‘Renewables’: The Great Welsh Rip-off

My intention was to start winding down this blog, spend more time with my wife, grand-children, books, Malbec . . . but things keep cropping up. That said, it’s very unlikely I shall undertake major new investigations. Diolch yn fawr.

I hadn’t planned on writing this but, you know how it is . . . somebody puts you on to something, you start making enquiries, and before you know it you’re muttering, ‘devious bastards’, and the PC is working overtime.

This post might also be useful as a guide for anyone wanting to use the online register available at Companies House.

BACKGROUND

Let’s start with a report from WalesOnline last Wednesday. The headline quotes a local councillor comparing a planned solar farm at Bryn-y-rhyd farm, Llanedi, to the drowning of Capel Celyn. I’m partial to a bit of hyperbole myself, but I think Gareth Thomas went over the top.

Though the quality of the report itself was dire, so maybe it needed a bit of spicing up. Here’s how the third paragraph began:

'The Tryweryn Valley in Wales, which included the village of Capel Celyn, was flooded in 1965 to create a new reservoir'.

You won’t need to wonder any more where the ‘Tryweryn Valley’ was – it was in Wales!

Although this proposed project was being discussed by Carmarthenshire councillors the matter is out of their hands because, with a claimed output above 10MW it qualifies as a Development of National Significance. Which means the decision will be made by the so-called ‘Welsh Government’, using its new in-house Planning Inspectorate.

Here’s a link to the relevant Planning Inspectorate documents.

In England, projects of up to 50 MW are decided by local councils. In other words, by those elected by local people. So here we see another example of democracy being eroded in Wales.

In fact, the legislation giving power over wind farms in England to local authorities and the legislation doing the exact opposite in Wales were part of what I view as a package. With the ‘Welsh’ legislation compensating for the English.

The planned solar farm is very close to Pont Abraham Services, where the M4 becomes the A48. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

A project such as Bryn-y-rhyd would almost certainly be rejected in England, and this helps explain why Wales carries a disproportionate burden when it comes to so-called ‘renewable energy’ projects.

In an attempt to polish this turd the ‘Welsh Government’ has enthusiastically welcomed this colonialist coercion – by dressing it up as ‘Wales saving the planet’.

For in it, the creepy-crawlies of Corruption Bay saw opportunities and openings.

And so we end up with the insane situation of solar farms being located in southern Wales rather than southern England where, not only would they enjoy more sunshine, but they’d be nearer customers, thereby losing less in transmission.

The report I’ve linked to would also have us believe that the planning application for this development came from the Pegasus Group. Well, yes, and no, as I’ll explain.

Before moving on, here’s another attempt to mislead:

'The planning committee set out specific issues it wanted addressed. These included a detailed and robust decommissioning plan for the solar farm once its 40-year lifespan drew to an end'.

There’s not a hope in hell of this solar farm lasting 40 years in our climate. But whenever it pegs out, those behind it will be long gone. The firm(s) involved will either have gone bust or moved offshore.

The only way to ensure that there’s money at the end to clear up the mess is to get that money paid up front.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

When I start on a job like this, among the first things I do is go to the Land Registry website and see who owns the property. Which I did, and I was quite surprised at what I turned up.

The title document tells us there are two owners. One is Sir John Michael Dillwyn-Venables-Llewelyn. (Or Venables-Llywelyn.) The other is David Richard Mount.

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The Dillwyn-Llewelyn clan of nearby Swansea were 19th century industrialists, MPs, and even pioneer photographers.

As for David Richard Mount of Camberley, Surrey, I have no idea who he is.

Let’s return to Pegasus, mentioned in the WalesOnline report I linked to earlier. Those of you with the benefit of a classical education will know that Pegasus is the winged horse of Greek mythology.

Though we are looking for something more prosaic, and this is it – the Pegasus Planning Group. Their job is to knock planning applications into shape. They front for developers. We can now dismiss Pegasus.

We need to focus on Brynrhyd Solar Farm Ltd. Which is mentioned later on in the title document. Where we see that the owners have leased land to the company.

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This is a new company, formed as recently as October 2019. That said, some of the directors have a lot of experience in grant / subsidy grabbing renewables.

