GOOD luck to those fighting a wind turbine at Pencombe.
Few doubt we need to reduce carbon emissions; the arguments are about how it should be done.
Onshore turbines represent the inequalities between urban and rural Britain and between powerful, profit-driven, lobbies and individuals in the majority. The countryside is heavily reliant upon agriculture and tourism.
Visit Britain inbound tourism figures for 2013 show 32.8 million tourists visited the UK, spending £21 billion. Statistics from Great Britain Day Visits 2013 show indigenous day visits to Wales as 89 million and to southwest England and West Midlands as 290 million. These generated £3 billion and £10 billion of spending respectively.
These visitors did not go to view wind turbines but to indulge in a wide variety of interests and, I venture to suggest, to get away from such structures.
By orders of magnitude, more energy is consumed and wasted in cities through profligate heating, air conditioning and sending megawatts of light into night skies above empty streets. Why should the countryside have one of its main income sources destroyed to support this? It is not necessary to consume excessive energy and it is possible to live without amenities/services within minutes of the doorstep.
Wind turbines are industrial structures and belong in industrial cities, albeit at less efficiency, where the greatest pollution is generated. In counter-balance there would be savings in infrastructure, sub-stations, transmission pylons and cabling. Where are the wind turbines across London and Brussels? Might it be that they would damage tourism? Where is the commitment of those who legislate?
The 2nd inequality and injustice is that a miniscule number of land stewards, prepared to damage the livelihoods and leisure of others, are subsidised by the majority, even to the extent not to generate electricity at certain times.
For decades I have regularly visited hills and mountains for recreation and consequently, like millions, spend money in the vicinity. I avoid areas such as Newtown, Powys, because of the blight of wind turbines.
Wind turbines in areas such as Herefordshire and Powys cannot be justified because the damage they cause is greater than the benefit they provide.
Those planned in areas like Stonewall Hill near Presteigne and Pencombe are the thin end of a wedge and represent the use of power for the financial benefit of a minute number of people in the countryside yet an immeasurably small benefit to the greater community.
ROD GARVEY Bush Bank, Hereford