Let Malcolm Kirk explain …

Malcolm Kirk

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Why does this matter?

Only too commonplace throughout Scotland are similar classic examples of irresponsible speculative applications, wasting the scarce and valuable resources of planners and other authorities involved. Harm caused to those affected is ignored both by developers and vested interests – as are the resulting adverse health, visual impacts and gross environmental damage so often caused.

It matters to residents and visitors on both sides of Loch Awe because:

  • The visual impact of a development of this scale in this location will have far-reaching effects on their lives, their well being and their legitimate enjoyment of the amenities. Sound, including infrasound also known as Low Frequency Noise, affects close neighbours to turbines and is magnified across bodies of water. Potential adverse health effects are well documented in peer reviewed reports, details of which can be found on this blog.
  • The area is especially vulnerable to losses in the tourist industry from the destruction of cherished landscapes such as this. The Reporter’s recently delivered refusal of another developer’s Appeal against Argyll & Bute Planning Authority’s rejection of the nearby Ardchonnel windfarm application incorporated specific recognition of the damaging effect on tourism in the area.
  • There are very real threats to protected species, including golden eagles and other wild life with habitats in the adjacent officially designated SPA (Special Protected Area). Importantly, there is also a risk that private water supplies may be seriously contaminated by, as has occurred in other windfarm developments in Scotland. For details of such implications see the document ‘Request for Action’ in http://www.windsofjustice.org.uk.
    19 colossal turbines 450 feet high will not only dominate the hills-and-water landscape of North Loch Awe. The building of a gigantic industrial complex of steel, fibreglass and concrete, with access roads for mammoth construction equipment and quarries for the vast amount of foundation materials needed, will cause destruction of the land and unprecedented disruption to the roads network.

It matters because:

The North-East end of Loch Awe is an inland landscape of mountains, loch and islands whose configuration is second to none in Scotland. It contains:

  • no fewer than twelve islands.
  • two historic ruined castles – Kilchurn and Fraoch Eilean.
  • an ancient burial ground at the Chapel of Fyndoca on the island of Inishail with carved stones dating back to crusading times.
    ten offshore crannogs along its shoreline.

The Chapel of Fyndoca and Kilchurn Castle are both Scheduled Monuments.

As well as the beauty and undisturbed tranquillity of the Loch Awe landscape – repeatedly immortalised in literature and paintings such as J M W Turner’s watercolour of Kilchurn Castle, Sir Walter Scott’s novella The Highland Widow and the poetry of the blind bard of Glen Orchy, Duncan Ban MacIntyre, whose monument overlooks the entire wide panorama of the loch from above Ardteatle Bay – the powerful historic and aesthetic inspiration of the region is of immense intrinsic interest to our tourist industry as well as to the general well-being of Argyll and the West Highlands. We cannot stand by and allow this wonderful, unique environment to be desecrated by the intrusion of gigantic wind turbines – not just overlooking, but actually WITHIN it. No amount of cosmetic ‘landscaping’, could mitigate the appearance of a major industrial development covering an ugly, barren scar of newly felled coniferous forest, wholly detrimental to the ambience and nature of the area.

Serious questions are increasingly being asked as to the overall value and efficacy of onshore wind-generated power and its role in the mix of secure, stable, reliable energy needed to fulfil the domestic and industrial needs of our society. While these questions are outside the parameters of a judgement of the merits or otherwise of a planning application, what is indisputable is that the wrong type of energy generation in the wrong place will do immeasurable harm.

The Upper Sonachan Wind farm proposal falls firmly into this category. All who recognise this are urged to make their feelings known by registering their objection. For guidance on how best to do so, please click on the flyer image on the top right of the side bar.

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Upper Sonachan Wind Farm Objection

Planning Application to the Scottish Government by Ecotricity Ltd.

