Last Updated: 07 January 2009

The Democratic Deficit 

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My presentation (Sharing Successes) from the November 2008 CPRE conference is now available to download or just view online.
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CPRW (Durham Branch) Sharing Success Pesentation
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I challenge the overall methodology that has been used to promote wind energy and in the interest of democracy I have documented detailed events in Force10 and its sequel Force10 Companion Guide. These books may be downloaded below. They are to all intents and purposes a piece of Social History. In particular I take issue on how PPS22 has evolved and challenge PPS22 Companion Guide, that scarlet pimpernel of all planning documents; its 185 pages surfacing 6 months after the 11 page document it was to support. Reduction of CO2 emissions seem lost in the race for regional targets, mainly onshore wind. A real catch 22 as until wind turbines are built, we cannot prove whether wind turbines are reducing CO2 emissions as expected. They are certainly not in the North East! CLICK HERE

Elizabeth Mann BSc

Barningham High Moor                                               Photo by Andrew Douglas, 1998


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Contents:


My recently published books, Force 10 and Force 10 Companion Guide (The New Lambton Wyrm) plus other relevant information may be
downloaded below.

 >Force 10 (Political Will v Landscape Protection) - Size: 4.21Mb

>Force 10 Companion Guide (The New Lambton Wyrm)
- Size: 5.41Mb

>Force 10 Saddleworth Presentation
- Size: 0.86Mb

>Summary of the Long Fight to Save Barningham High Moor - Size: 229kb

>Whinash Windfarm Decision Letter
- Size: 0.57Mb

>Whinash Windfarm Inspector's Report
- Size: 0.92Mb

>Whinash Windfarm Refusal DTI Press Release
- Size: 0.27Mb

>Climate Change Wind Energy & Planning -Size: 1.26Mb

Under provisions of the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003, Force10, Force10 Companion Guide and Summary of the long fight to save Barningham High Moor, have been deposited with:

The British Library
Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Cambridge University
National Library of Scotland
National Library of Wales
Trinity College Dublin

As a matter of courtesy to Tony Blair, and at my request, Alan Milburn MP has forwarded a copy of Force10 Companion Guide to the Prime Minister

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A Decade of Deception and Delusion -

I have struggled in my attempt to find a way to convey this information clearly and concisely. Even now I am uncertain I have succeeded as the more convoluted the story becomes, the more difficult it is to relate. It covers the methodology that has been used to promote wind power development. The technology I leave to the scientists, engineers, ecologists and others. However the complete truth regarding the methods used must be recorded as, in the words of Michael Caine:

"Not many people know this"

The Fall and Rise of Wind Power in the UK: From 1998

The recent exponential rise of planning applications for wind farms is an incredible story. Partial truths and selected statistics add to the deception as it appears that Planners and Councillors throughout the whole country are being deluded into accepting wind turbines to combat climate change.

1998: UK planning system was blamed for the worst year the Industry had known

1998 Sustainability North East (Sustaine) was established. The Sustaine Board is supported by an Officers Group made up from representatives from GO-NE, ONE, NEA, Environment Agency, Derwentside District Council, Gateshead Council, English Nature and Northumbria University

1999 Feb : Dismal year in the UK as the planning infrastruction fails,

1999 Dec: Legal planning defeat for wind in NE England

2000 Mar: Planning hurdles defeat the Wind Industry.

2001 Mar : Dti Press Release(P/2001/176 ) Hain grants Freedom for Green Energy.22/03/2001 Peter Hain, Energy Minister, today unlocked green energy projects blocked by planning constraints, to drive forward a significant expansion in the production of green energy

2001 Letter from Nick Raynsford, Minister for Housing and Planning, to the (Association of North East Councils) ANEC, then Regional Planning body and author of the draft Regional Planning Guidance (RPG )strategy. Extract :"Further work needs to be undertaken by ANEC to set a more specific regional target and identifying sub-regional targets by the early review of RPG. This will ensure the government's target of 10% of electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2010.

