Thursday, 22 December 2011

An ill wind blowing across Ynys Môn

Wind Turbine locations on Ynys Môn
(source: AAWT)

Considering that Ynys Môn has been promoting itself as an 'Energy Island' for a few years now (and will soon become an Welsh Government sponsored Energy Enterprise Zone), the council itself seems remarkably ill-prepared and lacking in direction when it comes to any forms of energy other than Nuclear.

For example, the proposed 25,000 tonne Anaerobic Digestion plant in Mona has been criticised as being far, far too large. With only 35,000 tonnes of appropriate biodegradable industrial and abattoir waste in the whole of North Wales, the plant would need to ship in source materials from as far away as Mid Wales according to Friends of the Earth (a body which normally supports AD plants!). The Welsh Government enshrined a 'Proximity Principle' in TAN21, which states that waste should be treated or disposed of as near to the source of origin as possible. What therefore is the logic of placing an AD plant of that size in Mona? Indeed, in what appears to be a tacit acceptance of this fact, the developer has since hired several hundred acres of land in Valley to grow silage to feed the plant when it is approved. Not only is this pushing up the price of silage on the Island for farmers who need it to feed livestock, the application was originally given planning approval on the grounds that it would divert waste from landfill; now we learn that he is going to have to grow a crop to feed it. Thats the equivalent of erecting a wind turbine and then placing a enormous electric fan opposite to blow air at it!

The Biomass Plant proposed on the Peboc site in Llangefni is a remarkably similar story. It will apparently burn up to 180,000 tonnes of "locally sourced" timber every year. Seen any huge forests around Ynys Môn lately? Me neither. Instead the developer will be shipping it from Scotland and, amazingly, Nova Scotia in Canada. What's green about that?

Considering where the source materials are coming from, neither of these plants seem to have any logical reason whatsoever to be located on Ynys Môn — other than because Anglesey is promoting itself as an Energy Island and is possibly being thought of as a soft touch by grant-seeking developers. Furthermore the benefits of having them here are also not entirely clear — especially when you consider how few local jobs they will produce. For example, the developer of the Peboc biomass plant claims it will create 250 temporary jobs and 150 permanent jobs. Curiously their own Transportation Assessment mentions that the plant will only require 25-30 staff... furthermore there is no analysis of what effect building a massive incinerator (because that's what a 'biomass plant' actually is) will have on present and future employment in Llangefni — let alone on the tourism industry. What will be the net effect on jobs?

Then we come to the recent proliferation of planning applications for Wind Turbines on the Island. Personally I am yet to be convinced of their effectiveness as a means of reducing carbon emissions — especially when they anyway require fossil-fuel plants running on permanent standby to produce energy when the wind doesn't blow.

More than any other 'energy' development on Ynys Môn, wind turbines have created the largest popular opposition movement in the shape of Anglesey Against Wind Turbines. Around 200 people attended a stormy Penmynnydd Community Council meeting last week to object to an application to build some 100m-tall wind turbines in the area. Significant numbers also attended a similar meeting of the Llanfair-Mathafarn-Eithaf community council this week when a similar application was discussed in Brynteg. CAP reform and the 'greening' agenda will see farmer's incomes squeezed so they legitimately need to diversify and find other revenue streams, but it is difficult to argue that 100m-tall turbines will not be a massive blot on the landscape, are hugely unwelcome to those who live near them, and could potentially effect the wider tourism industry.

The Council has now announced a public consultation into Supplementary Planning Guidelines governing Onshore Wind Energy applications — but it seems a little late in day considering there are currently already over 50 planning applications for turbines on the Island, each of them being considered independently of the rest. It seems to me that the Council needs a clear strategy for wind farms. Like Conwy, which only allows extremely tall turbines to be erected in one defined area and has imposed a fairly low height restriction on them elsewhere, Anglesey council needs to do some serious thinking rather than letting them proliferate throughout the island on an ad-hoc case-by-case basis.

