Letter dated 30 Nov. 09
Printed in the Gazette as the main letter under the headline 'Climate Change: The answer is renewables' and in the Standard with a colour picture of the Earls Hall windfarm and the title 'Windfarm is good news'.
Exciting news of first Essex windfarm approved at Earls Hall farm
It is exciting news that the very first Essex onshore windfarm at Earls Hall farm, Clacton, has just been approved after a public inquiry. We strongly supported this proposed windfarm of five turbines, which would provide the equivalent electricity needs of the whole of Brightlingsea and St Osyth - or far more homes when they are energy-efficient!
We had walked around the site and surrounding roads on many visits. We visited Deeping St Nicholas in Lincolnshire to see a similar windfarm of eight turbines. We stood underneath them to hear the sound - it was a gentle hum.
We have just supported another windfarm of ten turbines at Hockley Farm, Bradwell, at the recent public inquiry, which would supply the electricity for the equivalent of a third of the Maldon District. Colchester council supports it. We have to cut climate change emissions by 80% by 2050 which is why we have to act now.
Catastrophic climate change and sea level rises put our Essex coastal districts at risk. We must support renewable energy sources including windpower. The Eastern region has a commitment to produce 17% of our electricity from onshore windfarms by 2020 and 44% including offshore wind by 2020. Norfolk and Cambridgeshire already have many windfarms.
But electricity is only 18% of our climate-changing energy use. Government figures (BERR 2006) show 34% of energy used is from transport and 48% from heating. The UK has a commitment of 15% of ALL energy to come from renewable energy by 2020 - the equivalent of the majority of current electricity production! The EU calculates renewables can provide a third of all energy by 2020.
Is nuclear power necessary to stop 'the lights going out'? No - it provides only 13% of electricity and 3% of all energy. Taxpayers have picked up an £83billion bill to decommission the current reactors. Now the nuclear industry is demanding funding is taken from renewables to support hugely costly new nuclear plants with high level radioactive waste stored onsite for the first time.
Paula Whitney, Co-ordinator,
Colchester & NE Essex Friends of the Earth,
4 Shears Crescent, West Mersea, Essex, CO5 8AR.