This blog hasn't visited the issue of onshore wind farms in Montgomeryshire for a while - mainly because there's been a hiatus when nothing much is happening. Perhaps things are about to change. Whatever, here's a few random comments.
Firstly, there is still no announcement about the location of the National Grid sub-station in Montgomeryshire. This announcement was expected six months ago. Rumours suggest it will be in either the Abermule or Llandinam area - which indicates that the 400kw cable will run 40 miles down the Severn Valley from Ironbridge. Just like slashing a Picasso. Final confirmation will be a huge media story, but in this post I'm just considering the impact of delay. The completion date for the line was supposed to be end of 2015 - when the sub-station announcement was expected before last Xmas. Is this delay going to mean that this date will be postponed again? Is it possible that I see wind turbines disappearing into the distance?
Secondly, I hear that there's to be a 'trial run' of lorries that carry turbines through Montgomeryshire during the next two or three weeks. I rather approve of this - along the trunk roads. But I cannot see how this can happen on the narrower 'county' roads. Lots of road widening, ditch filling and verge removing will be needed before these lorries can use 'county' roads. They're going to make one hell of a mess, and get stuck, if the lorries follow the routes before the improvements have been made. And the whole exercise will prove nothing. I'm hoping to try to cadge a lift in one of the lorries if its a Monday or Friday. Just to see the problems first hand.
Thirdly, I'm hearing more involved people mentioning 'cumulative impact' as a serious planninmg consideration. And so it should be. When the Assembly Government first embarked on its idiotic TAN 8 journey in 2005, 'cumulative impact' was ruled out as a material consideration. Now it's not. Great news. More onshore turbines disappearing over the horizon I think. OK, so these wind farms don't make much of a contribution to our energy needs, but I can live with the odd few turbines. What's frightening in its horror is the transformation of Montgomeryshire's special landscapes into hideous turbine parks - as Assembly Minsiters have decreed.
For years I've been depressed by the blinkered idiocy of Assembly Government renewable energy policy. But some shafts of light seem to be filtering into the dark thinking that has dominated this policy area for years.