Wind turbines are better on sea than on land
From: Christopher BuckinghamBeverington Close
Turbines are hugely popular, Kate Edmonds wrote on the Herald click here to read.
The trouble is that everyone wants something for nothing which is not the case with wind turbines.
They clearly are a wonderful piece of engineering but the untold story is the environmental cost of their production.
In March 2012 the ‘Spectator’ carried an article exposing the financial ramifications and wheeler dealing between the government, land owners, at a projected cost of £670 per household by 2020.
It is however the environmental impact which is being ignored.
The magnets used in dynamos are made from neodymium mainly mined in Mongolia and China.
It is a semi-precious material of which a ton is refined for each set of turbine magnets, the result of which huge swathes of land have been destroyed with loss of habitation, radiation pollution.
It seems that China produces 90% (or thereabouts) of all neodymium.
America has held back on mining the ore due to environmental issues.
Wikipedia covers the detail and reference ‘Rare earth industry in China’ clause;- environmental issues.
The government has recently given a further substantial grant towards wind farm yet there is not one UK manufacturer.
Vestas is our nearest manufacturer, located on the Isle of Wight this is a world wide Danish company.
What is more alarming is that as example venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners have just sold their wind farm portfolio to the Infrastructure Platform pension fund for £50 million.
Our Government would have given huge grants to the original installers only for the venture capitalist to take the profit just as the maintenance liability kicks in.
Wind farms at sea have an advantage as the wind is invariably constant speed, does not interfere with bird wild life and provides a safe haven for fish.
Although turbines located at sea have high maintenance problems with obvious corrosion, it is better this than an urban mess advocated by Kate Edmonds, and as illustrated on the A27 wind turbines.
Let’s hope the next site chosen is not Alfriston!