So in my view, apart from the preparations for Wylfa B, the council has got itself into a real mess with its Energy Island 'strategy'. With the exception of the underwater turbines off the Skerries, the developments being proposed so far:

  • deliver no discernible green benefits considering the long distances the source materials need to travel
  • ultimately provide relatively few low-skilled, manual jobs without a proper assessment of the overall net effect on jobs
  • require the shipping into Anglesey of large amounts of unpleasant waste (the Peboc biomass plant alone estimates 78 daily deliveries of wood; 5 daily deliveries of tallow and vegetable oil, and 88 trips related to the shipping of pellets. Thats a helluva lot of HGVs everyday)
  • do not lead to Ynys Môn becoming a 'Centre of Excellence' in any of these technologies
  • potentially have a dubious effect on tourism and other businesses

So what is the point being an 'Energy Island' if we don't gain anything from it? Surely the vision behind the Energy Island strategy originally was to promote Anglesey as a Centre of Excellence in energy technology, not a dumping ground for dubious, grant-seeking, "dirty" developments. The same is true of wind turbines: they are not a new technology, the community as a whole does not benefit from them, and we can't compete with the Danes or Germans in the development and manufacturing of them as they already have the expertise, experience and economies of scale.

Ynys Môn needs to be looking to utilising its unique Island resources and promoting renewable technologies in their infancy — as with the Skerries underwater turbines. In other words we need some vison, better strategic long-term thinking, and higher aspirations.

UPDATE: You can now register your objection to the Peboc biomass plant here.


mairede thomas said...

Druid - I totally agree with what you say.

Does the 'Energy Island' concept have the islanders' support?

Is there a plan with a strategy and detailed objectives that the citizens of Ynys Mon have been consulted on, and have demonstrated their support for?

As for wind turbines, the Department of Energy and Climate Change is so worried that feeding wind generated energy into the national grid will lead to the lights going out, that it has just published a White Paper in an attempt to secure more reliable sources of electricity.

So now its official- more wind power equals BLACKOUTS!

For more on this farcical situation please read my blog today on The Anglesey Telegraph.

Anonymous said...

You missed out the waste recycling 'facility' that has been reported in the press as earmarked for development on the Anglesey Aluminium site - it will (allegedly) take waste from all the North Wales councils - I'm sure the 'Holiday Village' next door to it will be well screened from the sight of it (if not the smell) ... but my information may well be out of date by now and this idea may have gone the way of many others ... I'm curious as to whether the 'Lakes and Land' (or whoever) Holiday Park would still go ahead if Horizon can't afford to build Wylfa B (they most likely can't without government subsidies, or maybe even with) in which case they won't need the cheap housing that would be on the leisure park site 'temporarily' ... ah well there's still plenty of coal in the ground ...

Anonymous said...

Maggie Thatcher's plan to close the coalmines was actually a brilliant stroke of 'future resources management'.

Coal is the only natural resource that Britain ever exported profitably and there's (on 1980's estimates) enough still in the ground to last for 100+ years.

I dare say we can look forward to the government re-openning the mines when their plan to re-introduce manufacturing and build some decent infra-structure for the country comes to fruition.

Happy days.

Jill Rodgers said...

Well said, the total lack of foresight of any of the 'energy' initiatives seems apparent, and the wind turbine debate (if it can be said there is a debate!) is the latest one - and arguably the one that will cause the greatest blot on the landscape for a very dubious return. Let's not forget that countries leading in wind turbine technology - you mentioned Denmark - are now realising that their investment lacked foresight and should never have gone ahead.

And what of the tourism industry? It would be madness to think that wind turbines are going to be considered an attractive or sought after feature in what is a tranquil, beautiful place to visit for holidays. Instead, it is likely to reduce the number of people who return to the island they love year after year, resulting in job losses and an extremely negative effect on the economy.

Ynys Môn council - please take note of lessons already learnt by others and reconsider the whole idea of wind turbines across the island.

Andrew said...

We are sitting on a gold mine in the form of tidal stream power.

Both Tinto and Parc Cybi are prime sites to manufacture marine turbines and the sections could be assembled on the Breakwater wharf.

Anonymous said...

The term "Energy Island" is a bit of a lame duck, we all know that it is a fantasy created to boost the failings we have had to put up with for years, " Energy Island" with all of these windfarms may result in it being called " Eyesore Island".

Ill-Wind said...

It is true that Anglesey lacks and needs a robust planning policy for onshore wind turbines.
Who makes the policy, or more particularly who votes it in as policy.........none other than our esteemed Councillors, many of whom who are themselves applicants for the said turbines, and/or are farmers whose farmer friends are applicants.
Judge and Jury, self-interests etc etc.....?

mairede thomas said...

Not only do wind turbines threaten the security of our electricity supply, we now have official confirmation of the outrageous PROFITEERING by the operators of turbines.

A Department of Energy and Climate Change consultation (on Transmission Constraint) tells us that over the past year there have been some circumstances when wind generators have made very large profits for not generating electricity (see para 37).