For example, Ian Lawrie has been a director of 60 solar companies since 2007. The total is 58 for his compatriot Colm Killeen. Yet two other directors, Anouska Morjaria and Toby Virno, didn’t get in on the solar racket until last year.

An even more recent recruit is Moritz Ilg.

So, who’s behind Brynrhyd Solar Farm Ltd?

To find out we need to go to the Companies House entry. Click on the People tab; then, just below it you’ll see a tab, Persons with significant control, which identifies Foresight Island GP Solar Portfolio Ltd.

This makes sense, because if we click the Charges tab it tells us that Foresight Island has made a loan to Brynrhyd Solar Farm.

Next, go to the Filing history tab. Click on the entry for 20 October 2021 and you’ll see that on that date all the shares in Brynrhyd Solar farm Ltd were transferred from Island Green Power Ltd to Foresight Island GP Solar Portfolio Ltd.

It might be worth noting in relation to this company that there has been one share issue after another over the past year. Which suggests the company is gearing up for future activity.

(Island Green is one of the Ian Lawrie companies. And there’s more than one company with the Island Green name.)

Coming to a valley near you – with wind turbines on the hills? All foreign owned. Every penny leaving Wales. Providing no jobs. ‘But it’s OK, cos we are savin’ the planet, innit’. Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

The next question must be, who owns Foresight Island GP Solar Portfolio Ltd. By going through the same procedure as before we turn up two names. One is Denis John O’Brien of Bermuda, the richest living Irishman. The second, and the majority shareholder, is Foresight UK Solar Development Holdco Ltd.

So . . . who owns Foresight UK Solar Development Holdco Ltd?

And the answer to that is Blackmead Infrastructure Ltd, for which you’ll see the correspondence address is c/o Foresight Group LLP, The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street, London, England, SE1 9SG.

I bet you can guess the next question!

And the answer to who owns Blackmead Infrastructure Ltd is Averon Park Ltd. Clicking on the People tab tells us nothing, so we need to go to Filing history and see who owns the shares.

There, in a confirmation statement of 21 October this year, we see that all but one of the Averon Park shares is held by Foresight Fund Managers Ltd.

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Foresight Fund Managers Ltd is in turn owned by Foresight Group Holdings (UK) Ltd.

And then, finally, when we look to see who controls Foresight Group Holdings (UK) Ltd we find the name of Bernard William Fairman. He founded – with Peter English – the Foresight Group in 1984.

Companies House suggests that Fairman is a resident of Jersey. Or maybe he just uses a PO Box there. Either way, I am fairly certain he does not live in the UK.

On top of which, he does not seem to be a director of any company registered with Companies House. And hasn’t been a director since 2010.

Here’s a wee graphic I knocked up to help you remember.

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But why would anyone need such an extended chain of companies?

WHEN DO ‘CONNECTIONS’ BECOME CORRUPTION?

Last month I wrote about Bute Energy, another arriviste outfit hoping to make a pile out of pretending to be concerned about the environment. In the case of Bute, it’s 16 new wind farms in Wales. Yes, sixteen. Here’s the piece I wrote.

Bute Energy’s 16 planned wind farms. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

There is no way that any company from outside of Wales would be that ambitious unless it had insider knowledge or it had got the nod from politicians and / or planners.

Bute has gone for the ‘belt and braces’ approach.

First, by recruiting Corruption Bay insider David Taylor. Who has served as Spad to a number of high-profile Labour politicians. Bute has given him shares and allowed him to set up his own Moblake companies through which they fund him, and from which he appears to be paying himself some £200,000 a year.

They have also taken under the Bute wing former Labour MEP Derek Vaughan CBE. (These Welsh socialists do love their English ‘honours’!) Vaughan sits as chairman on Bute’s Welsh Advisory Board.

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But it gets worse.

Labour MS Jenny Rathbone, in her Register of Interests, says that her partner, John Uden, also sits on this Board. Uden is an almost complete stranger to Wales and knows sod all about renewables. But this is a great example of what Labour Party influence can achieve in Wales.

Even though Rathbone declares this, the entry is still incorrect because Bute Energy’s projected wind farms are not confined to ‘Powys, RCT and North Wales’.