2002 'The energy market, particularly for renewable energy , is a political beast under political control. To secure its future the Wind Industry must play politics.' (Sourced from: Wind Power Monthly www.wpm.co.nz)

2002 Nov Energy Minister, Brian Wilson announced the members of the new Renewables Advisory Board

2002 The Renewables Obligation was introduced to replace NFFO (Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation)

2002 Regional Planning Guidance (RPG) provides a strategic planning policy framework for the preparation of local plans. The Deputy Prime Minister issued RPG1, which provides guidance for the North East of England

2005 Yvette Cooper, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the ODPM launches parliamentary guide to wind farm development (Produced in association with npower renewables and the BWEA).

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THE DECEPTION

"Whilst Tony Blair promotes global action on Climate Change, the Environment Council has been helping address key issues at local level." Extract from the Environment Council (EC) report on their Regional Workshops- EC & Community Involvement!

Who has been responsible for the injustices at Walkway, Satley, Trimdon, Royal Oak and GlaxoSmithKline and others? Misleading comments in support of wind farms are partly responsible. Some detailed accounts are below, included to alert people to the travesty of justice.

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Walkway Wind farm Sedgefield from BWEA Magazine Real Power Issue1 Wind Prospect

Seven turbines were given planning permission at High Swainston Farm, near Sedgefield in early March 2005.

The 21MW project has 3 claims to fame: this is the first consent for a windfarm in the Prime Minister's constituency, the turbines are the most powerful to be approved onshore in England to date at 3MW per unit, and all this was achieved well within the statutory time period, with consent awarded in an outstanding time period of 12 weeks following submission.

Reality: Walkway Wind Farm Sedgefield, not famous but infamous

The local group did not appear to have a fair hearing. Valid objections were not addressed. The Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) was willing to pursue the case but the necessary funds could not be sourced at such short notice. The Council refused to wait for the results of the ongoing Noise Study by Dti, initially due Spring 2005. Later the developers sought to alter condition 20, relating to policy D10 of the local plan, in order to accommodate a 'de minimus' increase in the noise level. Again the Council refused to wait for the Dti study results which unfortunately are still not available though promised for mid April 2006!

Case Study 3E in PPS22 CG is "Member Training in the North East" and was to be piloted with Wear Valley District and Sedgefield Borough Councils. This gave guidance for Local Planning Authorities in taking forward Renewable Energy Developments. Produced on behalf of North East Renewable Energy Group (NEREG) June 2004 and commissioned by Government Office for the North East & Yorkshire and The Humber.

Was there a snowball's chance in Hell of a refusal for Walkway?

?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         No wind data was submitted in the application.

Did they have a fair hearing? They cannot complain to their MP as Sedgefield is the PM's constituency. John Burton is the PM's agent and a councillor but I did not see him at the decision meeting.

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WEST DURHAM SATLEY Conflicting 'views' but Satley residents live with the reality of wind farms

  • New study shows wind farms are friends not foes. Monday 12 December 2005 (BWEA website)
  • Npower leaflet at The NAREC Launch (Feb 2005) quoted: "Those who have actually seen a wind farm as being more supportive of wind energy" and "People are significantly more likely to disagree that wind farms are a blot on the landscape if they have seen them, (45%) compared to those who haven't (55%)
  • A new study from the University of St Andrews provides further evidence to support what previous work has long shown, namely that opposition to wind arises partly from exaggerated perceptions of likely impact and that the experience of living with a wind farm frequently dispels these fears
  • The Sustainable Development Commission stated "Resistance to onshore wind farms was related to knowledge with higher resistance found amongst the less knowledgeable groups "
  • Reality: Comments from the people at Satley (West Durham) paint a very different picture!
  • Seeing is believing and they have enough, particularly when the additional turbines will be about half as tall again as the existing ones. Residents have lived with 2 wind farms and 2 more have been approved in close proximity to the original wind farms. Surveys by Satley Parish Council and Cornsay Colliery Residents Association each returned a result of more than 80 % against.. PAST (People against Satley Turbines) became increasingly knowledgeable and as a result were successful in reducing the turbine numbers on the fourth application in the area, from 22 to 12.
  • Do not these facts and press coverage of other opposition groups conflict with oft cited quotes and statistics by BWEA ?
  • PPS22 Companion Guide is critically flawed as the minimum targets mean there would be no limit to the wind farms for this area .
  • This point was also made by Nic Best CPRE Regional Policy Officer (North East) Dr Best is a member of NEREG.
  • Extract from his letter of objection :We also note that this guidance does not in any way limit the total number of wind farms, each of up to 25 turbines, that could be built in the area. This is obviously a nonsense. In our view, the guidance is critically flawed in that it does not adequately deal with issues of cumulative impact, and we will be challenging this aspect of draft RSS as it progresses towards adoption. We believe that the cumulative impact of wind farms is becoming critical in the Tow Law area, and that this is probably one scheme too far. Ideally, the planning authority should be in a position to negotiate with all developers to maximise output from an identified Strategic Wind Resource Area, whilst minimising the impact on the landscape.

