REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive
and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 370

Revolt news 17/10/2013 Print (pdf) Version

1. From The Register 20-08-2013: “The German government is engaged in increasingly heated negotiations with energy companies in an effort to stop them closing carbon-emitting power plants which have been rendered unprofitable by the national renewables policies.” This is the problem we have often highlighted (e.g. news174, 159, 147) of the diseconomy of part-time back-up generation for wind power.

2. The BBC has reported that the government (DECC & DEFRA) is conducting an inquiry into the impact of electricity infrastructure on rural area. However, no link is given to an authoritative government source for information. The inquiry is said to cover the whole range of renewable energy "including ... pylons". Despite being the longest standing NGO on pylons and powerlines, and with the broadest cover, REVOLT had not been contacted or invited to contribute.

3. After I wrote to my constituency MP William Hague to ask how REVOLT might have some input to the DECC/DEFRA inquiry, a reply from Owen Paterson to William Hague sets out the position. The very broad terms of the inquiry are to assess impacts of different generation technologies. In addition, DEFRA has commissioned a separate analysis of impacts of energy infrastructure on house prices. I have been invited to contact the Climate Change Mitigation Team.  

4. Advertisements for a renewed application from Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) for the north-south interconnector have appeared in September, with a 28-day period for objections to be received. This is the project applied for last year when the botched application had to be put on hold and the process suspended (news350-351). The environmental statement needed to be revised and the proposal re-advertised. From the website the expiry date for (response to) the latest adverts is 25 October, though there is some flexibility. Previous objections will stay on file and don’t need to be duplicated. Application number O/2009/0792/F still applies for the single-circuit 400kV 102-tower 34.1 km overhead line. A new Application number O/2013/0214/F now applies for associated works.

5. On 16 October Denbighshire County Council considered the Dong Energy proposal for a new substation at St Asaph, North Wales, and underground cables from Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm (news369). Residents had been concerned at the magnetic field levels, given by Dong as, for example, 0.545 microtesla (max) at 24 metres from the trenches centreline. The Officer view recommended a Condition as a precautionary measure, not as a requirement to meet health regulations, by way of locating the trenches as far from particular homes as possible within the identified cable corridor. Dong had not agreed to this even though they conceded it was extremely likely that would be the preferred location anyway for technical reasons. Residents sought to have some assurance in terms of actual distance. Residents report that the Council deferred the decision in order to encourage Dong to be more accommodating.

6. In the planning considerations, Dong had claimed the cables would have no measureable human health impact due to EMF, reiterating their position that “there are no health risks”. Dong had focused on the ICNIRP standards and seemed to evade the WHO/IARC recognition of the “possible risk” in category 2B. The idea of “no health risks” would seem like word play, since there are evidence-based formally recognised possible risks. In normal language a possible risk is still a risk. Public Health Wales had responded that there is no risk to health from EMFs if the levels are below ICNIRP guidelines; at the very best this is economical with the truth, and in any fair and reasonable sense it is just plain wrong.

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.




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