REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive
and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 326

Revolt news 19/05/2011 Print (pdf) Version

1. Krzysztof Kuklinski from Poland draws attention to a resolution adopted unanimously on 11 April by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs, title “The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment”. The rapporteur is M Jean Huss. The full resolution and report is document no. 12608 of 6 May 2011. Among other things the resolution calls for a “safe distance” of powerlines from dwellings, but does not specify distances.

2. An Icelandic correspondent from some years back reports the outcome that farmers did manage to put much pressure on the electrical company so that the lines were built further away from farms. “It was also a small victory for landowners all over Iceland, as usually in the past landowners were not part of the planning where to lay these powerlines.”

3. Sarah Corser from mid-Wales has a new petition for people to sign, which is different from and even more important than the last one. Objectors are to converge on Cardiff next Tuesday 23 May to ask for the Welsh planning document (TAN8) to be reviewed. The infamous TAN8 has been in place for many years; it promotes turning the mid-Wales uplands into a very large and ugly power station. The unprecedented scale of development with all its foundations and infrastructure is said to pose a large and serious threat of greatly worsening flooding though the whole Severn Valley.  

4. An adjournment debate on Mid Wales wind farms, secured by Glyn Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire, was held in Westminster 9.30am to 11.00am Tuesday 10 May 2011. (Hansard 10 May 2011 : Column 347WH). It also addressed related powerline issues where the strength of public objection was made clear. The Ministerial reply by Charles Hendry referred more than once to a “democratic deficit”; that is quite sinister as it can be code for demeaning the democratic public as “wrong” and in need of correction by the “right” establishment.

5. Charles Hendry’s ministerial reply was also laced with misleading pro-wind propaganda, such as “Wind turbines tend to generate electricity about 70% to 80% of the time” without mentioning the very low delivery of around 21% of capacity.

6. In the course of the above debate, Tessa Munt (MP for Wells) asked about the long-delayed KEMA/IET report on undergrounding, due out in January (news316, 322 etc). The minister replied that it is “is being refined—not by us, but by the organisations themselves—to make sure that it takes full account of the data collection available and the technical analysis”. That is a pathetic excuse, as the exercise was set up under the auspices of National Grid knowing very well what data collection and technical analysis was needed. All along it looked like a political rush job with hurried and flawed consultation. Such delays are symptomatic of government discomfort with pre-drafts and subtle (or not so subtle) ways of requiring amendments to be made. This report will be a key factor in UK powerline planning decisions, whether through the IPC and NPSs or otherwise, as it will be taken into account in the decision-making processes. Therefore government will want to ensure that it contains nothing which could favour objectors.

7. David Holland’s SVU newsletter for May came today 19-5-11. It raises pointed questions on costs of undergrounding, windfarm performance and nuclear generation delays at Sizewell which delay the need for the Bramford-Twinstead line. The newsletter exposes the high cost of undergrounding NG transmission lines compared with Siemens GIL solutions and larger water pipe works, concluding with: “And this is our big question:- If the water industry can, for £25 million, install a 1200mm diameter steel pipe underground through 32km of the very terrain National Grid want to install powerlines across, why does the electricity industry need to spend around 30 times as much to complete so similar a project?”

8. Ian Murdoch, in a letter 18-5-11 to the Yorkshire Post responding to Tony Lodge’s article of 14-5-11, draws attention to not only the poor performance of onshore windfarms (load factor around 20% of capacity, not 30% as the industry has claimed) but also the severe intermittency hidden by misleading monthly averages used by government.

Statements made by the editor or by other parties and quoted for information do not necessarily represent the views of Revolt. Criticism of government and industry, and grievances from members of the public, are in the nature of Revolt's work, though we try to give credit where it is due. Revolt is strictly non-party-political and regrets any offence which may be inadvertently caused.




Custom Search

Search the web

Custom Search