Approval of The Application

  • Mr Campbell, of PAST was not allowed to deliver all the objectors comments as he was abruptly told he had had his 5 minutes!. CPRE at local, County and Regional level had objected. It appeared our comments had not really been considered fully..
  • A letter sent to the Development Control Manager from The Defence Estates was not clearly explained ref D/DE/43/10/1/3122 An extract is below. "Please accept this letter as written confirmation that the Ministry of Defence objection regarding the Air Defence Radar at RAF Brizlee Wood is now withdrawn. Please note though that our objection regarding the Air Traffic Control Radar at RAF Leeming still stands"
  • Councillor John Pickersgill explained prior to the meeting why he was not allowed to participate- more below
  • Was there any chance of a balanced argument being considered? Was has happened to democracy?

Sunday Telegraph. Christopher Booker's Notebook 26/03/06 Extract

From one end of the land to the other, Prescott's Code is a blight on democracy. A recurrent theme of the many letters I have had on the havoc being inflicted on local councils by John Prescott's Code of Conduct is how this appears to encourage a system of double standards.
It is often used to exclude from debates councillors who oppose official policy, because this supposedly gives them a "prejudicial interest", but members supporting their council's ruling establishment seem curiously immune.

When the North-East Regional Assembly earmarked the ward represented on Derwentside council by John Pickersgill as suitable for more wind turbines, he organised a local referendum. The area already has six turbines. Faced with the prospect of 17 more, more than 80 per cent of the residents voted - and more than 80 per cent were opposed. When Councillor Pickersgill tried to raise this in a debate on the assembly's regional planning strategy, he was excluded from the room as having a "prejudicial interest". However, it was deemed quite acceptable for the council's leader, Alex Watson, to speak in favour of the assembly's policy, even though he did not think it necessary to declare that he was himself also the assembly's chairman.

When Mr Pickersgill raised this with the council's "monitoring officer", he was told that the leader had done nothing wrong - which seemed so bizarre that he reported the case to the Standards Board for England.

  • An independent inquiry ruled that Councillor Watson was in breach of the Code of Conduct after all.

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GLAXOSMITHKLINE

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ROYAL OAK: PERMISSION OR NOT PERMISSION?

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TRIMDON

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THE DELUSION

I question too the wealth of 'postive literature' produced which surely give a false impression of the state of play. At the time of writing they would be an accurate assessment but to not 'update' those applications which do not progress as hoped seems to serve to delude and further deceive the public as to the reality of the situation. Some prime examples are below namely, Teeswind North(TNEI) Teeswind South ( TNEI) and Redcar offshore( EDF)

TEESWIND World's Largest Urban Windfarm Under Study from Dti website August 2001

30 turbines each 450ft high were proposed and work was expected to start in 2003. An EU Altener programme managed by Renew North (email adrian.smith @tnei.org.uk). Eventually 18x 2.5MW, height 458ft to tip, were given planning approval (subject to a section 106 agreement) as Teeswind North.

Reality: No decision letter has yet been granted (May 2006) as the section 106 agreement, attached to the planning approval of July 2002 for Teeswind North has not yet been agreed.

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Teeswind South was expected to follow early 2003, with 10 x 2.5 MW turbines also 458ft to tip I understand there was a public exhibition but no planning application has come forward (May 06)

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REDCAR OFFSHORE

EDF website Northern Offshore Wind "It will help to support the UK's target of 10% by 2010"

Reality: Decision awaited, still with Dti, May 2006. Tremendous local opposition from all quarters, including the Northern Trade Union Council

The Northern TUC therefore calls upon the DTI to reject the application by EDF Energy to build the proposed Northern Offshore Wind Farm Contact. Peter O'Brien Regional Policy Officer, Northern TUC, Transport House, John Dobson Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8TW.