This group of six pictures of – LOCH AWE & BEN CRUACHAN and is intended to highlight “in the round” the great natural beauty of our environment and to illustrate how detrimentally it would be affected by the construction of gigantic wind turbines in a prominent position within it. Although the photographs in Appendix A, B and C were taken several years ago, the landscape topography remains unchanged and will to this day appear substantially the same to anyone seeing it from these viewpoints lucky enough to enjoy similar weather conditions. For copyright reasons we cannot include any of the 24 visualisations prepared by Ecotricity from their chosen viewpoints, but they may be seen in the developer’s Environmental Statement, available for consultation at Oban Library and at Argyll and Bute Council Oban offices, or to view or download from http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/upper-sonachan.

All six original photographs in this presentation were taken by Andrew A. Rose and are copyright. The recent images P1, P2 and P3 include visualisations of the proposed turbines in situ prepared by Malcolm Kirk.

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 P1. VIEW FROM APPROACH ROAD TO CRUACHAN DAM on the shoulder of Ben Cruachan | OS Map Ref. 72645 21085. Date 30 May 2015. 75mm lens. | This is just one of the views seen by walkers and climbers taking the easy route up Ben Cruachan, and by organised groups driving up to Cruachan Dam. The sacred isle of Inishail, once the site of a Cistercian Nunnery, occupies a prominent position on the centre left of the picture. Holiday-makers and residents alike would experience even closer views of the proposed wind turbines when circumnavigating the beautiful group of islands in the middle of Loch Awe and when visiting the Chapel of Fyndoca and the ancient burial ground containing several gravestones dating back to Crusader times, on Inishail. Many visitors enjoy camping and picnicking on the islands during the holiday season between April and October.

cruachandam2

P2. VIEW FROM THE PUBLIC ROAD BELOW DUNCAN BAN MACINTyRE MONUMENT near Dalmally, looking West South West. | OS Map Ref. 72585 21430. Date 10 June 2015. 75mm lens. | Looking from left to right in this famous panoramic view: the hillside with the proposed Upper Sonachan Wind “Park”; Loch Awe with some of its islands; the entrance to the Pass of Brander and the shoulder of Ben Cruachan. The already operational wind farms at Carraig Gheal and Beinn Ghlas can be seen on the summits of the two hills centre and right.

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P3. VIEW FROM THE PUBLIC ROAD C29 AT FERNOCH HILL between Kilchrenan and Dalavich.| OS Map Ref. 71985 20145. Date 10 June 2015. | 75mm lens. This is the main tourist route along the north-west side of the loch and a favourite viewpoint for photographers. Panning from left to right we see the shoulder of Ben Cruachan and Loch Awe with Ben Lui in the distance; then on the south side of the loch the ridge of the hill behind which would be situated the proposed Upper Sonachan Wind “Park”. While from this viewpoint the blades of only one turbine would be visible, the remainder just out of sight below the crest of the hill, everyone approaching Kilchrenan from the north on the B845 road will have all 19 turbines in full view from the crest of the hill leading into the village.

sonachanhse

Appendix A: View taken from the hillside above Sonachan house:OS Map Ref: 71985 20395 Showing the whole length of the Ben Cruachan massif. This view of Ben Cruachan is paralleled by that from the site of the proposed Upper Sonachan Windfarm which is approximately one mile to the east; i.e. just beyond the right side of the picture. This wide-angle photo was taken several years ago, but the mountain topography remains unchanged. On right is a diagram emphasising the ‘head-on’ relationship of the proposed windfarm to Ben Cruachan. Unlike many onshore windfarms which are located in relative obscurity on upland plateau, this one would in effect be a full-frontal exposure on sloping ground directly overlooking one of the loveliest reaches of one of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland, as well as being sited directly opposite the magnificent mountain massif of Ben Cruachan and the settlement of Kilchrenan.

ardbrecknish

APPENDIX B: VIEW FROM AFFORESTED GROUND ABOVE ARDBRECKNISH and below the proposed site of the turbines |OS Map Ref. 72065 20760. | As with the photographs reproduced in Appendices A and C, it shows the unmistakable quality of “the sublime”, one of the main sparks that ignited tourism to the West Highlands in the 19th Century. It is a particular irony that this very view should now be facing the intrusive head-on prospect of an industrial complex of gigantic wind turbines attempting to disguise its true nature by describing itself as a “Park”.

cladich

APPENDIX C: VIEW FROM ABOVE THE A819 ROAD at Bovuy near Cladich| Map Ref. OS 72250 21050. | It shows Loch Awe with Inishail and the Black Isles beneath Ben Cruachan and the entrance to the Pass of Brander. The photo was taken several years ago but the landscape topography remains unchanged. Upper Sonachan Wind “Park” would be situated between Aspects A and C on the attached map, directly facing Loch Awe and Ben Cruachan.