‘North Wales’! What a dismissive attitude from a woman who has done well out of our country. First, in the third sector, and more recently, the Assembly / Senedd.

And I suggest her Register of Interests also needs to be updated because I’m fairly sure that planning applications have now been submitted for one or two Bute projects.

But isn’t Labour doing well out of Bute Energy! David ‘Aneurin Glyndŵr‘ Taylor is pulling down some £200,000 a year. Derek Vaughan chairs Bute’s Welsh Advisory Board. And Labour MS Jenny Rathbone’s partner also sits on the Board!

Any other Labour snouts in the trough?

Perhaps the bigger worry is that Rathbone sits on the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. Which means that the committee on which she sits makes decisions that benefit Bute Energy, and her partner.

And herself. For Jenny Rathbone has many shareholdings in Green energy companies, and environmental outfits. Did she buy these shares? Were they gifted to her? Did she find them in her Christmas crackers?

Jenny Rathbone’s shares portfolio. Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

Rathbone may not be adjudicating on individual planning applications from Bute Energy or the companies in which she has shares, but her influence is more extensive, in that her committee directs policy from which all companies involved in the renewables business benefit.

Jenny Rathbone must be removed from the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.

This kind of thing might be acceptable in Corruption Bay, but out in the real world it smells of corruption.

As we saw in the previous section, the Foresight Group figures big in the chain behind Brynrhyd Solar Farm. And if the name sounds familiar then that’s because the Foresight Group is also buying up Welsh farms on which to plant trees, so as to profit from the carbon capture scam.

Foresight appear in this BBC Wales news report. Though if you’ve got a few hours to spare, or if ‘global warming’ has snowed you in, you can sit down and read ‘National Forest for Wales – The Woodland Investment Grant, rules booklet’.

And to get a broader picture, to realise how other countries are being affected, particularly Scotland, I recommend this piece by Laurie Macfarlane. Where the whole carbon capture / net zero racket is succinctly explained.

'In order to meet net-zero targets, two different levers can be pulled: emissions can be reduced directly or they can be "offset" with measures to remove carbon from the air at some point in the future. Unsurprisingly, many governments and businesses view the latter as the more appealing option, as it avoids the difficult task of curbing emissions, which underpins the profitability of many of the world's largest industries.'

As yet, I am not aware of the Foresight Group recruiting Labour ‘fixers’ to smooth the path for their developments. But if they haven’t done so yet, then I’m sure they will.

I say that because Foresight has big plans for carbon capture tree planting.

And Foresight won’t just be operating under its own banner. There’s also Blackmead Forestry Ltd. For here again, we see massive share issues in the past 18 months in readiness for fresh acquisitions and ‘investments’.

A share issue that increased from £20,000,100 in June 2020 to £79,103,712 a year later.

Foresight is buying farms for carbon capture, planning solar farms, and so it should go without saying that it’s also into wind farms. In partnership with Belltown Power Ltd of Bristol.

Already operational are Tirgwynt, near Carno, Powys; Gelliwen, near Caerffili; and Tai Hen, ’22 Km north of Anglesey’.  One in the planning stage is Waun Maenllwyd, north east of Lampeter.

There will be more. Many, many more.

But the threat is not just from the big boys.

There are countless small groups buying up parcels of Welsh farmland. One to which I was recently directed is The Carbon Community (TCC) of Windsor, Berkshire. It’s a company, and also a charity.

For £619,254 TCC bought land close to the Brecon Beacons National Park. It has been assisted in this project by Natural Resources Wales.

There are many other alien groups like The Carbon Community. Funded and in other ways helped by the ‘Welsh Government’ and its agencies to take over Welsh land.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES?

There comes a point when some followers of a political creed or philosophy are willing to do the wrong thing for what they believe to be a just cause. Often accompanied by something approaching religious fervour.

For example, murdering the Romanov children was a terrible act, but ‘justified’ as a necessary step in the progress of a Revolution that would bring universal benefits.

You can phrase it any way you like. ‘The end justifies the means’. ‘Can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’. ‘There will inevitably be collateral damage’. Etc., etc.