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HOW WAS THE DECEPTION AND DELUSION TO BE SUSTAINED?

It appeared a desperate situation was developing, calling for desperate measures.

Methods needed to be devised to 'inform' decision makers and assessors in order to revive the Industry. Below are some of the measures taken in an attempt to 'inform' Councillors and Planners, the decision makers.

It seems that the next stage was an attempt to 'involve communities'

Stemming from the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (P&CPA 2004) are the Local Development Frameworks (LDFs) Within these is a strategy for public consultation-The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)

Regional Workshops run by The Environment Council

Renewable Energy and Community Involvement. Developed around PPS22, they were said to be aimed at helping those at regional and local levels build their capacity for effective community involvement. The workshops were jointly funded by Dti and Renewable Energy Systems Group.(RES)

"Whilst Tony Blair promotes global action on Climate Change, The Environment Council has been helping address key issues at local level. From The Environmental Council Project Report. I make no apology for re-iterating this statement as it is typical of the way references to the Prime Minister could suggest he is closely involved. The Environment Council introduced the South West Protocol, which outlined the principles for Effective Public Engagement more below*

The workshops were said to be a great success and an invaluable introduction to community engagement and its applications. I comment on the only one I attended, the Newcastle workshop. However it presupposed there were no disbenefits from wind. Issues arose there which have not been documented are below.

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Westminster Briefing 20/10/05 London. "The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act: Is it working in your area?'"

A demonstration had taken place in Darlington on 20/10/05 expressing discontent on a variety of issues causing concern to the local community: Airport development, Transport, Housing, Wind farms and Education. No one seemed aware of the recent Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (P& CPA) nor the implications of the RSS it brought with it so I decided to attend the London briefing. I drew attention to CPRE's concerns regarding The New Planning System:

I was particularly anxious to find out if Compulsory Purchase might be used to enable a particular development to proceed. There seemed to be a reluctance to answer. The Senior Planning Officer for the ODPM, responsible for co-ordinating the Local Development Frameworks (LDFs) pointed out he had only just heard of the briefing and requested they be informed of future events. He offered to visit areas and explain the jargon associated with the Act as it was said to be causing problems for the Planners.

The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Chairman of The Environment Council, the Body who held Regional Workshops on Renewable Energy and Community Involvement, throughout the UK. A representative from the Environment Council was to speak at the BWEA 27 Annual Conference in Cardiff. His message was to be "Involving communities in renewable energy Planning, jumping the hurdles from Policy into Practice".

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INVOLVING COMMUNITIES WHILST NOT ADDRESSING POTENTIAL DISBENEFITS -WILL DESTROY THE 'BALANCING ACT, essential to informed decision making and paramount to good and democratic planning

*Protocol for public engagement with proposed wind power developments in England.

Meetings: Feb3rd 2006 and Peer Review, Feb 27th 2006 Dti London

The protocol as discussed on Feb3rd seemed to give the impression that windpower developments will always be permitted and that only benefits will occur rather than a balance .Invited to e mail comments to Simon Roberts before the second meeting I consulted with colleagues both in the North East and other areas including the South West, on the proposed protocol .A consensus of opinion follows which I then e mailed to Simon Roberts.

Surely the protocol should imply that in cases where a full economic and environmental assessment demonstrates that the range of impacts and disbenefits are so great, the development should be rejected. The following amendment was suggested:

The process may involve discussion of the site, the wind development itself, its impacts and their possible mitigation and the potential benefits and disbenefits to the local area and more widely.

Insertion of " its impacts and their possible mitigation, replacing "low local impacts may be mitigated" and addition of "and disbenefits" after "potential benefits, seems to restore some balance.

