Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

Is he whistling in the wind?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005


Is he whistling in the wind?

I READ with interest the positive and encouraging report on the proposed London Array Offshore Wind Farm in the Yellow Advertiser.

The facts you present are indeed true, and the development will, as with all such developments, have to undergo a full Environmental Impact Assessment before it can be approved.

What astounded me was that a local councillor (David Garston) was able to comment negatively in such an apparently authoritative way.

He is an ardent supporter of the Southend Relief Road – a project guaranteed to cause considerable damage to the green belt – yet somehow he has an objection to something off the coast of Southend that he will struggle to see on a clear day.

Wind energy has the potential to offset burgeoning climate change. Offshore wind power is a largely objectionless form of generation which, once cleared as no risk to migratory bird patterns, will have an enormously positive effect on everyone who wishes to see their land remain green – their coasts remain stable and their air remain breathable.

Any enterprising boat owner in Southend could, Mr Garston would be relieved to hear, even market boat trips to the wind farm.

David Garston clearly has some axe to grind, but it seems to be with the people of Southend, not just the wind farm developers.

Keith Farnish

Seize this better way

I WAS astonished to hear that councillor Garston, portfolio holder for sustainable development, should oppose the excellent opportunity for zero-emission energy provided by the proposed off-shore wind farm development in the Thames estuary.

Surely he must know that UK oil production peaked in 2002 and has been in decline ever since.

In 2004, UK oil production fell by nearly 10 per cent, making us ever more reliant upon foreign imports.

A huge proportion of the nation’s oil and gas is set to come from former Soviet countries, which are likely to remain in turmoil for decades to come.

Not only can we be sure that supplies will suffer interruption, there is a very real danger that even more British troops will be killed attempting to ensure security of supply.

In a world where nations will compete ever more fiercely for diminishing resources, most of us know there is a better way.

We must seize every energy efficiency opportunity, so using much less energy, and get as much energy as we can from new sources – chief of which being wind.

Not only is the planet’s climate at stake, so too is the nation’s security.

Name and address supplied

Alternatives badly needed

I FEEL that I have to write to comment on the wind farm article published in the June 15 edition.

I am consistently stunned by the narrow-minded, selfish comments of the bureaucratic minority who appear to have not even the slightest regard for our environment and the well-being of the planet in general.

Do these people not realise that renewable, sustainable energy is desperately required, not in a few hundred years, not in a few years, but today?

Putting a block, or even a negative comment, on a project such as the off-shore wind farm is tantamount to advocating ecological suicide.

What this planet needs is more wind, tidal, geothermal, solar and hydro-electric generators, not more ways to exploit the easy pickings of oil and gas.

The greatest polluters of green-house gasses are power stations and they need to be replaced immediately with no real concern of “it may spoil the view”, or “well, it costs a lot of money”.

I would much rather see a wind farm than an oil refinery or power station, and the money is well spent if it buys us back our planet – which, I might add, is the only one on the market.

As for noise pollution, how many people live next to a main road and learn to ignore it – I did.

I can only applaud London Array Limited and hope that more companies follow their lead, there is too much distrust, snide comment and general apathy going around – we need to act and act FAST.

Please, everybody, get informed. Find out about global warming, global dimming, ways to save energy and be energy efficient.

One person may not make a difference on their own, but sixty million ‘One persons’ CAN.

Tony Wren
address withheld

Danger in attitude

DAVID Garston’s reaction that “Southend isn’t going to benefit” from an offshore windfarm would be laughable if it wasn’t so dangerous.

As the polar ice caps continue to melt – a process which is already underway – and sea levels continue to rise, the danger to these low-lying areas increases. It is not a question of if floods will occur, it is when.

As a coastal town, Southend will be in the front line when the worst excesses of global warming take effect so anything that we can do to alleviate and delay these effects will be of direct benefit to the town.

Many parts of Southend are under severe threat from flooding already because land has been developed at, or only a little above, sea level.

We can forgive those administrations who built houses more than 30 years ago because they cannot have known about global warming. However, that is no longer the case.

Tragically, all our current council can think about is how to cram more and more houses into the east of the town, which, as the lowest-lying area, will be flooded first.

Peter Walker,
East Street,

The start of windpower?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2005
The start of windpower?

SOMETHING ON THE HORIZON: Yellow Advertiser's chief photographer Mark Cleveland took this shot from Shoebury East Beach. It clearly shows a series of mystery white structures out at sea, miles beyond the war-time wooden submarine boom in the foreground. Surely work hasn't started on constructing the wind turbines just yet?