An important point being that, just like a Mafia hit, there was nothing personal in it. No motivating antipathy or underlying vindictiveness. In contrast to the ‘Welsh Government’s dealings with farmers.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

For some years farmers have been villainised by environmental zealots like George Monbiot as frightful people who must be removed if the rest of us are to breathe free . . . or to breathe at all!

The ‘Welsh Government’ of Jenny Rathbone, Lee Waters, Julie James, Lesley Griffiths (and Gary), sing from the Monbiot hymn sheet in their efforts to persuade us that Wales would be a better place without farmers.

This then explains farmers being robbed of EU funding, the fantasy of OPDs, Future Generations gobbledegook, and the ‘Welsh Government’ encouraging rewilding land grabs like Summit to Sea.

Another front in the war on Welsh agriculture came with Lesley Griffiths (and Gary) introducing legislation premised on the lie that farmers and only farmers are responsible for pollution in our rivers.

Nakedly anti-farmer legislation, now undermined after it emerged water companies give major corporations a free ride – while themselves pumping shit into rivers and seas. (And it’s not confined to England.)

All this has been made possible because what passes for the media in Wales is either supine or useless. Increasingly made up of semi-literate English graduates from ‘our’ universities writing about a country of which they know nothing.

As for political opposition, where is it to come from? The Conservatives will never object to the anglicising of Wales and profits for their friends in the City. The Greens support the strategy wholeheartedly. The Lib Dems are dead and buried.

That leaves Plaid Cymru . . . which last week signed up to a deal with Labour!

Despite being a party with its support concentrated among socially conservative rural voters, the tail wags the dog in that the party is controlled by urban leftists, and will support the ‘Welsh Government’ all the way in virtue signalling their way to national bankruptcy.

Let’s now consider the ‘collateral damage’ I just hinted at.

AGENDAS: STATED AND UNSTATED(?)

What we see in Wales today is being done ostensibly in the service of the environment, and the ‘Green economy’, but it takes us into very dangerous territory.

For none of the wind turbine or solar panel parts are made in Wales. The companies that own these installations are all outside of Wales. As are the companies currently buying up farmland on which to plant trees, or leasing land for solar farms.

Earlier we met Sir John Michael Dillwyn-Venables-Llewelyn, owner of Bryn-y-rhyd farm. Yes, Sir John’s ancestors grew rich on the industrial growth of Swansea – but they also created thousands of jobs for people like my ancestors.

How many jobs has the Green economy created in Wales, for Welsh people? Where are the benefits to Wales? (Apart from Labour insiders lining their pockets of course!)

Unreliable ‘renewables’ are achieving nothing . . . well, other than making rich men even richer, through burdening those already struggling with higher electricity bills.

Yes, comrade – welcome to 21st century ‘socialism’. My arse!

What credibility does ‘Wales saving the planet’ have after Glasgow? After China, Russia, India, even Australia, basically said, ‘We are not wrecking our economies so that tax-averse billionaires with private spaceships can promote their global agenda’.

Given that Wales sees no benefits, plus the fact that Wales can make no impact, paying foreign ‘investors’ to exploit our homeland and displace our people, suggests that ‘saving the planet’ is an ever-shrinking fig leaf for an older, and darker, agenda.

♦ end ♦

 




30 thoughts on “‘Renewables’: The Great Welsh Rip-off

  1. david philip rainford

    Just a heads up, if you have not heard the latest on grandmas attic, it has changed name and has moved back to the old shop, do you think planning might go in again for flats.

  2. Dafis

    I see that a turd called Dyfrig has emerged from the carnage at YC, or has he been around for a while? Either way it doesn’t matter. He’s obviously from the School of Inclusivity, you know the one that counts you in as long as you concur completely without deviation with the latest load of orthodox nonsense trotted out by the Chosen Few who monopolise the wisdom of the movement. Happily for our Jac Dyfrig’s esteemed wisdom regards Jac and others of diverse and dissenting non conformance as fascist, yet the most fascist totalitarian behaviour we have seen in decades is found nesting in that segment of YC which Obergruppenfuhrer Dyfrig and his kind inhabit. I guess the irony will escape him as he’s too busy writing another set of rules for some poor bugger to read through.

    1. These people are in a world of their own. You could see that when he referred to those who took over Yes Cymru as promoting ‘mild left-liberalism’. Consequently, anyone opposing them is ‘far right’.

