REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 227

Revolt news 1/6/2007

Correction: News126.3 reported the forthcoming WHO workshop on precaution, noting "the agenda looks set to "explain" the WHO position, rather than genuine open discussion, and participation seems to be by invitation". I am advised that participation is open but speakers are by invitation.

1. Thanks to Elizabeth Mann for advice: The full Energy White Paper: Meeting the Energy Challenge (PDF file 6,717Kb), also available in WinZip format (4,488Kb), is at: . There is also the nuclear consultation document.

2. Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) and ESB National Grid in the Republic of Ireland are proposing a new 85 km cross-border 400 kV line from Cavan to Tyrone. The present connections are between two separate national systems, though these are to merge. More connection would be needed in a merged system. A "search zone" has been published but not yet any proposed routes, although NIE is reported to be negotiating privately with landowners and expects to start public consultation around early July. No application has yet been made. Concerned citizens are to hold a public meeting at the Armagh City Hotel at 7 p.m. on Wednesday 6th June.

3. The report of the Examination in Public (EiP) of the Yorkshire and Humber Draft Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) was submitted to Secretary of State in March. It is an example of the regional workings of the new (2004) planning system (see news211.3, 207.6 etc.). I had made written submissions, but participation in the Examination was selective; I was rejected and my submissions were not considered. Some public examination! The report recommends not only confirming the 2010 renewable energy targets by region and by local authority, but also including targets for 2021 as recommended by consultants' reports. My submission had objected to the very inadequate basis of evidence for those targets and in particular the irrational wind power targets. Hambleton DC had also argued against the disproportionate wind power targets placed on it, but their argument was also rejected.

4. The public inquiry into the Beauly-Denny line in Scotland has re- opened in Inverness. BBC Online reports "Anti-pylon groups push sea option" (APPENDIX A).

5. Snips from news@all-energy 89 are at APPENDIX B, covering 3 White Papers, Beauly-Denny inquiry, SSE profits, etc.

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APPENDIX A Anti-pylon groups push sea option BBC Online, 29 May 07

Opponents to a proposed power line upgrade to connect wind farms with the National Grid want the electricity to be carried underwater.

A public inquiry into the 137-mile plan has moved to its second phase with a hearing in Inverness.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) wants to build an upgraded pylons line from the Highlands to Denny.

However, Scotland Before Pylons said sub-sea cables should be used as most of the electricity will be exported.

Spokesman Eddie Hughes said Scotland exports 40% of the electricity it generates to England and Northern Ireland and this figure will increase by 2013.

He said: "There is no benefit to Scotland by transmitting electricity by overhead lines.

"Highlands Before Pylons and Scotland Before Pylons advocate the electricity generated in the north east, Northern Isles and Western Isles should be taken to the markets in England and Northern Ireland where it is needed by way of sub-sea cable systems."

Mr Hughes was speaking as the public inquiry reopened in the Thistle Hotel in Inverness.

Reliable transmission

Over the next month, the session will hear evidence on the pylons' impact on the landscape.

The strategic session of the inquiry ran from February to April in Perth this year.

The next phase will hear local arguments on the line which would run from Beauly, near Inverness, to Denny, near Stirling.

The John Muir Trust will argue that the new pylons will further detract from some of Britain's most important wild landscapes and cause a significant downturn in tourism.

SSE will use an expert on visual impact to tell the inquiry that while there could be some significant adverse effects, efforts have been made to minimise them.

The Beauly Denny Landscape Group, which represents the John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and the Ramblers Association, has been arguing against the planned line.

Residents have also formed opposition groups, including Highlands Before Pylons and Pylon Pressure, raising concerns about threats to tourism, house prices and health.

SSE said the 320m development was needed for the reliable transmission of electricity from renewable sources from the north of Scotland, which would be enough to power one million homes.

It has already ruled out an argument for putting the line underground on cost grounds.

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APPENDIX B Snips from news@all-energy 89

1.WHITE PAPERS 1.1.Energy White Paper Greater energy efficiency and a secure, low carbon energy mix for the long-term are at the centre of the Energy White Paper published by Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling. 

>>Tony Blair writes of the $500bn opportunities 

1.2.Planning White Paper Gaining permission for major building projects such as airport terminals and power stations would become quicker under government plans. Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wants to replace large planning inquiries in England with an independent commission.. 

1.3.Waste White Paper Environment Secretary David Miliband has published a new strategy for cutting waste, and said that everyone - businesses, individuals, local authorities and the Government - has a role to play in reducing the waste they produce. The White Paper: 

>>Comment: "The government's trio of environmental white papers have left critics cold, with ministers accused of flunking issues" 

4.GRID, TRANSMISSION, NETWORKS 4.1.Ministers pressed on Beauly-Denny SNP ministers are coming under increasing pressure to decide whether there is a case to halt the controversial public inquiry into the Beauly to Denny power line 

4.2.SSE to join 1bn profits club Scottish & Southern Energy is poised to join the elite 1bn profits club, amid mounting expectations that the group is preparing to push the button and invest in nuclear power. 

4.3.Undersea cable plan linking isles to England The world's longest submarine power cable could be laid between Shetland and the south-east of England to carry electricity to the nation's cities... estimated cost over 400m 

4.4.Villagers object to sub-sea cable Residents in Gravir on the Isle of Lewis have voted against proposals for a sub-sea electric cable to make landfall near their village 

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-- Mike O'Carroll




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