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Debate Over Wind Farms

By Green Guest | January 19, 2010

Statistics reveal that the UK alone hosts 40 percent of Europe’s total wind energy. It has been contributing merely 0.5 percent of the country’s demand; a very small amount as compared to its actual potential. The proposed construction of a wind farm in Saddleworth Moor is facing strong opposition from eco-activists. They claim that the wind farm would destroy the land’s uniquely characterized landscape.

The Energy Saving Trust suggests that England alone possess 40 percent of total wind energy of Europe, yet vast amounts of wind potential is still untapped and currently wind energy contributes only 0.5 percent of England’s total requirements.

The output of wind power is directly proportional to the cube of the velocity of the wind. This infers that a relatively small increase in the velocity of wind can largely vary the output. The output of the wind’s power varies according to the size of turbine. Thus the output ranges from few hundred watts to two to three megawatts.
The use of wind turbines may range from small scale generation supplying energy for charging of battery systems in home or in boats to numbers of turbines installed on wind farms which supplies energy into grid system.

The plan to build seven 350 foot wind turbines by United Utilities near Greater Manchester in Saddleworth has evoked an eco-war. Even though the generation of electricity from these wind turbine has the ability to address the needs of 8500 households in the local area, the uproar happened over the issue that it is situated on the picturesque hills of the moors of Saddleworth rather than in coastal areas. Ardent eco activists protest over the conversion of beautiful moors into a wind farm. The UK government has passed a resolution that at least 10 percent of the total energy supply to the nation should be provided with the renewable resources by 2010; and the installments of turbines as that in Saddleworth Moor contributes much in totality. The first ever National Forum of leading environmentalists from across the England convened in Saddleworth are constantly opposing the construction of wind farms which according to them destructs the rural natural beauty.

Professor David Bellamy, an eminent TV botanist; Sir Bernard Ingham, a former press secretary for Downing Street along with other hundreds of ardent environmental activist joined for the convention at Saddleworth. The event of National Wind Group Conference was attended by representatives of over 50 environmental groups from across the UK. The convening of the conference was for the purpose of raising awareness among the eco-activists about the perceived threat from the implications of wind farming and in addition, to strengthen the bond shared among the environmental groups for combating against the governments decisions to turn a picturesque area into a wind farm in expense of the natural beauty of the area.

The action committee to oppose the construction of wind turbines in Saddleworth Moor firmly believes that the project shall have severe implications on the unique landscape of the Moor. It assertively states that this campaign is prompted by a genuine desire for preserving the unique character of the local area rather than by ‘not in my backyard’ sentiments.

As there are also mounting debates in Iran and Nigeria about the issues of increased oil prices, it has subsequently affected the rest of the world. So is it not the time that the government should assist in exploiting the wind potential on land or at sea, either itself or by providing grants to companies? Or should the government be obsessed with the thought of preserving the unique feature of its country while supporting financially for the construction of coal power plants in the third world?

Category: Green Living, Green News
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