      Dyfrig Jones

      1. Dafis

        You can tell he’s part of a pretty far out freak show as most commenters on NationCymru are telling him to wind his neck in, and most of them are varying degrees of left leaning. Still, the guy probably rejoices in labelling himself as some sort of ultra left purist.

        1. It’s noticeable that ‘centrist’ has become a term of abuse for the far left. The Mad Axeman is forever banging on about the hated ‘centrists’.

          1. Dafis

            That Mad Axeman will someday meet another head case wielding a real weapon and it will be all over for him.

        2. David+Robins

          Interesting tweet yesterday from George Moanbiot, a reminder that “the right looks for converts, the left looks for traitors.” One reply adds: “The exhausting search for purity suggests it’s more about defining their own identity than changing the world.”

          I second that. All student politics thinks pragmatism is for people with no principles. Wrong. Principles can be protected while still advancing priorities, if you’ll have the patience to not pre-condition everything.

          Cancelling the diversity and inclusion pantomime won’t mean backing extermination camps; it will show YC have learnt the lesson that foregrounding side ishoos allows the stated goal to be captured and overwritten. YC is not a political party and has no business being left or right, however mild.

  3. Jac,
    You rely on Companies House and Land Registry data and often compare and contrast what you discover with the “official” or mainstream report, usually Wales Online, to expose its major deficiencies and the hideous compromises made in researching and reporting it.
    You are to be commended on sharing your working methods and in highlighting the parlous state of mainstream media in Wales, possibly as much-needed encouragement to others to do likewise or even as an introductory guide to a possible successor.
    A local democracy reporter persistently points out the lack of democracy but such work is intensely expensive and usually avoided like a virus by the already disabled industry partly because of the massive cost implications if mistakes are made but also because challenging and confrontational inquiry can prompt defensive and aggressive responses, especially on doorsteps when you physically put allegations to someone (which, of course, is crucial but all too rarely done or seen). Mainstream media facing crippling business pressures so consequently having lost all their limbs to reach out to grip and grapple bad actors and politicians and defend themselves if they bite back have now simply given up even trying to challenge and confront. This is most noticeable here in Wales as most things are because everything here is a microcosm but also because it is a one-party state, always has been and, I fear, always will be so media is financially dependent on that party and its decaying deceiving stasis, hence the absence of democracy.
    The single most frightening thing about the BBC-backed “local democracy reporter” scheme – yet another deceitful political public sector stunt to address a “democratic deficit” by sending sweet young lambs with no resources or armoury into slaughter houses as all the old horny rams are dead or retired with all the money to fund the sharpening of their horns gone with them – is that we are actually paying for the work that they produce through the licence fee.
    https://newsassociates.co.uk/local-democracy-reporters/
    Land Registry data, freedom of information requests and legal work costs money, hours spent researching and contacting people also costs time and money to say nothing of the unrewarding risk of giving offence to the rich and powerful when you could be sucking up or promoting them to line your own pocket. Challenging, confrontational journalism is not a public service – it’s a private extravagance. We can only afford it by abolishing the BBC and removing the licence fee immediately to lose all the leeches and lazy time-servers.

    1. Wynne

      Well said garrywgibbs.

      I can see why you are “mad as hell and not going to take it any more”. !

  4. Brychan

    Around 23% of an energy bill to an end user as gross sale price, that is before VAT, is a ‘green levy tax’. This is the subsidy that goes to wind farms, solar farms and any domestic feed-in tariff. It is a non-itemised amount on a customer’s bill and is collected by Ofgem.

    This fund then pays the subsidy to “renewable” energy generators.

    A number of smaller energy supply companies have ceased trading. The reason publicised is that this has been due to a more expensive wholesale price. Ofgem have handed the customers of these insolvent smaller energy supply companies over to the ‘big six’ who are backed up by also being energy generators. This does not reduce the wholesale price of gas and electricity, it just means the big players have a cash flow large enough to absorb the increased cost and recover the difference at a later date by increasing tariffs.

