Grandmother Mounts Legal Challenge to Scotland’s ‘Dash for Wind’

Posted: December 11, 2012 by tallbloke in government, Legal, Robber Barons, wind

An Argyll grandmother is headed to Geneva to obtain a ruling on whether Government and planning authorities are overstepping their powers and failing to perform legally binding duties to citizens in their rush to build windfarms.

NowindIn an interview with The Independent, Mrs Metcalfe said: “Our challenge is a democratic one: the UK and EU are by-passing the proper environmental and economic assessments and legally-binding procedures related to democratic accountability. Scotland, she said, is being turned into a ‘hedgehog’ as a result, being covered with more than 3,500 wind turbines without due regard for the growing scientific evidence which shows they have a profoundly damaging effect on the local ecology and on people’s health. “Such devastating changes might be merited if we had the information to enable us to understand the benefits. Many of the supposed claims by government are now proving to be the opposite of what they say.”

“Instead, the onus should be on the developers to prove the positive. No wind farm developer has ever had to explain the benefits of wind. Evidence tells us that wind power performance shows not only no reduction in CO 2 and other harmful emissions, but the very reverse. But Alex Salmond is driving an aggressive green agenda like an express train across Scotland, bludgeoning anyone who gets in the way as being a Luddite and anti-green.

If the committee upholds the complaint, the UN has the power to require the UK and EU to adhere to its ruling, as they are signatories to the international treaty known as the Åarhus Convention. Legal experts predict that if the tribunal finds in her favour, the decision could have a big impact on all wind farm projects throughout the country, as developers will be forced to make far more comprehensive “benefit statements” with their planning applications, and governments will have to back up claims about the alleged benefits.

More pertinently, Mrs Metcalfe claims that some communities in Scotland are being driven to a state of civil war: “Wind farms are splitting communities and dividing friends. Some land-owners are being so generously rewarded for selling or leasing their land to developers that they are turning a blind-eye to what’s really happening.”  Others, she said, who have the temerity to question the alleged benefits, are being subjected to death threats, insults, and burglaries, right across the country

Read the full story here:

  1. oldbrew says:

    The presence of Pat Swords will no doubt be useful as he’s already scored one legal win in this area.

    From the Independent article:
    ‘Pat Swords, an Irish chemical engineer and environmentalist, whose own challenge to Ireland’s energy policy was upheld by the UNECE compliance committee earlier this year. He has now called for a judicial review of Ireland’s Renewable Energy Action Plan’

  2. mitigatedsceptic says:

    Good luck to Mrs Metcalf!
    I hope that the case against windmills will include the injustice of charging all energy consumers the cost of the enormous subsidies given to wind farm developers. It’s not just the effects these monsters have on the landscape, tourism, health etc. it’s the effect on energy costs that hurts most people. Green energy should carry its own costs like ay other producer.

  3. El Sabio says:

    Best of luck to granny but she has been brainwashed: “…shows not only no reduction in CO 2 and other harmful emissions…”

    As long as people (on either side of the debate) continue to believe that CO2 is some evil toxin then the greens will continue to win. Even if she wins this case, the myth will be reinforced by judicial dictate. Somewhere in the judgement will be a statement saying that the people must be consulted before their lives are ruined, of course, but that CO2 is such a terrible thing that reducing its effect on everything from sea levels to the size of dung-beetle balls must be given priority.

  4. what is the cradle to grave cost of wind energy:
    How about Cradle to grave costs. Here is the build / working breakdown of costs over 20 years:
    Project: Single wind turbine (800kw)
    Location: Balloo Wood, Bangor, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
    Turbine: 800kw Enercon E48
    Dimensions: 56m hub height, 24m blade length, 80m overall height
    NGR: 350760E 379503N (lat 54.6411N, long 5.6656W)
    Status: Operational

    build £ 889,650.00 install
    planning etc £ 434,583.00 install

    maintenance 0.0055 perkwh
    maintenance/year for delivered 280kwh £ 562.49 per year
    routine expenses £ 30,000.00 per year
    rating 1000 kwh
    load factor 28%
    deliverd power 280 kwh

    Balancing Cost £ 0.014 per kWh
    Short term Reserve £ 0.007 per kWh

    total install cost= £ 1,324,233.00
    install cost/delivered kwh £ 4,729.40
    conventional backup costs/year £ 51,544.08 per 280 kWh/year
    running cost/year £ 82,106.57 per 280 kWh/year

    over n years 25
    total install over 25 yrs £ 1,324,233.00
    running cost over 25 yrs £ 2,052,664.13
    total cost over 25 yrs £ 3,376,897.13
    decomissioning cost (guess=.5*build) £ 444,825.00
    total cradle to grave cost £ 3,821,722.13
    power generated over 25 yrs 61362000 kWh

    cost per kwh over 25 yrs £ 0.062 per kWh

    This is a SMALL turbine and so will have relatively high costs
    These are real figures

    This seems a reasonable figure but the decommissioning costs are pure guess work. The life time of most wind turbines is believed to be 25 years. The warranty period is 12years for this turbine.
    The cost of fuel is zero the cost of material is not likely to change significantly (no rare earths are used) All fosil fuels cost and the cost is likely to rise. How much?????
    Included in the above is balancing and standby generation costs.