This is because "the generator can require National Grid to pay it in order not to run"!

And whats more wind generators expect to recover "the lost financial support that they would otherwise have received under the Renewables Obligation", yet another publicly funded subsidy!

Is this madness in the name of reducing carbon emmissions?

Will Carwyn Jones, who on BBC today is quoted as saying "We should not tolerate paying obscene bonuses to bankers when people face the prospect of losing their jobs", please now turn his attention to a problem he can do something about. And stop forcing communities up and down Wales to accept the development of massive wind turbines that, as sure as night follows day, will put thousands of Welsh people working in tourism and leisure out of work?

The Red Flag said...

Good post Druid. Agree with all you say. Exploitation of grants is all that is driving it. The developers couldn't care less as to the efficiency or 'green-ness' and nor it seems do the politicians who yet again have been blagged by the utterly vacant promise of 'job creation'.

BechdanKaus said...

The problem with the Energy Island is its fundamentally flawed, as other respondents have said there is way too much focus on wind turbines and not the huge tidal range we have around Anglesey, the visual intrusion will get far worse if these larger turbines are approved.

The biomass argument is also one where the close proximity of the source material is an important consideration, if you import in material to fee than its no better than Sisyphus (greek story was a king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity) energy in = energy out (no gain there).

As we have no major rivers and or areas we can flood to create large scale hydro, micro hydro fine for householders and small scale developments.

Going back to the original statement being that the Energy Island concept is flawed, there has been recent press on the 90+ council owned farms being "greened" by adding PV, Solar and AD to improve running costs, this is all fine and dandy but no attempt has been made to improve there energy efficiency, whats the point of generating electricity and solar hot water if the existing property is as thermally efficient as an igloo! Green Bling won't help.

If we are to become an Energy island then its more about reducing consumption domestically and commercially before opting for nonsensical energy generating schemes apart from tidal which is a constant.

They should take some serious advise from:

mairede thomas said...

Ill Wind - indeed, to give readers a flavour of what is going on at the County Council just take a look at the draft minutes of the December 7th meeting of the Planning and Orders Committee. (it's on the Council's website).

There were 5 applications for industrial size onshore turbines on the agenda and 2 of the Councillors on the Committee declared a personal interest and left the room during discussion.

The applications were as follows:-

11C572 for 19.5m turbine to blade tip. on land at Tal y Llyn, Myndd Parys, Amlwch. The minutes inform us that application fee was paid by a Councillor. The application was deferred while noise issues are looked into.

11C573 for 19.85m turbine on land adjoining Penralt, Penrhyd, Amlwch. Application fee paid by a Councillor and site is on land owned by another Councillor. This was approved with authorisation given to Officers to negotiate resiting the turbine!

38C266 for 19.85m turbine at Rhoslan, Rhosgoch. application fee paid by Councillor. This was approved with Officers authorised to reword conditions!

44C288 for 19.85 turbine at Persarn, Rhosgoch. application fee paid for by Councillor. This was deferred.

11C216C for 17.5m turbine at Erwau'r Gwynt, Burwen (originally for more and taller turbines) the site is on land owned by "Member of the County Council". this was approved with Officers authorised to amend conditions!

I suggest that readers take a good look at these minutes and those of the previous and forthcoming Planning and Orders Committee Meetings. Then ask yourself 4 questions - who is making money here? Who is paying for these developments to profit? Who will lose out? And do we have any democracy on Anglesey?
Answers on a postcard to WAG please.

I have already raised these questions and several more with the Commissioners. I am waiting for answers that are full and comprehensive and give me some hope that all this will not be allowed to continue!

Anonymous said...

Energy Island my ###e, Fantasy Island more like!

Just Asking ? said...

Are Councillors not allowed to apply to have wind turbines on their land, like anyone else ?
Is a certain northerly Councillor not allowed to be a proactive salesman of turbines, and pay the application fees ?
Are Councillors not allowed to profiteer ?

mairede thomas said...

I think a Councillor has a duty of care to his ward and to the island as a whole. Before rushing in with huge developments that will clearly impact on other people the Council should evaluate carefully what those impacts might be.

I have found no evidence that any impact assessments, of any kind, have been undertaken.

Besides which the first principle of good planning policy is that it balances the social, enviromental and economic benefits. I have yet to find any senior politician that disputes those principles.


Using ones position, insider knowledge and power against the public interest, comes to mind here.

