Monthly Archives: February 2015

//February

A lovely start to the week

Entering the appeal process is a very tense time because this truly is the last chance of gaining planning consent for a wind site. Often, the appointed Inspector is generic in their reasoning for granting or refusing planning permission, perhaps quoting phrases which have been used 50 times before. However, when reading the comments for one particular appeal decision, we were pleasantly surprised:

The proposed wind turbines would be a distinctly modern form of development. However, it is material to note that historically, the Pevensey Levels were characterised by a number of windmills, powering pumps to keep the land from flooding. Some windmills still remain, and the image of a windmill features on a variety of locational signs in the area. Clearly, the wind turbines would be structures of vastly greater scale than the earlier windmills. But against the background of this historic use of wind power to keep the land from flooding, in the light of the current environmental threat posed by climate change, and in the context of this wide, open landscape where the trees are few and windswept, there would be a certain functional and visual logic to their presence, harnessing energy from the wind. (Appeal ref: APP/C1435/A/13/2208526)

The Inspector rightly considered both the historic role of wind energy and its place in the future, forming a strong and persuasive argument which ultimately granted the developer consent for the installation of three wind turbines.

The Dutch Windwheel

For some, selecting a holiday destination is much more difficult than simply deciding between sun and snow. The fuel consumption of an aircraft is enough to put some travellers off distant shores such as Australia and America, and they choose instead to holiday on the British Isles, limiting their impact on the environment.

For those who look forward to a lavish 14 nights away in a 5 star hotel on a beach in Dubai, the thought of camping in a not-so-waterproof tent in wet and windy Wales is a far cry from paradise. It’s not to say that eco-sensitive holidays are unpopular, but for the average family they can be quite expensive and for those who have one vacation a year, comfort is often prioritized over concerns for the earth and its natural resources. But what if there was a compromise?

The Dutch Windwheel is an innovative design concept which will not only generate wind energy silently, but will also capture rainwater, recycle tap water, produce biogas, house 72 apartments and offer 160 hotel rooms. Some of the cabins will even rotate in order to provide a unique tourist attraction, that being views of the Rotterdam skyline. There will be a significantly sized commercial outlet and a restaurant which, in addition to the inner city location, will be sure to make this an impressive landmark.

Architectural ideas such as the Windwheel have the potential to close the gap between environmentalists and the general public by making it more convenient – and fashionable – to be concerned with our carbon footprints.

 

Norvento’s new rotor for the nED100

Fine Energy develops wind energy sites for Norvento Wind Energy and has recently been working on a project which will see the installation of two nED100 models.

As a company, Norvento are constantly looking at ways to improve and develop their machines and they have kicked off the new year with the launch of a new, 24 metre rotor for the nED100 wind turbine. Significantly, the Annual Energy Production (AEP) of the 100 kW machine will increase by eight per cent, the swept area will increase to 72m2 and the rotor can operate in Norvento’s unique low noise mode.

Ivo Arnus, Director of UK Business Development, has confirmed that although each blade has been lengthened by one metre, the overall visual impact of the turbine is unaffected and, most importantly, the improved model is available at no additional cost.

We look forward to finding sites for Norvento’s new rotor design in 2015!

Encouraging survey shows there is support for wind energy

A new survey has shown that public support for onshore wind turbines has increased to 68 per cent. Moreover, the opposition has fallen to a new low of 10 percent whilst support for fracking has dropped to 24 per cent. These are all very encouraging figures and it is reassuring to know that the general public understand the importance of energy independence and consequently approve wind turbine projects.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published the Public Attitudes Tracker, Wave 12 in February of this year and the summary of findings proved that the UK is not anti-wind.

David Cameron argues that people are frustrated with the idea of even more wind turbines going into the ground, and certainly a proportion of the population will not like them, however the overwhelming majority of citizens do support this form of renewable energy and he should not ignore this fact. It is not realistic for the Conservatives to make rash decisions regarding renewable energy policies in the UK. They should focus on the bigger picture and understand that in order to achieve their dream of being the greenest government, they need to stop waging war on wind.

 

Fine Energy are looking to lease land!

An important part of the development process is first identifying potential wind sites, and we do this with the help of our in-house geographical information systems (GIS) team. We begin by identifying areas of the UK which have a wind speed of more than 5.5 m/s. This speed is crucial when siting a turbine as anything less than 4 m/s  will drastically reduce a turbine’s productivity.

This method ensures we contact as many people as possible by posting out letters to the relevant addresses. We also encourage interested landowners to get in touch with us! You can do this by visiting our website, calling our offices or sending us an email to sites@fineenergy.co.uk

We look forward to speaking with you soon.