Re: HCC Policy on Wind Turbines
Before raising issues on the recent publicity on the above subject, I commend HCC on their
Hampshire Insulate project. This is good news which has not been widely published and
demonstrates commitment to CO2 reductions.
No doubt you will have received comments and feedback regarding the CO2 issues associated with the non-provision of Wind Turbines on HCC land. This is all very obvious, but the key Energy Security risks to be taken into account for the HCC Energy Policy (probably needing update) revolved around the following:-
- By 2015, a significant proportion of coal fired power stations will be decommissioned (as required by EU legislation), which, according to a recent Ofgem report will increase the risk of power failures / brown outs.
- Nuclear power supply is unlike to be in place until the next decade.
- An unquantifiable risk (at present) is the take up of electric cars. According to well respected academics at Reading and Southampton University, this could have a significant impact of grid infrastructure and supply. One charge uses 26 units for a range of 120 miles (6000+miles per year). This represents 33% increase on electricity usage per household (assuming an average house uses 4000 units per year). A lot will depend on the market take up (which is supported by a government subsidy of £5000 at present1). I suggest the estimates for future demand may be under estimated.
- As a result, the UK will be more dependent on energy imports, and I suggest that energy prices will increase significantly. The UK will be held to ransom.
If the HCC are approached by external parties (such as energy suppliers) asking to lease land for the provision of wind turbines, I am assuming HCC policy will simply reject the request. Given the risks above, I hope you would agree that the HCC has a duty of care to its residents and businesses to seek alternative solutions that have the same cost benefits (or better).
When the cost benefits are not favourable, this could potentially become a vote looser:-
- The alternative solution is more expensive resulting in a proportionally more expensive energy bill.
- No alternative solution is provided resulting in a significant increase in energy bills.
#1 Is the price that we collectively pay to keep a beautiful countryside (although I do hope you
support the campaign to remove pylons from the countryside).
#2 translates to “Conservative Policy supports significant increases in Energy Bills”.
I do not think it is responsible for the HCC to simply say NO, since it has a commitment to meet legal CO2 reduction targets. What I do expect is the HCC to take responsibility to work with the requestor to provide an alternative solution that provides the same (or near) cost benefits. I look forward to a statement from HCC to this effect.
Superhome owner meeting 80% reduction in CO2 emissions.