Anonymous said...

Sane old abuse of the people by the power of the elected.

Santa said...

Impact statements written by clever consultants can prove whatever they want to prove....we remember certain retail impact statements stating that the Penrhos Retail Park would have little or no impact on Holyhead town the town centre is DEAD.
Merry Xmas to All.

Anonymous said...

Energy Island was a great idea, the implementation leaves a great deal to be desired, and there is a great deal of sense in the Druid's post and the responses here (especially yet more [alleged] Councillor's dodgy dealings).

But it is not sensible for anybody to say "[wind turbines] require fossil-fuel plants running on permanent standby to produce energy when the wind doesn't blow."

I am no big fan of the over-emphasis of wind but that claim is just just plain WRONG (although often heard), and repeating it yet again doesn't help.

Any grid-connected generating plant can go out of service at pretty much any time, and consequently there is (and has been for decades) a hierarchy of reserve capacity sitting in some state of readiness. Nothing to do with wind turbines, although the intermittency of wind turbines obviously needs to be considered by the Grid operators (and last time I looked, they were quite happy).

So, when there is a loss of Grid input, be it from wind, fossil, or nuclear, whatever, option 1 is to spin up the pumped storage. See e.g. Dinorwig/Ffestiniog, look at

Dinorwig/Ffestiniog have a total of just over 2GW (UK peak demand is ~50GW), which can go from zero to full output in a few seconds, and run for quite a few hours.

There are other similar UK schemes too, Professor McKay's Sustainable Energy Without Hot Air free book probably has the details,

If a few GW isn't enough, then there are also fossil fuel stations which CAN be called upon, but when in standby they do not HAVE to be sitting burning fuel at any time let alone ALL the time. Post-privatisation, you have to pay the privatised operators to keep them ready to run while not actually generating but that is an entirely separate question.

CCGTs as installed by the GW in the insane post-privatisation "dash for gas" can go from zero to maximum output almost as quickly as pumped storage, but from a medium term point of view are actually a disastrous waste of a limited and valuable natural resource (natural gas). Look them up (think of a condensing-boiler equivalent of an aircraft engine).

Traditional coal/gas/oil steam-powered stations CAN be (but aren't necessarily) kept on standby. They can either be kept at full temperature and ready to go to full power within a few minutes but this does eat fuel so is not popular. Or a less wasteful option is to keep some boilers near but below operating temperature, but the response time will be longer (hours) - which is OK because pumped storage is ready and waiting in the meantime, right?

And yet another option is demand management - big MW-scale customers can buy cheap(er) electricity on "interruptible" contracts, the Grid can pull the plug on them if demand temporarily or unexpectedly exceeds supply.

Nuclear stations as currently implemented in and proposed for the UK provide no flexibility. They take days to warm up and days for a planned shutdown. The more nuclear capacity you have, the more you need flexibility from elsewhere (such as pumped storage). There aren't enough suitable UK sites for the quantity of pumped storage that we will likely require to support either wind or nuclear, so some folks have suggested a high power electric link to Norway where there is no shortage of suitable sites.

Sorry it's so many words. Mackay has even longer versions and is recommended reading.

Summary: it is oversimplistic at best, and more likely just plain WRONG, to say
"[wind turbines] require fossil-fuel plants running on permanent standby to produce energy when the wind doesn't blow."

Merry Christmas.

Dafydd said...

With Anglesey county council ,it's like speaking to a brick wall most of the councillors are above themselves . Lets go back to the days when councillors were there for the people and not for themselves.. It,s got nothing to do with this subject but i,m just getting p----d o-f with these people. lets get some one in who cares for the island and the people.

mairede thomas said...

Anon @12.33 on 25th Dec "there aren't enough suitable UK sites for the quantity of pumped storage that we will likely require to support either (unreliable) wind or (inflexible) nuclear." (my words inserted in brackets but I think you would accept them and it is the terminology used by DECC) -

My question then is this:-
As Wales has plenty of coal, is anyone seriously looking at opening up the mines and using this fuel, (possibly in combination with Carbon Capture and Storage and planting some forests) while at the same time investing in reliable tidal power for the future?

Wales could use its abundant resources of coal and tides, and jobs would be created here in Wales.

Anonymous said...


The real problem with Anglesey County Council is that it's rotten to the core and I don't mean its Councillor's.

Lies and dishonesty rules, Ok.

In the Council said...

News tonight from the Kremlin on the Cefni.