    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/cy/publications/ofgem-orders-five-suppliers-pay-ps575000-feed-tariff-scheme

    It is not the generators that are winding up the small suppliers over unpaid contracts. That doesn’t change the wholesale price. An option they could have in a normal free market would be to extend the credit terms to the smaller suppliers, a shortfall which they could also eventually cover with increased tariffs. It is Ofgem itself who are liquidating the smaller suppliers. This is because there is no cash flow flexibility in green subsidies. The 23%.

    It is Ofgem that are acting as tax collector for wind and solar farms.

    An alternative to this invisible and unaccountable tax on bills is to itemised the ‘green levy’ on customers bills. This does happen in some other countries in Europe. This is where the government acts as the banker. It also allows for escrow agreements on removal of wind turbines after the end of their generating life, as in Sweden. The government just withholds the subsidy until conditions are met. Other countries like Germany and Netherlands exempt consumers from the levy if they are part of a district heating scheme, donating the benefits to local communities.

    1. Most other European countries seem to prioritise the customer, and not just in regulating producers. I recall ‘Mel Jos’ on Twitter a few weeks ago gloating over how low his electricity bill is. And he lives in Finland, a wealthy and innovative country.

    2. Jonathan F Dean

      Many of the smaller companies have gone bust as they set out to buy market share by selling below cost price. This is fine if they had a big pool of cash, or had hedged well into the future, or the buying price had stayed relatively flat. However the buying price rapidly increased while their selling price stayed the same and they burnt through cash far, far quicker than they planned. Result being they ran out of cash reserves before they could get big enough to weather the storm. The failure is that of Ofgem, by not insisting on sufficient cash reserves or hedging policies when they enter the market

  5. Ellie Wales

    Wind farms are far from ‘green’ and it’s a deceit to say that turbines are environmentally friendly.
    This article is from another forum, and I have no reason to disbelieve the facts..
    If this information is correct why can’t it be spread more widely?

    ————————————————————————————-

    ‘ Right now the average wind farm is about 150 turbines. Each wind turbine needs 80 gallons of oil as lubricant and we’re not talking about vegetable oil, this is a PAO synthetic oil based on crude… 12,000 gallons of it. That oil needs to be replaced once a year.
    It is estimated that a little over 3,800 turbines would be needed to power a city the size of New York… That’s 304,000 gallons of refined oil for just one city.
    Now you have to calculate every city across the nation, large and small, to find the grand total of yearly oil consumption from “clean” energy.
    Where do you think all that oil is going to come from, the oil fairies?
    Not to mention the fact that the large equipment needed to build these wind farms run on petroleum. As well as the equipment required for installation, service, maintenance, and eventual removal.

    And just exactly how eco-friendly is wind energy anyway?
    Each turbine requires a footprint of 1.5 acres, so a wind farm of 150 turbines needs 225 acres; In order to power a city the size of NYC you’d need 57,000 acres; and who knows the astronomical amount of land you would need to power the entire US. All of which would have to be clear-cut land because trees create a barrier & turbulence that interferes with the 20mph sustained wind velocity necessary for the turbine to work properly (also keep in mind that not all states are suitable for such sustained winds). Boy, cutting down all those trees is gonna piss off a lot of green-loving tree-huggers.

    Let’s talk about disposal now.
    The lifespan of a modern, top quality, highly efficient wind turbine is 20 years.
    After that, then what? What happens to those gigantic fiber composite blades?
    They cannot economically be reused, refurbished, reduced, repurposed, or recycled so guess what..? It’s off to special landfills they go.
    And guess what else..? They’re already running out of these special landfill spaces for the blades that have already exceeded their usefulness. Seriously! Those blades are anywhere from 120 ft. to over 200 ft. long and there are 3 per turbine. And that’s with only 7% of the nation currently being supplied with wind energy. Just imagine if we had the other 93% of the nation on the wind grid… 20 years from now you’d have all those unusable blades with no place to put them… Then 20 years after that, and 20 years after that, and so on.
    How green is that?

    And what about the 500,000 birds that are killed each year from wind turbine blade collisions; most of which are endangered hawks, falcons, owls, geese, ducks, and eagles.
    Apparently smaller birds are more agile and able to dart and dodge out of the way of the spinning blades, whereas the larger soaring birds aren’t so lucky.
    I’m sure the wildlife conservationist folks are just ecstatic about that.
    I’m so glad the wind energy people are looking out for the world.’

    and as a follow up response by another on the forum. . .

