1 Eagleton Notes: Like Topsy* They Grow

Monday, 23 September 2013

Like Topsy* They Grow

Green energy.  Of course I'm in favour.  Am I convinced of the economic voracity?  Am I a NIMBY?  I don't know.  I believe that the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere is in New Zealand.  It is sited all along the top of a range of mountains.  It is huge.  It is visible for miles and miles around and it's a significant tourist attraction.  It's  astonishingly beautiful. It provides a lot of New Zealand's electricity.  It's also a long way from any habitation.  So why have I got an uneasy feeling about the ones which are springing up around the Stornoway area.  Somehow their vague randomness seems  more intrusive and untidy.   One minute you have this:


and the next you have this:



* For those who don't know who Topsy was she was Topsy a young slave girl in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. When asked if she knows who made her, she professes ignorance of both God and a mother, saying "I s'pect I growed.

20 comments:

  1. Where I live, it is too densely populated (and maybe not windy enough) to have many wind farms, but there is one (just the one!) windmill near my town on top of a man-made hill (created out of rubble and rubbish in the first decade after the last war).
    I can't say they'd make me feel uneasy, and I do believe that they are actually quite carefully placed.

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    1. They certainly have to be carefully placed to catch the wind Meike and sometimes I'm quite surprised where the 'best' winds are.

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  2. They keep popping up new ones on the hills around Penistone, and each one they put up seems to be bigger than the last. We now have some truly huge ones on the hill to the north east of the centre.

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    1. Yes Mark new ones seem to pop up each time I take a trip south. They are certainly a growth industry.

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  3. Great before and after shots, GB.

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    1. Thanks CJ. Those particular ones arrived whilst I was in NZ last time.

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  4. Never thought about them as being intrusive, but when you watch the before/after pictures it does create a sense of invasion. But on the other side, these wind farms also make for interesting photo subjects (as you have proven yourself).

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography


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    1. Mersad many years ago (probably 25-30) I went, on business, to Orkney for a public inquiry related to the nuclear reactor at Dounreay. We were taken to one of the Island's many tourist attractions: a lonely, single and, to me, massive, windmill on the top of a lone hill. It was the first I had ever seen and I was struck by it's beauty as a structure. The problem with many is their setting.

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  5. Try listening to just one. We were up at the Norse Mill the other day and there is just the one by the side of the road (well, there was only one a few days ago)and the swishing noise it made was really annoying in such a quiet place. Just imagine 3 or 6 of the beastly things there - it would be intrusive, noisy and an absolute eye sore. Rant over - as you will gather I dislike them intensely. I am off to walk Briagha along the beach - at least there are none there - YET.

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    1. Pat, Many years ago the first wind farm I saw was in Wales on the other side of a valley to where I was standing several miles away. I could hear them very clearly. The one at the Norse Mill has only just started up. It was being finished last time I was there. It's a pretty good example of a major intrusion although there are no properties close. I think we are safe at the beach and in 'our' valley. If they are sited anywhere it's likely to be on the ridge above you.

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  6. They are appalling monstrosities. Some civic minded person should blow them up.

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    1. Adrian do I gather from this that they are not your favourite method of producing electricity?

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    2. Oh, now I see. I didn't know the produced anything.

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  7. Just outside of Palm Springs there is a big wind farm. I would much rather see them all in one place out in the desert than to have them pop up randomly. Who decides?

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    1. I've seen pictures Lisa and they look absolutely astonishing. I think - but many don't - that they are better in 'farms'. A problem in the UK is that there are few places that are truly remote as defined by the scale of your landscape.

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  8. I agrree that there's incongruity. Do you think it's because one of the beauties of your part of the world (and I've only been to the Hebrides once) is its timelessness?

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    1. I'm not sure whether it's quite that objective Frances. People here are usually fairly decidedly either for or against when a proposal is made and I think it's rarely truly rationalised and usually very subjective. Often, however, opposition can depend upon whether or not the local community perceives that it will receive sufficient monetary recompense for the disturbance. Unfortunately that often means a relatively small number of people who have a financial interest in the land concerned having a fairly large say in the matter.

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  9. By the way am I right in thinking that the before and after shots are a good example of photoshop in action? The clouds look suspiciously similar.

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    1. Ah Mark you are into clouds at the moment aren't you? Well spotted.

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  10. The wind turbines do spoil the look of the countryside, but at the rate we are using up the earth's fossil fuels, we have no other choice but to seek other energy alternatives.
    Folks here have complained no end about the wind turbines situated on the island, but yet they continue to use as much electricity to power all their high-priced gadgets.

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