Carl Sargent has told the council that he will NOT be changing his mind. The boundary changes will continue and there will be no elections on till May 2013. This puts him at direct odds with the his party members on Anglesey who are completely against his political interference as many of them could easily loose their seats

Plenty of fun and games to come.

The Red Flag said...

It's pretty pointless some of the mebers of his party even opening their mouths - one or two of the ones he is out to get shot of are from his party anyway AND he has the backing of the party at Wales level - so if they want to cause a scene they'll end up being expelled.

They've had their chance. He gave them more than enough rope to hang themselves and like good little halfwits that's exactly what they have done.

Anonymous said...

Quite right Red Flag.

When elections do take place, the Political Parties will be shown the door and those Independents who really represent the people with out having to toe a party whip before they dare do anything will take over completely, then we will see true democracy prevail, with a good bunch of the scurrilous CMT up the road in the bargain.

mairede thomas said...

Yesterday the Telegraph reported official figures showing £7 million of your money and mine, was paid to various companies and foreign operators to shut down their UK wind turbines between January and mid-September this year. This is on course to rise to £10 million over the full year as the National Grid is unable to “balance” the system with unpredictable wind power.
Today in a piece by Christopher Booker we are reminded that the 2009 Climate Change Act “commits Britain, uniquely in the world, to cutting its CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050”. Yet we, also uniquely in the world, seem to think we can do this without harming our fragile economy, making electricity more expensive than it needs to be, and putting people in the tourism, outdoor leisure and sports industries out of work.
China, on the other hand, is the nation producing the greatest amount of CO2 and yet according to the BBC programme Our World, shown last night, it will double its CO2 emissions in the next 5 years. The Chinese Government’s sovereign wealth fund is awash with cash and it’s busy investing all over the world, buying up land and mineral deposits etc etc. Of course China has been flooding the market with cheap photovoltaics, and recently our Government has encouraged China to invest in our “national” infrastructure. Maybe it will invest in upgrades and additions to the National Grid so the System Operator can cope with the huge number of wind turbines that are planned in addition to the conventional power stations that have to remain on stream, and continue to burn fossil fuel so they can provide 100% back –up for the turbines when the wind is not blowing or is blowing too much!
I merely ask - which Government do you think looks most like it is working in “the National Interest “ and delivering security and prosperity to its citizens?

The Red Flag said...

Mairede - I'm always dubious about figures concerning China. They are meaningless unless they are Per Capita. What usually happens is that these stories are often misrepresetantive because they are comparing a country's figures and not taking account of it's population size.

The Chinese have as much right to produce CO2 at an equal amount per capita to the USA. They have as much right to consume oil per capita, as well as food, fresh water and anything else. When people use per country as opposed to per capita it's usually a somewhat laughable attempt tpo justify we having our standard of living whilst telling developng nations they have no right to be as dirty as us.

For instance the country that is most polluting per capita is Gibralter. The USA produces 18t per person, the UK a little over 8, China less than 6 and India less than 2.

mairede thomas said...

Red Flag - I do not know the per capita/Co2 emission figure for China, nor do I, in all seriousness hold China up as a model Government!

But my point is also a follow-on from my blog on the Anglesey Telegraph when I say that on-shore wind power, or the lack of it, in the UK will make very little difference to the overall reduction in global CO2 emissions.

The loss of valuable landscapes, heritage and jobs will make a big difference here on Anglesey

Anonymous said...

"the conventional power stations that have to remain on stream, and continue to burn fossil fuel so they can provide 100% back –up for the turbines when the wind is not blowing or is blowing too much!"

Sorry Mairede, as I said (and explained) earlier (25 Dec 11:33, sorry it's more than three short sentences), this oft-repeated assertion is utter rubbish, regardless of where it comes from.

The Red Flag said...

Well there you go Mairede. We're dirtier than the Chinese per capita. We also use more fresh water per capita, more food, more oil and more raw materials. The problem isn't China (or India) the problem is the developed world.

Me thinks you don't understand the basics of the problem we face.

I'll give you a clue:-
China. Vehicle use 2005 - 23M. Projected vehicle use 2030 - 230M
India. Vehicle use 2005 - 10M - Projected vehicle use 2030 - 125M

And even at that rate, they will both own less vehicles per capita than we do in the west. China's economy is projected to theoretically grow at an avergae of 6.5% per annum between now and 2030 and at that rate - even if we in the west stood still, they still would not be consuming per capita at the rate we do - but at that rate of expansion the western economies will collapse totally long before 2030 because it is impossible to actually produce and refine oil at a rate to sustain it. And therein lies the other problem. In a world of global oil shortgaes, half your population having no access to fresh water or electricity is not a problem if you are India or China, but the inpact on the western economies of that happening would be catastrophic.

