Wind Power - Pembrokeshire's Potential
Pembrokeshire could play a vital role in enabling the UK Government to achieve its target of generating 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. The county is one of the best suited for converting wind power to clean energy, according to Lorraine Dallmeier, Senior Project Manager of the wind energy company Infinergy.
She was addressing the monthly meeting of Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group on Thursday 18th June in the Regency Hall, Saundersfoot, describing Infinergy's experience of erecting wind turbines at their Castle Pill site near Milford Haven.
Gaining planning permission is a complex and costly process, beginning with the challenge of finding a suitable location where a turbine will not interfere with radar, telecommunications or pipelines. Aspects of geology, archaeology and biodiversity also need to be considered and in the Coastal National Park minimising the visual impact is critical. Environmental impact studies are necessary to avoid such problems as placing turbines on bird migration paths or near to bat habitats.
Despite the costs and challenges involved this is a vital undertaking – unless significant reductions occur in fossil fuel use, carbon dioxide emissions will continue to increase and continued global warming will be inevitable.
Answering questions from the Group, Lorraine discussed the difficulties of sourcing turbines, as the global interest in wind power increases. An unintended consequence of the credit crunch is that demand has eased.
The Chair thanked Lorraine for her excellent presentation which clearly demonstrated her high level of expertise in this area. Promising a return visit at a future date, Lorraine also offered to welcome a visit of the Group to Infinergy's operational site at Castle Pill.
The meeting continued with the confirmation that Saundersfoot Community Council had once again provided most generous financial support for the Group for the current year. The grant was particularly helpful because it helps the group to meet its essential running costs. All members present wished to express their sincere thanks.
The meeting was also informed that the Group had been most fortunate to secure a grant from the eaga Community Fund, managed by The Community Foundation in Wales. The grant has enabled the Group to purchase items of capital equipment that will allow members to present graphic illustrations of the consequences of global warming and climate change and show how individual actions even at a local level can help combat these.
Members expressed their delight at eaga's generosity and wished to record their grateful thanks.
Inspired by Lorraine's earlier presentation on wind farm development other items discussed included a suggestion that all members should check if they could identify any suitable sites for any form of alternative energy generation. It was stressed that any member of the public owning land in the South East Pembrokeshire area and interested in the possibility of their site being suitable for the erection of a wind turbine should contact the Secretary of the Group on 01834 813839.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Group – its first AGM - will be held on Thursday 16th July 2009 at 7.00pm in the Regency Hall Saundersfoot.
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