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Upper Sonachan wind farm visualisations From original scoping report

Note: The positions of the turbine visualisations pictured here are from the original scoping report and a few have since been slightly moved.  Due to the angle of shot, some turbines are missing. Nonetheless, the overall visual effect remains approximately the same.

photo1

Photo 1. View taken from the shoreline of Loch Awe at the site of the old pier at Ardanaiseig. OS Map Ref. 72455 20935, looking South West. This is the view that holiday-makers and residents alike would experience when circumnavigating the beautiful group of islands in the middle of Loch Awe.

photo2

Photo 2.  The view from the public road from Kilchrenan to Ardanaiseig, near Larach Ban. OS Map Ref. 72330 20660, looking South. Date 10 June 2015, lens 75mm. All visitors to the 5-star Ardanaiseig Hotel would be subjected to this intrusive view every time they pass in or out, in addition to views of the existing Carraig Gheal and Beinn Ghlas windfarms to the West.

photo3

  The view from the public road B845 at the north end of Kilchrenan Village. OS Map Ref. 72340 20355, looking South East. Date 14 May 2015, lens 74mm.

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Renewables Rewind: Energy Crisis Causes Outbreak of Sanity With Push for Coal-Fired Power

A realisation beginning to dawn elsewhere as well….and none too soon.

STOP THESE THINGS

With rocketing power prices and much worse to come, Australia’s renewable energy debacle has finally started to sharpen political thinking.

Panic has set in, which, while not an ideal environment to form policy, will do in a pinch. Especially, when the alternative is doing nothing and watching an energy superpower turn itself into an economic basket case.

South Australia did just that in less than a decade, with its maniacal obsession with wind and solar. But the populous and prosperous states to the east have the prospect of avoiding all that if, and only if, they hold onto their reliable coal-fired power plants and build a swag more to replace those reaching their use by date.

Tony Abbott calls for Australia to pull out of Paris climate deal
The Australian
Joe Kelly
4 July 2018

The Nationals are demanding the construction of “a minimum of three” baseload power stations as…

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Renewables and world energy supply

How much of the world’s energy is supplied by renewables?

by Roger Andrews

BP and the International Energy Agency (IEA) measure the contribution of renewables to the global energy mix in terms of primary energy consumed while the World Bank estimates it in terms of final energy consumed. All three give different results, with BP estimating a total renewables contribution of 9.5% in 2015 compared to IEA’s 13.7% and the World Bank’s 18.1%. The BP/IEA differences become larger when contributions are segregated by source (BP estimates almost three times as much energy from hydro as as IEA and IEA estimates four times as much energy from “other renewables” as BP). This post documents these discrepancies while making no attempt to say who is right and who is wrong – that would have to be the subject of another post. But it does raise the question of whether we really know how large a contribution renewables are making to the world’s energy mix.

Read more of this post

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Britain becalmed………

As received – see link:

Britain Becalmed: Turbines across the UK are at a STANDSTILL after wind ‘disappears’ for a week causing a two-year low in electricity production
A lack of wind in the UK for the last week has seen energy production from wind farms plummet to record lows. On Sunday, less than two per cent of the country’s electricity came from wind.
Posted in Economics, Environment, Politics, Technology, Wind Power | 1 Comment

Australia’s Self-Inflicted Renewable Energy Crisis: 200,000 Families Can’t Afford Power

…and this when the Chinese have moved to contain their solar industry by removing subsidies & reining in expansion etc., See: ​Chinese Solar Stocks Plunge As Beijing Pulls The Plug. South China Morning Post, 4 June AND,,, Germany’s task force for phasing out coal was meant to launch this week, but yesterday the government quietly announced it is delaying the kick-off. It is the third time the coal exit commission’s launch has been delayed. The task force has become so controversial – even before it comes into existence – that the government can’t get it started. –Dave Keating, Forbes, 1 June 2018 Both these items from the excellent Global Warming Policy Forum’s newsletter.