The planet cannot sustain each country using things per capita at the rate we do in the west. But they have every right to be as advanced and consume just as much as we do. So in order to sustain the planet, we need to reduce quite sharply how we live in the west and ask them not to pass us on their way up. In short, we've got to reduce our lifestyle and ask them to catch us but not go beyond us.

Me thinks there is going to be big big trouble before the end of this decade both militarily and economically - on a scale not seen since the 30's & 40's because I do not believe for one minute that we in the west would voluntarily halve our lifestyle and there is no way the BRICs will stop unless we do.

mairede thomas said...

Anon @21.58 I'm sorry but my understanding from reading the stuff on DECC is that the full capacity to deliver electricity to the network up to the maximum demand has to be available for when the wind is not blowing - "the Capacity Mechanism will ensure we have enough capacity on the system to keep the lights on for a period when demand is high and wind is low for a number of days" -is quote from the DECC 'Capacity Mechanism' announcement. I don't think I have suggested anywhere that the back-up for wind has to be fired-up at all times. Other conventional power stations can close down or wind down so as to save fuel, but they still have to be 'on stream' in the sense that they can be fired up at reasonable notice. Are you saying this is not the case?

mairede thomas said...

Red Flag - I agree that we should want to continue living sustainably on the Planet and not use natural resources at a faster rate than they can be replaced. So we may need to change everything and adopt a lifestyle after the fashion of the North American Indians.

However as we seem to be stuck with a lot of debt in a flawed Capitolist system, and no one has a clue about how to deal with that without 'Growth', which by its very nature is not sustainable, then practically speaking I just don't want to see Anglesey ruined and the people here lose out.

I think the revolution will have to wait for a while, till we work out a system that looks like it might work rather better than the one we have.

Anonymous said...

If ever we read unreasonable sounding comments on this blog site we all agree that there is something tarnished and wrong on this Island. It seems that we have a system of legalised abuse of power. It does not matter what we write or what we think, if we decree that something is wrong or fishy, nothing ever becomes of it. Allow me to explain things a bit more.
Take for example, Wylfa B and the impression that this "lifeboat" will create hundreds of jobs and will bring a massive boost to this Island. Nothing can be further from the truth. The false impression that windturbines are the great benefactor of the future, again, a total waste, but wherever there is any new idea, a new imput, there is always the scammer who will be able to skim off some income for his own good, irrespective of what we, the people want, the legalised system that we have allowed to happen on this Island will still continue to feed off the money that was allocated for these schemes, but not to the benefit of the people, but for their own benefit. We need to know, do we want all of these turbines, do we need Wylfa B and ANOTHER set of Pylons crossing our Island, if you do ignore me, if you don't, I'm afraid it's too late, the legalised abusers have sold us all out.

Richard Sletzer said...

MAIREDE THOMAS: Stuck with a "flawed capitalist system" ?

......Surely capitalism has yet to be introduced in Anglesey.

Anonymous said...

As long as we still have the language ... no need ever to worry

Andrew said...

Whoever said on the Blog that Anglesey is unsuitable for generating hydro-electricity is completely wrong.

Holyhead Mountain, Parys Mountain and Llandonna are all suitable sites and could generate electricity for centuries to come with minimal operating costs.

Anonymous said...

There is another public meeting being held at Pentraeth Village Hall this Thursday, 5th January, at 7pm.

Anonymous said...


How many GW generating capacity and how many GWh storage do you estimate the sites you mention would have, and at what cost?

As far as I can tell, the money would be better spent following up your earlier suggestion re tidal power.

Andrew said...

Anon - We need a mix of clean renewable energy for ourselves. F**k Manchester and Liverpool if they want energy then they should take the risk and have nuclear power stations on their doorstep.

Unfortunately, I don't work in Wylfa so cannot answer your question regarding mega-watts; terra-watts and storage.

Concerning mirco-hydro energy, all you need to do is divert and collect rain water on the upper slopes of hills and mountains before releasing it through a generating system. It's a simple and very cheap method of generating electricity and works on the same principle as a watermill. It's not rocket science.