A telephone call from Simon Roberts (Centre for Sustainable Energy) and a member of the Renewables Advisory Board (RAB). confirmed that the peer review meeting scheduled for the 27th had been cancelled. He said it was felt there was not the correct mix around the table and more Councillors and Planners were needed. (Simon was previously Senior Energy Campaigner at Friends of The Earth 1989- 1994 and Commercial Manager at Tridios Bank from 1998 to 2002)

The Protocol for public engagement with proposed wind power developments in England seemed to be directly connected with the Regional Conferences. The Renewable Energy & Community Involvement conference for the North East region (18/03/06 in Newcastle) hosted by the Environment Council and funded by Dti was one of eight held in the English Regions. The main thrust was that there are no disbenefits from wind energy and we must move forward together. The Environment Council, a semi private organisation I understand, gave their presentation which centred on the South West Protocol. It was basically training for Councillors on how to consult with communities under the terms of PPS22.It appeared to, as any 'protocol' does, to lay down a set of rules pre-defining what should happen.

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CRE Energy, a subsidiary of Scottish Power and the Compulsory Purchase Act

CRE Energy, a subsidiary of Scottish Power have made requests to Ofgem to be able to use the Compulsory Purchase Act to acquire land. CRE aim to extend their network of windfarms across the UK and state this would be helpful to prepare for the possibility of having to acquire land and/or wayleaves compulsorily.

Comments sent to Ofgem's Consultation. I offer comments on the Authority's preliminary view that paragraphs 5 to7 of SLC 14 and paragraphs 5 to 8 of SLC 15 should be given effect in the electricity generation licence of CRE, for five years in each case. Surely the essential issue for us all is to ensure the UK's long-term goal of reducing carbon emissions is met. There are fundamental issues which need to be sorted before such a request as that from CRE is decided. As I see it these are health, safety and whether wind turbines are in fact reducing carbon emissions as they state in planning applications for wind farms .Elizabeth Mann

Ofgem's Reply: Thanks for you recent response to Ofgem's consultation on the Request from CRE Energy Limited for a Direction under Standard Condition 14 (“Compulsory Acquisition of Land etc”) and a Direction under Standard Condition 15 (“Other Powers etc”) of the Electricity Generation Licence. Ofgem is currently in the process of reviewing these two conditions in all generation licences. The decision related to CRE Energy Limited will be made at the same time as the outcome of this review. Ofgem will endeavour to publish a consultation document on this review on our website (www.ofgem.gov.uk) in the coming months.

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THE REASONS I CHALLENGE CASE STUDIES: 2D, 6E, 3B, 3E IN PPS22 COMPANION GUIDE

PPS22 Companion Guide

Considering the original implication and current reality of both case study 2D(AAT) and 6E (GSK), these were premature and the document is flawed. Case Studies 3B and 3E are surely flawed as they appear to be indoctrination of Councillors and Planners, destroying the necessary balance of potential benefits and potential disbenefits, that democratic element of planning. Further details are in Force10 CG.

Case Study 2D Community Benefits - Awel Aman Tawe (AAT)

Extract from comments to the Planning Inspectorate. Reference : APP/Y6390/A/05/1189610 Awel Aman Tawe (AAT)

County Durham Branch and Teesdale District group of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) wish to offer their objections to the proposed AAT Community wind farm for the reasons below.

?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         PPS22 (the English equivalent of Tan 8) has no legitimacy in Planning Guidance in Wales yet AAT is used as a case study in PPS22 Companion Guide. This is incomprehensible.

?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         This Public Inquiry is the first outside search areas in Wales since Tan 8 came into force and as such will be a landmark case, testing whether or not there is a presumption against applications outside Tan 8. Why then is it even connected with PPS22?

?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         An extract from RENEW 159. Network for Alternative Technology and Technological Assessment (Natta) Newsletter follows. AAT is said to be a turning point in the history of community energy in the UK. Used as a case study at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and as a case study in PPS22 it is important AAT goes ahead, as it will send a positive message to other projects in Wales and the UK."

?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         The high profile given to AAT by NATTA seems out of order and undemocratic. We are concerned that AAT could therefore become a fait accompli. Consequently we were pleased to find the originally requested written representations were changed to an informal hearing and finally to a Public Inquiry.

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UNRESOLVED ISSUES: The following situations have not been satisfactorily resolved in spite of several communications with the relevant departments.