£1.5bn plan to build 270 turbines offshore

THE WORLD’S biggest wind farm could be built off the coast of Southend by 2008 if plans submitted this week be given the go-ahead.

The plans to build hundreds of wind turbines at a cost of £1.5bn were handed over to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Monday by a consortium of companies known as London Array Limited.

The wind farm, made up of 270 turbines, could generate enough electricity for either the whole of Essex, all of Kent and east Sussex, or one quarter of London.

The turbines would be situated around 12 miles east of Southend and would be ‘just about visible’ from land. They would take up around 152 square miles of the Thames Estuary.

The consortium of companies, which includes Shell WindEnergy Limited, E.ON UK Renewables, and CORE Limited, won the right to lease the offshore in 2003.

A spokesman for the consortium said: “The site is ideal because the UK is one of tthe windiest parts of Europe, meaning power will be constantly generated.

Andrew Murfin, vice president of development for Shell WindEnergy, said that the planned site would not be a disruption to the coastline and will not be a noise nuisance.

He explained: “The planned site is 12 miles off of the coast meaning that it would only look like tiny pins on the horizon on an extremely clear day.

“The beneficial aspect of wind power is that more energy will be generated in winter when the wind is stronger. which is the time of year when people use more electricity.”

FoE renewables manager, Nick Raw, said: “We have been pushing for companies like Shell and BP to move into renewables for a long time now. They are now putting real money into these projects.”

However, Southend Council’s portfolio holder for sustainable Southend, David Garston, was less positive about the plans.

He said: “On the face of it Southend isn’t going to benefit from this. We wont have any advantages, yet we will have all the environmental disadvantages.

“It is worrying that the wind farm could spoil the view from the foreshore. I would like to know a lot more about it.”

Potential obstacles to the wind farm getting the green light include shipping hazards, radar interference, the impact on wildlife and the envonment, and interference with low-flying aircraft.

Officials say it could take up to a year before the DTI makes its final decision on whether or not to give the consortium permission to construct the wind farm.

  • What do you think? Is this a major step forward in the production of renewable energy, or is Southend’s coastline being used for something which may not benefit the town? Write to Suzi Muston, Southend Yellow Advertiser, Acorn House, Great Oaks, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1AH.

Bungalow’s £15,000 turbine is stirring up mixed emotions

Thursday, May 26th, 2005
Turbine surrounded by leafy suburb of Rayleigh

Standing tall - the nine-metre-high wind turbine in David Nisbet's Rayleigh garden has raised a few eyebrows in the neighbourhood Picture: ROB WELHAM

Well, blow me down!


David Nisbet with his turbine

Blade runner - chartered engineer David Nisbet hopes the wind turbine he has installed in his garden will supply all his home's electricity needs Picture: DAVE HENDERSON

AS talking points, go, you could do worse than put up a nine-metre-high wind turbine in your garden.

David Nisbet raised a few eyebrows when he had the £15,000 structure erected at the beginning of the week at his home in Downhall Park Way, Rayleigh.

The chartered engineer, 46, said he supported renewable energy and hoped by having a turbine he could help to raise awareness about it.

But Mr Nisbet admitted it had already sparked debate among his neighbours. He said: “Two of my neighbours have been very positive. Both of them were very enthusiastic. But I’m sure there are people who can’t stand it.

“I’m trying to help educate people about what will happen when energy sources run out. A wind turbine will be good for everyone.”

Mr Nisbet said he was satisfied with the way the turbine was working so far, and he hoped it would eventually generate enough to supply all the electricity and heating for his bungalow.

He said: “It seems to be working all right. It’s performing as expected.

“At the moment it looks like it’s going to deliver for the heat needs, as well.”

There were other benefits to having the standout structure, as well – long-term savings, Mr Nisbet said. He estimate the turbine would save him £1,000 a year in electricity and heating.

If that turned out to be the case, it would take only 15 years for it to pay for itself.

The turbine has raised concerns among some neighbours, who worry about its visual impact and possible noise. Others say it doesn’t bother them.

Kerry Auger, of Downhall Park Way, said: “It doesn’t really affect us. It’s not causing us any sort of disturbance. We’re not against him having it here.

“You can hear it if it’s very quiet outside, but you can’t hear it from inside.

“It’s bigger than I thought it would be, but we only really see part of the blades from our top windows.”

Another neighbour, Kim Dogrell, 40, was also a little put off by the size of the structure, commenting: “It seems extremely big, considering it is just to serve one bungalow.”