STOP THESE THINGS

Relying on subsidised, intermittent and unreliable wind and solar results in rocketing power prices. Rocketing power prices results in a cycle of grinding, daily misery for the poorest and most vulnerable.

More than 100,000 Australian families had their power cut off last year, and a further 100,000 are on payment plans with their power retailers – all thanks to Australia’s diabolical obsession with wind and solar power.

South Australia tops the list above, for one reason, and one reason only: its ludicrous attempt to run on sunshine and breezes.

Craig Kelly heads up the Monash Forum, a group of 30 Liberal and National MPs determined to arrest the disaster. Here’s Craig.

Energy policy as shameful as the Soviet’s
The Spectator Australia
Craig Kelly
21 May 2018

“I told myself it was beneath my dignity to arrest a man for pilfering firewood. But nothing ordered by the party is beneath the…

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Link received re. offshore wind……..

See:

http://www.youris.com/energy/energy-grid/offshore-wind-farms-too-much-energy-is-lost-in-cables.kl

An engineer’s comment:

There are significant costs associated with transmitting electricity over long distances which apply to both offshore and  onshore sites.  Power losses over long distances can be quite significant and most large scale interconnectors transmit DC (direct current) electricity – less power losses than using AC (alternating current/mains). However, expensive converters (rectifiers) are required to convert the DC back to AC – even more expense.

These costs (power loss, converters etc) are a consequence of this crazy policy of locating renewable generators in remote areas far from areas of demand. Such costs are seldom, if ever, considered in the devious comparisons (with fossil generation etc) made by renewable companies and their cheerleaders.

 

 

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Re. Wind Energys Absurd website….link https://www.facebook.com/WindEnergysAbsurd/?hc_ref=ARTgD61fEypoRoQvJZ8ueLSZXkgGVWgbECtn8CE6ZRHeNJWSoOOMU7cF0ATffIM__20&fref=nf for excellent info.

Please visit

When we hear SNP politicians prattling on about the islands being given special consideration in respect of CfDs; when we hear Claire Perry rattling on about it too; when you read about one or other Shetland interconnector being almost a ‘done deal’, we get angry because we know from our colleagues how many Shetlanders do not want to find themselves in part of a giant wind farm.
This piece from Frank Hay of Sustainable Shetland gives the background – from the first weasel murmurings in 2008, through the disregard of thousands of Shetlanders who were against the proposal by the then Minister of Business, Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing.
And talking of Ewing, or Flip-Flop as we called him, we see that he’s been having a spat with Jeremy Paxman over fish farms.
Paxman said: ‘If the Scottish Government wants to b***** up the nation’s environment that is its affair. But spare us the blathering nonsense of a speak-your-weight machine nincompoop.’
Well said Jezza. The Scottish Government has no compunction about b****ing up the nation’s environment in any regard.
Note in the Shetland piece the involvement of Shetlands Island Council.
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Posted in Environment, Politics, Technology, Wind Power | 1 Comment

Developing Nations Need Coal

Common sense breaking out.USA are recognising that exporting clean coal technology is also a responsible way to help such countries…..

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

Eureporter, a Brussels based European multimedia news platform, while claiming to be “independent”, is in reality a pretty tame, EU supporting website.

Which makes this report of theirs even more remarkable:

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The UK recently made headlines by announcing that it had gone for three days without using coal, a new record. During the coal-free 76 hours, the majority of the UK’s electricity supply came from gas, followed by wind, nuclear, biomass and solar. While many commentators touted this, the longest period Britain has gone without coal since the Industrial Revolution, as an important step towards reducing global emissions, the story isn’t so simple.

While the UK has greatly increased its renewable capacity in recent years, the only way it was able to power the country without coal for a few days was by relying heavily on natural gas, which is very, very far from being a green…

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