There are burning issues which still need to be addressed, not least the safety factor if turbines catch fire. CEWT. Noise, clarification of Wind Speeds, the real situation regarding MOD, NATS ,CAA, RO & ROCs and 'discrepancies' in the ROC register (Ofgem) which remain unresolved.

I fail to see how decisions can be made without this information, a crucial part of the balancing act, potential benefits and potential disbenefits. Could that be the reason for the draconian measures of ignoring potential disbenefits and and the attempt to use the Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to acquire land?

Safety: According to press articles It appears that due to the height, there is no equipment available to deal with turbine fires. Surely this should be the Developer's responsibility. To have to allow a fire to burn itself out could be dangerous. Anyone servicing the turbine deserves to know there are safety procedures that could be put into practice should he be unable to descend unaided.

MOD NATS CAA :Conflicting reports from MOD, CAA, NATS and Developers are giving cause for Concern

Wind Speeds: Difficult to access meaningful data.

CEWT: Conveniently and cunningly ignored.

Health: Noise
25 Feb 2005 : Column 892W Hansard

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the ETSU W/13/00921 REP report on low frequency noise and vibrations was compiled; what size turbines were studied; and if (she )will make a statement. [217508]
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Assuming the reference to ESTU W/13/00921 means the ETSU 97 "The Assessment and Rating of Noise from Wind Farms" which was published in September 1996. The turbines studied for the report were 450 kW machines at St. Breock in Cornwall.


Where is the Dti report to update ETSU? It has been promised at regular intervals since Spring 2005 and in June 2006 it is still not available

Email from Alan Smith Dti is below.
>----Original Message----
> From: Alan.Smith@dti.gsi.gov.uk
> Date: 17/03/2006 10:00
> To: me.mann@virgin.net
> Subj: LFN Study and ETSU
>
>
>Dear Mrs Mann,
>It was good to talk to you and I'm sorry that your batteries ran out!
>Please feel free to let me know your concerns regarding ETSU, and can then investigate whether a revision is in order - perhaps we can talk again once the LFN study is available.
>Kind regards,
>Alan Smith
>07979 406771

My reply is copied below.

Attaching Hansard reference ( 25 Feb 2005 : Column 892W )to support my statement that in my opinion ETSU 97 is outdated. Turbines were were of capacity 450kw and are now up to 3000 kw
Elizabeth

Although promised by mid April by both Dti and Future Energy Solutions (FES)it still has not surfaced. (18 June 2006) Note: ETSU is now part of FES !

Ofgem Discrepancies not resolved even through FOI

Renewable Obligation (RO) The obligation placed on licensed electricity suppliers to deliver a specified amount of their electricity from and eligible renewable source. Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) Eligible renewable generators receive Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) for each MWh of Electricity generated. These certificates can then be sold to suppliers. In order to fulfil their obligation suppliers can either present enough certificates to cover the required percentage of their output, or they can pay a buyout price of ?0 per MWh for any shortfall. All proceeds from buyout payments are recycled to suppliers in proportion to the number of ROCs they present.

The above definitions are from the North East of England Regional Renewable Energy Strategy (NERRES) document (p77) prepared by TNEI for GO-NE They are typical of the definitions used and do not appear to explain clearly to the consumers, who pay for it, that this is a covert subsidy, not a levy, appearing to favour wind energy above other technologies Now it seems the Energy Minister agrees.....

House of Commons -Oral Answers published May 2006 Full text can be read on line

Q. Mr Lancaster......... but does the Minister agree that we need to reconsider the Renewables Obligation which focuses on wind power to the detriment of other emerging technologies

A. Malcolm Wicks Yes I agree that the renewables obligation despite its strengths..................................could appear to be a blunt instrument and certainly seems to be favouring wind energy.

Note The above answer from Malcolm Wicks was most interesting considering the parliamentary Guide to Windfarms launched on 12/01/2005

Reduction in Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Are wind turbines reducing emissions as promised?

25 Feb 2005 : Column 892W Hansard
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is expected from the proposed wind turbine programme. [217510]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: As stated in my answer to question 217505 Government's renewable target of 10 per cent. of energy from renewable sources by 2010 would mean a reduction, per year, of 2.3 million tons of carbon dioxide over that same energy being produced by gas. The 10 per cent. target relates to all renewable technologies. The Government do not have a wind turbine programme. The support being provided by Government for renewables under the RO is technology neutral .