    Now can you provide an equivalent cradle to grave cost for nuclear?

    [Reply] “cost per kwh over 25 yrs £0.062 per kWh”
    Why are we expected to stump up ~60 times as much per Kw/Hr for the electricity it produces then?
    What a rip-off!

  5. oldbrew says:

    thefordprefect says: ‘no rare earths are used’

    Not so, rare earth metals are used. Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has a web page about them.
    For one 3MW turbine the figures total 89kg, mostly in the magnets.

    Other renewables also use them. Supply could become a problem as described in this report.

    ‘This report examines the role that rare earth metals and other key materials play in clean energy technologies such as wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar cells and energy-efficient lighting. The report found that several clean energy technologies use materials at risk of supply disruptions in the short term, with risks generally decreasing in the medium and long terms. Supply challenges for five rare earth metals (dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, europium and yttrium) may affect clean energy technology deployment in the years ahead’

  6. oldbrew says:
    December 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm
    thefordprefect says: ‘no rare earths are used’

    Not so, rare earth metals are used.
    ENERCON WECs produce clean energy without neodymium
    29.04. 2011

    ENERCON wind energy converters (WECs) generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way without the use of the controversial element, neodymium. The gearless WEC design on which all WEC types – from the E-33/330 kW to the E-126/7.5 MW – are based includes a separately excited annular generator. The magnetic fields required by the generator to produce electricity are created electrically. By design, and unlike the majority of competing products, ENERCON WECs do without permanent magnets whose production requires neodymium.

  7. “Why are we expected to stump up ~60 times as much per Kw/Hr for the electricity it produces then?
    What a rip-off!”

    Retail Service by Customer Sector
    Average Revenues/Sales (¢/kWh) Retail Sales (1000s MWh)
    End-use sector September 2012 Change from September 2011 September 2012 Change from September 2011 Year to Date
    Residential 12.33 1.3% 119,201 -2.9% 1,066,922
    Commercial 10.55 -0.4% 116,483 -1.2% 1,007,636
    Industrial 7.01 -2.0% 81,560 -4.0% 741,662
    Transportation 10.39 -3.8% 628 -0.8% 5,672
    Total 10.31 0.2% 317,873 -2.6% 2,821,893

    0.062 British pounds sterling = 0.0998 US dollars
    So I can still make a profit selling to all bar industrial markets

    [Reply] Because installation is heavily subsidized by the taxpaying energy customer

  8. oldbrew says:

    Re rare earths, Vestas points out:

    ‘The use of 14kg rare earths elements in the V112-3.0 MW tower magnets (of 84m height) results in a saving of around 10 tonnes steel in the tower per wind turbine. This equates to a saving of around 8.0 tonnes of CO2 equivalents over the entire life cycle – i.e. accounting for the potential environmental impacts of the magnets and steel production, use and end-of-life recycling and disposal.’

  9. [Reply] Because installation is heavily subsidized by the taxpaying energy customer

    my costing allowed for no subsidies – it is market cost.

    The only cost not noted which could be subsidised is financial loans – but then most powerstations also have subsidised loans.

    is this what you refer to?

  10. Phillip Bratby says:

    The fordprefect has derailed the conversation. But he talks crap. A 50kW turbine in the UK costs about £260k to install. The lifetime income based on a wholesale price of electricity of about 5p/unit is £87k. Which is why they are subsidised via the Feed-in-Tariff to the tune of 25.5p/unit, ie about 5 times the normal value.

  11. tallbloke says:

    Geomac ‏@Geomacl
    Right now, wind is generating 124MW of elec from a metered 5300MW capacity (over 7300MW total capacity). £billions wasted. Disgraceful

  12. Phillip Bratby says:

    The lowest generation rate during the day (out-turn value, 28,78) was just 78MW (0.14% of demand) in the afternoon (14:00 – 14:30). The initial forecast value was over 420MW – so much for being able to forecast how much wind power we will get!

    The grid has no problem tracking a 15GW change in less than 3 hours.

    Every watt generated by wind saves 1 to 3 watts of heat generated from fossil fuels.

    Electricity is not portable power ( batteries are a dead loss their lives are limited and charging takes too long and costs too much) Petrol/deisel/gas are ideal portable fuels.

    Prolonging them for future generations seems a fair way of proceeding.

    The NG can tune the power to meet demand easily at least to 15GW. For every watt of wind you would need reserves of about a watt waiting to come on line in a matter of hours – not spinning reserve (seconds to power), not all needs to be hot reserve2(2 hours to power), some can be cold start (12 hours to power). In the same way as a car consumes less petrol if travelling on the flat but the engine is still ready to power up a hill warm resertve uses little power until called upon to deliver load.

    So wind power exends the reserves of portable power for future generations. (and reduces CO2)

    No one has criticised the Bangor financials – someone must have better figures for there to be so much hatred and disbelief in their efectivness for wind generated power. please post you figures!