Wind Turbines – Barking up the wrong pylon?

Large turbine up in Tredegar – split the residents. 

This is a relatively new 45m high turbine in an industrial estate up in the Welsh valleys. It has been interesting reading the Tredegar Forum so see the comments that people have been making. There is a split along the lines of:

Against:

Why weren’t we told about it?

It’s too big

It can be seen from across the town

Pro:

More attractive than the pylons that are also in the area

Better to be in the industrial estate than elsewhere

So, it appears that people would be happier with wind turbines if:

1. Smaller turbines are installed

2. They are involved in the process

3. Turbines are in areas that are already blighted by man’s industrial hand

4. Turbines didn’t always mean a lot of associated pylons

So, one answer might be to change our planning policy so that in Wales (and the rest of the UK) we can encourage organisations to install smaller turbines in industrial areas. Ideally these turbines would be community owned or at least have a community benefit attached to it so that people felt involved in the process. By having smaller turbines in urban areas it would mean that all the power could be used locally rather than having to install lots of ‘ugly’ pylons. Turbines on land that is already industrialised should mean less pressure on the countryside or seascapes to house huge wind farms. This in turn reduces NIMBYism in the more sensitive rural areas, especially with regard to pylons. With quicker planning, this would help us to reduce our carbon footprint even faster.

An an example here is a picture of an industrial area in Amsterdam

 Click for full size version
Click on the picture to link to a larger scale picture that shows the turbines more clearly