Saturday, August 24, 2013

Blow-in Blows Hard

Wind farms - a ghastly waste of money.  Solar panels - a daily reminder that the poor have to cough-up extra cash to subsidize the well-to-do.  Fracking - seems like a good idea.  There you go, cards on the table and a few more readers heading towards that little red button in the top right-hand corner.

So should I invite James Delingpole over for a cup of Glengettie leaf tea?  After all I read his Telegraph blog, usually end-up agreeing with what he says and the poor bloke is holidaying in Cregrina and gasping for a decent brew.

I know this because Mr D has written about it, he's a bit peeved by the fact that a local farmer - let's call him Mr B - has put-up a wind turbine which can be seen from the bedroom window of his holiday cottage.  It's quite spoiled Delingpole's Radnorian sojourn.

OK, suddenly I'm feeling a bit less sympathetic to JD and warming to Mr B. Here are some quotes, I've helpfully highlighted them in orange:

I no longer look at the white houses dotting the valley and wish one day that I could own one

So turbines have their plus points it seems.  Mr Delingpole's sympathies lie though with

the B & B owners, the people who run pony treks and riding stables, the retirees whose nest egg lies mainly in the value of their properties.

I think he means English people.

The tragedy of the Edw Valley is, unfortunately, a tragedy is being repeated across our once-magnificent country. Especially in poor Scotland – a crime for which Alex Salmond and his co-conspirators will one day burn in hell.

See what happens when you write without the benefit of a decent cuppa and yes he does mean English folk.

Price drops of 25 per cent are not uncommon and there have been cases where houses located near wind turbines have been rendered simply unsellable.

If only Mr B would erect a couple more of his poxy turbines then perhaps a few locals might afford to live in the Edw Valley.  Dellers is a bit of a wimp though:

I'm not arguing for direct action: I don't believe in violence or threats of violence, either to person or to property.

So that's all right then.  Still, he wants to ostracise Mr B because:

Anyone who puts a wind turbine on his land fully deserves to be ignored, isolated and loathed by his neighbours.

Can't see it happening, the locals are a bit too clannish to take much notice of blow-ins.

Oh and can you spot the turbine, it is there honest.


Jac o' the North, said...

You've touched on a dilemma for the likes of us. We hate wind turbines because we have the sense to realise they're an expensive folly and a scam for landowners and big energy companies to make money through hidden extras on our electricity bills. But then . . .

It was noticeable when the 'Powys' protest took place outside the Senedd that most of those protesting were English persons who have come to live among us. And now we hear that it may deter others from moving to Wales. Oh dear!

So here's what I suggest. Every Welsh farmer should be forced by law to erect a wind turbine in a highly visible position (whether it is connected to the grid or not is totally irrelevant). Once enough Welsh properties are back in Welsh hands, we take down the wind turbines!

radnorian said...

Good idea Jac. I was getting a bit annoyed with the "Powys says YES to wind turbines" posters that have appeared all over Mid Wales. But if they frighten away a few potential holiday home buyers then maybe they're not so bad.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll lay my cards on the table: I like them.
Every (working) day I drive past the wind farm above the Wye valley near Dernol and am impressed by the majesty of these gentle giants. There's something soothing and natural about them that complements the rounded, feminine hills. Certainly, to me at least, they're as complementary to the landscape as hedgerows and stone walls and those farm tracks that seem to go straight up improbable gradients to who-knows-where on the tops.
None of this means that the economics work, of course, though the economics of hill farming don't seem to work either. Maybe the application at Llaithddu by a consortium of local farmers is the way forward, or maybe cheap fracking gas in the USA will stall research into energy storage via hydrogen and we're all doomed anyway.
I too was getting annoyed by the "YES" posters, but only because they're all in English. I get the feeling that we're dealing with the other side of the incomer coin - the new age downshifters who, having made their stack of money, suddenly want the next generation to live like medieval serfs.
And finally, Dellingpole: Perleeaaase - the man's a troll, or, as we used to say, a controversialist. Not even he expects himself to be taken seriously.

radnorian said...

I suppose Dellers is a troll, if by that you mean he expresses opinions that really annoy people who don't like to hear another point of view.

I agree with him about the EU, AGW and wind farms. Surprisingly I'm very much in favour of reliable renewables and it's good to see that the problems with the unreliability of wind and solar are finally being taken on-board by the pro-lobby.

Jac o' the North, said...

Let me suggest that anyone interpreting wind turbines phallicly and complementing "rounded feminine hills" may be taking this discussion beyond its conceived parameters.

Anonymous said...

I notice that the "Powys says yes" posters, which I do find very annoying, have now got some in Welsh but I don't think they correct, they still spell Powys the English way.
As an engineer I disagree with wind turbines on so many different levels, but if we let them continue to spread and they effect our tourism what else do we have left, only wind farms and agriculture so there won't be many people left here anyway.

Anonymous said...

Is there an English spelling of Powys?
There are a few studies of the impact on tourism of wind farms. They seem to show that the impact is negligible, though there are complaints that the studies are not of sufficient rigour (small samples and the like), and that they can't really study the effect of something that does not yet exist - large scale wind farms on every other hill.
The other thing to bear in mind is that tourism provides a supplementary income for some farms, a few businesses employing a small number of people on low wages, but nothing much more. It's certainly not something we should be relying on as a core industry.

radnorian said...

Powys is the correct Welsh spelling.

In a saner world agriculture might be the basis of much more employment in rural Wales - dairy, food processing, textiles and the like.

Anonymous said...

But then you have to consider that for most people the biggest investment they will ever make is their home and the impact wind farms have on house prices.

Anonymous said...

The Scottish tourism council is worried about the around 20% drop in tourism around some wind farms, and as tourism employs around 13% of the population of Powys I think we should be worried as well.
I think 13% of the population in one sector could be considered core to the area.

Anonymous said...

Can we have a wind farm above Hay on Wye please.

radnorian said...

Or even instead of Hay-on-Wye?

Anonymous said...

I was born in Hay-on-Wye and I would hate to see a wind farm there, but it is in the national park where they protect the scenery so I can't see it ever happening thankfully

Anonymous said...

Apologies fellow anonymous as I did not mean to offend. It was a lighthearted suggestion for ridding Hay on Wye of the literati.

Anonymous said...


radnorian said...

Seems to me they are a bit like the fighting machines in War of the Worlds - didn't they also drive people to despair?

Perhaps some unremarkable life form in the Welsh uplands will eventually bring these alien intruders crashing down.

Unknown said...

Here in North Wales we have wind turbines galore, we like them, we love them, and we worry when they are not turning, and the good news is that we are having another 160 new turbines. Ho, I forgot to mention, that the turbines fields are all out at sea, making Wales by the year 2015, self-sufficient, well at least North Wales will not worry about the lights going out!
On the question of Powys being the correct Welsh name, may be premature, there has been various spellings over the year, such as Powis, however, the oldest Welsh name on record is Pywys. Which can be found in the 1350-1425 manuscript (MS) known as Jesus College MS 20. I have taken the liberty to copy the line of Middle (Medieval) Welsh text that Pywys shown.
Einyaw a Katwallawn llawhir Deu vroder oedynt. Ac eu dwy vam oedynt chwioryd merchet y didlet brenhin gwydyl fichti ym pywys.
Jero Jones Mab Cymru