Why should Anglesey be the nuclear dynamo of the North West for the sole purpose of generating £Trillions for the likes of Horizon. We will be left sitting on a nuclear dump for the next Million years.

mairede thomas said...

Very good meeting again last night in Pentraeth, about 200 people came. From the show of hands there were about 150 from that community and 50 from other parts of the island. Well chaired by Cllr Hefin Wyn Thomas who when asked said he would not be installing turbines on his own land.

A vote taken at the end was unanimous against the proposals for industrial size turbines anywhere on the island. People simply do not want this form of unreliable and damaging renewable energy on this island.

Several speakers demanded an island wide meeting be called by the Council and that it should be held at the Council offices in Llangefni with Councillors and all Officers with responsibility for any aspect of the Local Development Plan (Planning, Economic, Rates, Transport etc). This obviously needs to happen urgently and certainly before the Supplementary Planning Guidance for Onshore Wind energy goes any further. Of course the Commissioners should also attend. In the meantime a complete moratorium on all turbine applications was called for.

County Councillor Barrie Durkin said...


date being arranged.

mairede thomas said...

Another well attended meeting in Moelfre last night.

What is still of concern is the number of people who say they have not heard about these individual planning applications that will affect them, accept by word of mouth.

Nor have they had anything from the Council about the proposed Supplementary Planning Guidance for Onshore Wind Energy.

They are very angry about this as these are major developments of the kind that would normally be considered carefully through the full Local Plan process which has many stages and takes many months to complete.

This process is set out in law yet it appears not to be being followed.

The process allows for planning policy to be properly evaluated and the public has to be extensively consulted throughout the process. Why is this not happening?

County Councillor Barrie Durkin said...

Many of you might wonder why Anglesey County Council are pushing the Wind Turbine Concept?

It wouldn't by any chance have anything to do with the expectancy that business rates revenues from new renewable energy projects will be kept by the local council's within the area of the project, and that they will be discounted in the calculation of any levy that might be applied to growth in business rate revenues.

A consultation by the Department of Communities and Local Government, was looking for feed back on proposals to change the way local government is funded by introducing the retention of business rates

The government believes that this move may make renewable energy projects more attractive to local council's.However, given the money is unlikely to be dished out to those living closest to the developments, is it likely to transform the views of those against proposals?

Even if it were - are people interested in the money would it be enough?

Answers to these questions may well come out of the public consultation which closed in October 2011!

I am seeking the outcome of that consultation shortly.

As a matter of interest, I have arranged a Public Meeting to gauge local opinions regarding the Wind Turbine proposals in the area of Benllech and Llanbedrgoch 6pm on 18th January 2012 at Goronwy Owen Hall Benllech. All are more than welcome to have your say.

Cllr Barrie Durkin.

Anonymous said...

If ever there was a time for people to stand and be counted it is now. The council and it's decision makers have got it all wrong, all it takes is for you the people to decide if you really are determined to stop this blight, no civil servant or Politician will stop the voice of common sense and reasoning being heard, In parts of West Yorkshire, they are removing them, because they are ruining the natural landscape, so they get shifted on, to less attractive areas. Ask yourself, do I enjoy living here, or do I want to share my life with grotesquely ugly eyesores, that create no jobs, but make banks and greedy electrical companies even richer!
Dwi eisio'n wlad yn ol!

Anonymous said...

It's a sad fact, our beloved Anglesey is being ruined, everything that we see and take for granted will soon be unbearable to look at.

I wish Anglesey could wake up and take a good hard look at the mess we have made, in such a short time.

In the olden days, the tallest building in any town or village was the Church, now the tallest building or structure will be monstrosities called Windturbines.

WE have been CONNED by an uncaring and unwilling Council into allowing these to be built, they have ruined Anglesey, and the march of the windturbines will continue unabated unless WE take steps to protect our beloved Island, the people we elected are unwilling to do that task, their heads have been turned by power in the offices and money in the bank.

It's NOT the Councils job to force these monsters on this Island, it's OUR job to protect Anglesey from allowing these monsters to come here and ruining her.

It's our MORAL DUTY and MORAL RESPONSIBILTY to protect Anglesey from an UNWANTED and UGLY forced Planning Policy that forces these Monsters onto our Island.

It's not the Assembly's job to forcefeed us these monsters, it's OUR job to say NO to the ruination of Anglesey by a deaf and uncaring ASSEMBLY, WE DON'T WANT THEM!