The follow reports are very critical of the Renewables Obligation (RO):

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Overall, my main concerns remain:

Does not "Forget Old Battles, we now have the law"- show serious errors of Governance? (ODPM)

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THE FACTS

Durham 1st County to Meet Renewables Target

The approval of a 12-turbine wind farm has made County Durham the first county in England to hit its renewable energy targets. The Banks Development project, located between Tow Law and Lanchester, was passed by Derwentside councillors in December 2005 meaning County Durham will hit its target of 82 MW of renewable energy generation by 2010                                                                                                                                Real power  Issue 5 BWEA

 

Consented Wind turbines: The above is very misleading.  See DECEPTION

 

Operational: Only two wind farms in the North East appear to be meeting their stated claims whilst the majority seem to be performing at less than 20% and second hand ones around 10%

 

In planning ;. I question why applications that do not progress as hoped are not updated .eg Teeswind North (TNEI) Teeswind South ( TNEI) and Redcar offshore( EDF) See DELUSION 

v     Blyth Offshore, Blyth harbour, must be mentioned particularly as they have been given a high profile. When the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) document was launched for consultation, Bob Gibson, Chair of the North East Assembly named Blyth Harbour and Blyth Offshore Wind farms as Flagship projects (Source NEREG).Neither Blyth onshore or offshore wind turbines are working as expected I have read Blyth onshore turbines are to be increased in capacity

v     Great Eppleton Note: Variation of condition 13 planning permission 96/O597 to enable retention of non operating turbines for an additional 12 months

v     High Volts, West of Hartlepool. I have included as it is one of the wind farms collectively named the '3H's 'and used as a Dti Case Study. Described as one of the most modern windfarms in the UK and said to be typical of many proposals for the North.  The 3H’s are not working as anticipated. 

As I explained at the Aberdeen All Energy Conference May 2006 there is a ‘missing link’   Selective statistics and incomplete information are masking the real facts though I am not sure who is responsible for this. At the Conference, the Head of Safeguarding Defence Estates (DE) explained that wind turbines do affect radar.  DE are looking for possible solutions. BUT national Safety and Security are paramount

Abstracts from Wind Power Monthly June 2006

?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         Investors take a hit: Struck by poor wind farm performance in Canada

?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         Health warning: French national academy of medicine calls for ban on larger turbines

?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         Nuclear and wind: Serious technical and economic conflicts rule out plans for nuclear and wind mix

?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         Technical news: German utility focuses on ways to better manage wind on the grid

 

High time to strike back, by Lyn Harrison, Wind Power Monthly Editor, September 2004

Why should the reactionary antics of a has-been island off the north European coast be of concern to the international wind power industry? Because if Britain's current energy policies give way under the pressure, the wind market will collapse, taking with it the reputation of this entire industry. The reverberations of the media onslaught are already reaching far and wide, with press in Australia, New Zealand and the United States picking up the falsehoods rampant in British newspapers.

Choosing the weapons

If the wind industry is to stop the anti-wind power rot in Britain it needs to take serious action on two fronts. First, it must put huge sums of money into an aggressive counter campaign, noting less that a painstakingly informed, beautifully articulate, highly professional, well orchestrated, wide reaching and proactive public relations crusade.

 

From Lilli Matson, Head of Transport and Natural Resources, Council for the Protection of Rural England, published in The Times on 19/01/99

Your article of January 9 paints a sorry of wind development in the UK. This is a tale which is not so much about landscape preservationists triumphing over green-energy developers as about the failure of successive governments to deliver effective policies to expand renewable energy.

Ever since the introduction of financial subsidies for renewables in 1990, CPRE has highlighted the conflicts inherent in a system where subsidies are awarded to the cheapest projects with no reference made to their environmental impacts. This has led developers to focus on the very windiest sites, which frequently coincide with our best upland landscapes. Financial contracts have been given to projects in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and surrounding our National Parks. No wonder people cry out in defence of the landscape.

