LOOKING through the various comments in The Hunts Post, I really have to give my fullest sympathy to the planning inspector in all of this, and the frustrations felt by the Cotton Farm Alliance [opposing the wind farm at Graveley].
Of course we all need more and more sources of renewable energy, but before anybody makes any decisions they should all be aware of the facts in this particular case. All too often, a local protest group will get accused of 'not in my back yard', even though what they are talking about here is a blight to many worthwhile locations and public treasures, and not putting forward any concrete objections.
The biggest objection would seem to come from the massive intrusive size of these turbines, and I must admit that I have to sympathise with them.
Early last year, I drove my family around southern Spain from Gibraltar to Portugal. This is a fantastic route, as it follows the coast along the hills and mountains - breathtaking natural beauty. But, if you stop in a scenic spot to look at the view across the Straits of Gibraltar, all you hear is the swishing of hundreds of massive wind turbines, and the strange shadowy and reflective images, totally desecrating the scenery.
This may well be the scenario across some of our most beautiful and heritage locations here in the UK.
But the fact is, that these gargantuan wind turbines are so old technology it is quite unbelievable. Within three to five years the new technologies will have eclipsed these massive dangerous eyesores, but we will be stuck with them for more than 20 years at least.
Like the old poor-performance, poor-economy side-valve, carburettor-driven cars of the early 1950s, these current breeds of wind turbines will be as extinct as the dodo, although vested interest will keep plugging them while there is a profit to be made.
I don't suppose many of you - including the planners - are aware that there is now a new breed of wind turbine that is far more efficient and almost unobtrusive, and no threat to wildlife or the occasional out-of-control hot-air balloonist.
These are called 'vortex wind turbines', and they overcome every issue that is associated with the massive monsters planned for our local countryside, and these vortex wind turbines have already sounded the death knell for current massive monsters.
So what are the real issues with the massive hundreds of metres-tall turbines that RWE is promoting so hard?
Each turbine consists of massive blades, weighing about 40 tons each. Total weight is 450 tons for a 5MW system. How much energy do you think will be needed to get those monster fans moving, let alone generating power?
Each turbine will need massively strong foundations, and a really powerful mast, to control the whirring blades.
Also due to their massive size they have to be spaced well away from each other, (five rotor-blade distance) not just for physical reason, but to avoid turbulence affecting each other.
The carbon footprint needed to manufacture and erect each unit will wipe out the energy saving of about 36 months of use. Not to mention the disruption to get the massive crane on site to erect these gargantuan eyesores.
As these blades, weighing many tons, will be hanging vertically while they spin, an enormously powerful gearbox will be needed to keep them rotating.
Add to these a number of peripheral issues, such as threats to wildlife, noise pollution, radar scattering, 'blade flicker' and a total blot on the landscape.
With their massive carbon footprint to build and erect, and the power lost through gearboxes, each wind turbine could take up to 10 years just to pay back the non-green energy costs they consume, to add to their 35 per cent efficiency rate. Are they really worth the effort?
On the other hand, vortex wind turbines are unobtrusive, can even be fitted around the periphery of airfields, are enclosed so do not produce noise or a threat to any wildlife, and can produce a far greater output per footprint than any of the existing types of wind turbines. And they cost less.
Green Homes Global Ltd