Where is our AM? Where is our MP? scurrying away from bad news as usual, are they interested in protecting ANGLESEY? No! They are NOT!
It's our JOB to make sure that the deaf and dumb who approve these monsters to be sited here, get told once and for all, that they are UNWANTED!

While we live on Anglesey, we borrow the pleasures she gives us whilst we live, our next generation may look back at this windturbine invasion with anger and hatred, not towards the windturbines, but at US for failing to protect Anglesey, and allowing her to be raped by savage and greedy Power Companies.

The Red Flag said...

If you think Ieaun Wynn Grey-Man and Albert 'turned out nice again' Owen are going to say or do anything that rocks the Cardiff/London Establishment then you are barking.

What Anglesey really needs is mavericks who refuse to follow their party line unless it's what their constituents want and don't flinch to the whip.

Anonymous said...

Why is it, when slaughter house animal waste feed Bio-gas plants and Wind turbine power stations stuck on top of 300ft poles are about to decimate our tourist industry and undermine the tranquility, natural beauty and the very well-being of our people, do we only see one of our Elected Councillor's stick his head above the parapet to say no. Where are all the others? We should be lobbing all our Councillor's not just leaving it to same one to help us all the time.

mairede thomas said...

I'm sure there are a good many decent folk and maverick's around Anglesey who care more about the people than party spin and personal gain, just give us an election soon!

The Red Flag said...

All the others are to busy giving each other silly handshakes and stuffing money under their by now bulging mattresses.

mairede thomas said...

I think it is worth repeating a comment made earlier on this thread, Horizon as I understand it has yet to put in place the full investment for building Wylfa B. Given the crisis in euroland those investors may not materialise. On top of which foreign and multinational owned utilities are not guaranteed to be reliable in their commitment to the countries they invest in. For example, yesterday’s Financial Times reported that the former CEO of Veolia who now heads EDF is named in a class action lawsuit in the US. It is alleged that Veolia overstated financial results between 2007 and 2011.

The French water and waste company is the worlds leading water services provider and employs 315,000 people. Last year the company announced plans that it is to quit half of the 77 countries where it does business and launched a 5 billion euro sale of assets.

This is the sort of financial world underpinning the building of Wylfa B. We had better start saving our pennies and pension funds we may need to launch a buy out of Wylfa B at some point in the future even if it is built!

Anonymous said...

My beautiful Anglesey ruined by Greed and Incompetence.

Andrew said...

We have the natural resources to generate more than enough clean renewable energy for the Island and that should be our first objective.

The Government's Chief Scientific Officer explained that future energy gaps are likely without a second wave of nuclear builds because we are not on target to produce enough clean renewable energy.

Tidal stream energy has massive potential especially for Anglesey. For example, The Seven Sister's is a series of fast moving currents that converge couple of miles off the Stack's and Holyhead Breakwater has tidal race for about 10 hours a day.

Anonymous said...

My only advice is for the people of Anglesey take stock and study the conclusions that Scotland are implementing with regard to clean renewable energy.

I admire Scotland, because they show Westminster where the door is when Westminster interferes in policies, and the have the balls to decide what is best for their Country, and NOT allow outsiders to come in and run rings around us all.

This is the stance we should take, a bit of Pride in the decisions that affect us as People!

Anonymous said...

Scotland have set a date for a referendum for Independence, I bet Westminster never saw that coming, especially if London loses control of the Oil fields will they ask NATO to invade to protect Democracy and the Trillion Dollar Oil fields??????
Will Alex Salmond be branded the new " threat" like they branded Ghaddaffi? How will the Benfits be paid if the Oil revenue is turned off by Scotland.....

The Red Flag said...

Is not news. Has been planned for 2014 for some time as part of a three option scenario - stay the same, vastly increased devolution, total independence.

What is news is the UK government in Westminster demanding it's held earlier and reduced to a simple yes or no regarding union.

Now if there is one thing that the Scots hate worse than an Englishman telling them what they can and cannot do in their own country, it's a tory Englishman. Special one who is behaving like a two year old and saying the scots can't hold their referendum unless he says so or he'll take them to Court. Pure naked colonialism.

Every nation has the right to self-determination - says so somewhere in all the UN bumf.

mairede thomas said...

Does Anglesey have a right to self-determination or are we to be kept wondering if we'll ever get the vote again on this island?

Anonymous said...

The best thing about windturbines in Scotland is those companies that develop them must give money to the community they invade, i.e schools, higher education colleges, instead of building them and coining the money in, and leaving the community in a worse state.