The solution does not lie in weakening planning protection for the countryside, but in improving the way in which we fund renewable energy. This should ensure that environmentally damaging schemes are ruled out from the start and encourage a wider range of renewable technologies to be developed. The result would be less controversy over the location of renewable energy projects and more support for their growth.

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CONCLUSION: Time now to work together to find the solution

Both Whinash March2006 and Barningham November1998 were decided by balancing potential benefits and potential disbenefits

Whinash: Both Ministers accept Mr Rose's conclusions that the effects on the landscape and its value for recreation would be so serious that they would outweigh the benefits of securing a renewable energy source and the need to address climate change.

Mr Wicks "Tackling global warming is critical but we must also nurture the immediate environment and wildlife. This is at the crux of the debate over wind energy"

Barningham: Mr David Lavender dismissed the appeal by National Wind Power. In his conclusion the Inspector stated he found nothing to persuade him that the desirability of exploiting a clean renewable energy source at this prominent skyline outweighed other important national policy considerations, which include avoiding damage to attractive areas of landscape.

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To balance potential benefits and potential disbenefits is the only democratic way to make an informed decision on any planning matter. A Protocol for public engagement with proposed wind power developments in England that gives the impression windpower developments will always be permitted and that only benefits will occur simply serves to favour wind energy developments.

Sir


It is a pity Peter Hain was not at The Aberdeen All Energy Conference May 2006 to hear the speakers from the gas, coal, nuclear and renewable energy industries as each predicted how much electricity will come from their source in 2020 and why. It seems a mix of the technologies not wiping out nimby-ism will be the answer

The most convincing argument to prevent the lights going out came from the Chief Executive (CE) for The Energy Networks Association.  A previous CE of British Wind Energy Association he explained that an ageing grid with the bulk of the transmission and distribution system built in the 1960s and a ‘life’ of about 50 year means we need to act now.  To make the necessary ‘changes’ we need to know what the energy mix will be. His anticipation was that we need a mix of gas, coal, nuclear and renewables.
 

Surely no longer a could or might situation but time to take stock of what actually is. Are wind turbines onshore doing what was promised? (Not in the North East). Time now to look at reality, time now to work together to find the solution.

Elizabeth Mann (Acting Chair, Durham Branch CPRE)

Western Mail 17/06/2006

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Latest News

28 June 2006             dti Noise Report to update ETSU- R -97   W45006560000
The report recommends, ETSU-R-97 be revisited. This will assess and apply a correction where aerodynamic modulation is a clearly audible feature. It is intended that the final report and recommendations be published in Autumn 2006
Comment; Until an official government document is available local authorities and the Inspectorate have no choice but to make decisions based on the flawed and outdated ETSU-R-97 as recommended in PPS22. PPS22 para 22 “ The1997 report by ETSU for the Department of Trade and Industry should be used to assess and rate noise from wind energy development” 
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11 July 2006   Energy Review http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/review/

  1. Awarding costs to developers
  2. Introducing a range of targets for the decision making process
  3. Publishing lists as to how LPA’s perform
  4. Giving developers a right to a public inquiry in Section 36 cases

 

 Comment: This would impose a tremendous burden on LPA’s and seems to further destroy the balancing act so essential to good planning and democracy.

 concerns were raised that pressure from economic development were allowing excessive development of onshore wind. potential investors were concerned that new technologies needed support beyond the early research and development stage to ensure investor confidence could be sustained.

     The Energy Review is a green paper and open for consultation.
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17 Jul 2006 ' Deeply flawed' Renewables Obligations need revision says Carbon Trust) www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=11704&channel=0 - 30k --

A drastic overhaul of the existing Renewables Obligation system is needed to redress weighting in favour of onshore wind power and landfill gas, according to climate change quango the Carbon Trust. More incentives are needed to build offshore windfarms, says the Carbon Trust
Comment: The Government must explain clearly to the consumers, who pay for it, exactly how the Renewables Obligation operates and in terms they can relate to. To place the emphasis on 'obligation' as Government and developers have done is surely misleading

 

e.g. Walkway Windfarm Sedgefield in the PM’s constituenc
The Operator would expect to receive approximately £3 million a year in hidden subsidy (i.e. ROCs).



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