Revised windfarm plans kept under wraps by developers
Next exhibition:
Abriachan Village Hall, Wednesday 9th February, 2011, 2 - 8 pm


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