Visit Wales Now

Visit Wales and see some dramatic changes to the landscape

The Welsh Assembly welcomes you to Wales

  The Welsh Assembly welcomes tourists to this spectacular country to enjoy its inspirational scenery. Yet at the same time, this same Assembly is actively encouraging the development of many more industrial wind farms in the Welsh uplands and coastal regions.

  Is this what you want to see when you visit Wales?

  If not, let those who are responsible for these changes know what you think. Here are their email addresses:

July 2009:  BWEA - Welsh councils urged to approve more wind farms !!

The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) has warned that Wales will miss its self-imposed wind energy targets of having 800MW capacity by 2010 because councils are not giving planning permission quickly enough.

Click here to read more of their report

June 2008: AN OPEN LETTER TO RHODRI MORGAN

An open letter to Rhodri Morgan from Gwlad Alliance – an all-Wales group for environmental and protest groups – asks him to reconsider the Welsh Assembly’s policy on wind power. The letter has been signed by over 40 prominent Welsh people including Iolo Williams, Sian Lloyd, Lord Carlile and The Archbishop of Wales .

Click here to download the letter sent by the Gwlad Alliance, in MSWord format.

  You may also wish to contact your local constituency member of the Welsh Assembly:

Or you can write to them at the Welsh Assembly:

WIND FARM MYTHS

In May 2008, Friends of the Earth Cymru launched 'Wind Power: 20 Myths Blown Away' in which they claimed that opposition to wind farms is based on myths. The information in this article seems to be derived from the British Wind Energy Association, the trade association that promotes the interests of wind farm developers – hardly an unbiased source.

The ‘myths’ paper has won the backing of the Welsh Assembly Environment Minister, Jane Davidson, who has described wind power as "the most advanced and cost-effective renewable technology".

However, not everyone agrees. The Friends of Eden, Lakeland and Lunesdale Scenery (FELLS), in association with Country Guardian, have presented an independent analysis of the facts, in which they show the British Wind Energy Association have been selective in their presentation of the information.

Here is FELL’s response to the British Wind Energy Association. Click here to download their response in pdf format.

October 2007: Forestry Commission land opened up for wind farm development

First Minister Rhodri Morgan has announced that land managed by Forestry Commission Wales is now open for the construction of wind farms.

There is nothing new in this statement. For some time now developers have been assessing the potential for wind farm development on Forestry land. But with this announcement on 25 October, 2007, at the Wales Forum on Europe sustainable energy event in Swansea, Rhodri Morgan has publicly acknowledged the Assembly’s strategy.

The First Minister said, ‘We want to encourage wind energy and it was only right that we assessed the possibilities of having wind farms on suitable areas of Assembly Government-owned Forestry Commission land.’ 

Forestry Commission Wales is responsible for forestry policy and looks after the 110,000 hectares (272,000 acres) of public forests owned by the Welsh Assembly. Coincidentally, many of the Strategic Search Areas that the Assembly has earmarked for wind farm development include Forestry Commission land.

But trees and wind turbines do not mix. Trees interfere with wind flow and must be removed to increase turbine output, and profits. So when wind farms are built on forested land, as at Cefn Croes, thousands of acres of trees are cut down to make way for turbines, access roads and overhead power lines.

The Forestry Commission’s mission statement is to protect and expand Wales’ forests and woodlands. So one wonders if wind farm development is a legitimate, or even legal, use of Forestry Commission land.

In April 2008, The Welsh Assembly has announced its next stage it renewable energy drive. It has signed an agreement allowing three companies to seek planning permission to build wind farms in woodlands managed by the Forestry Commission.

The First Minister’s announcement is posted on http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/17989


 

The following article appeared in the South Wales Evening Post on October 13th, 2007:

Wind farms ‘failing’ in green energy drive

Wales’s renewable energy policy is ill thought-out and failing, an AM has claimed. South Wales West AM Alun Cairns said wind farms were unpopular and ineffective, while the much-talked about Severn barrage would damage the environment too much to be justified.

Assembly Environment Minister Jane Davidson hit back during the Senedd debate, saying things were moving in the right direction. But she admitted wind farms would not contribute as much electricity to the overall renewable supply as had been planned.

Mr Cairns told the Post: “The Assembly Government’s policy on renewable energy is ill thought-out, failing and desperate.

“People object to wind farms, and justifiably so. It has been proven elsewhere that wind energy is pretty ineffective in that it does not remove the need for fossil-fuel burning power stations.”

He added: “Now the panic over missing our renewable energy targets means the Assembly Government is looking at a Severn barrage which would cost £15 billion to £25 billion.

“It would need 29 million tonnes of aggregate in its construction. That’s a third of all of the dredging from the last century in the Bristol Channel just for one project, with serious consequences for marine life, the coastline and local environment.

Ms Davidson said: “We are very much going in the right direction and I do not recognise the picture you have tried to paint.”

Wales could become self-sufficient in low carbon electricity thanks to natural resources such as wind, tidal power and forests, she said. From 2011 all new buildings would be zero carbon and three per cent year on year targets to reduce greenhouse gases come into effect.

But she added: “Progress in some ways has not been as fast as we would have liked and onshore wind will not contribute as much towards meeting our 2010 targets as originally envisaged.”

By Richard Youle
Environment Reporter

Evening Post
 

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