    ‘He forgot to mention the wind turbines at sea have diesel motors in them to keep the blades turning in the event of no wind in order to prevent them seizing up.

    One of my old diving boats has quit taking out divers and now gets £650 a day as a diesel tender filling up turbine engines.’

    —————————————————————————————–

    If true, there will always be a demand for oil.
    Can’t someone ask one of these MS ‘experts’ to confirm or deny these facts?

    1. Dafis

      I suppose I never knew the precise figures quoted there but was always aware that absolute stacks of old fashioned dirty energy – power, lubricants and fuels – has to be used to fabricate, maintain and dispose of wind turbines and that’s before we factor the landfill issues surrounding redundant blades which in their present composition are bloody useless once decommissioned. It’s increasingly clear that this is greenwash, greenwash, greenwash all round as politicians, opportunistic business leaders and blinkered adherents to the green gospel engage in their massive mutual backscratch at our expense.

      Hasn’t anyone ever thought up a balanced response to this crisis ? I accept that there are climate and environmental related issues out there that need tackling but these nutters and psychopaths are going flat out for single channel solutions. Were they all raised on convenience foods and become wedded to the superficially easy solution because they are intellectually too fuckin’ lazy to figure out a really useful way forward ?

    2. Jonathan F Dean

      That article is loaded with flaws.

      PAOs are poly aliphatic olefins. Fully synthetic oils manufactured in chemical plants from ethylene. They are not based on crude at all. Currently we do produce ethylene from hydrocarbons, but only because those are cheap. Brazil produces ethylene from sugar cane (via ethanol) and via captured CO2 and green hydrogen is possible. I comes as no surprise to me that a turbine needs lubricating oil, but that doesn’t imply we need crude oil forever.

      The “large equipment” to build and install can all be redesigned to avoid hydrocarbons. Sweden and Spain are building plants to make steel using electric furnaces and hydrogen reduction. Ships will be powered by green methanol or ammonia (easiest form of liquid hydrogen). JCB are designing their diggers to run on hydrogen

      However, using crude oil forever isn’t a problem, as long as if we burn it we also capture and store the carbon … something we can do in power stations but can’t do in cars or domestic boilers. Being green, or net zero, does not mean the end of the oil industry. It means the end of unabated combustion

      Land take really isn’t an issue for offshore wind farms. The whole of Wales could achieve net zero using only the power available in the Irish Sea. And that’s not even the big source. The Celtic Sea between Pembroke, Cornwall and Ireland has far more potential. National Grid estimate that come 2050 about 20% of U.K. energy (but 5% of demand) will come from the Welsh sea. This is just one reason the Crown Estate should be devolved, like Scotland. It’s also the reason why there is no need whatsoever for any land based turbines in Wales. North Wales and Merseyside (the electrical region) is often running on 80% renewables currently. It’s decarbonising the south that will take more effort

      Blade disposal … the small turbines on Anglesey are between 24-27 years old. Fairly sure they are still on the original blades. When they are scrapped, if we haven’t found a way to recycle them, we grind them up and fuel power stations with them (capturing the carbon, obs). The USA is still land filling food waste and garden waste, so really not a good place to look for waste management innovation!

      Bird and bat kill? No idea, but doubt there are many hawks, falcons and eagles in the Irish Sea.

      1. Dafis

        The composite material used in those turbine blades is hard, very hard and any grinding process to dispose of them would require a significant power input. Yet another drain on the renewables’ outputs. Turning the post combustion ash into a useful second life product is not so difficult as it can be blended into materials like concrete, road surfaces etc. There again that was always an option with coal fired power stations where sulphur compounds travelling up the chimney could be filtered into layers of calcium carbonate yielding gypsum for use in building products. Other compounds had been trialed for blending with phenolic resins which were moulded/ extruded into a wood substitute with high resilience and low/zero flammability. Lot of old pollutants were on the verge of getting harnessed but the big decision makers saw the attraction of the tidal wave of green wash and got diverted into the easy money.

  6. Non Davies

    It is clear that the aim is to remove the ‘constraints’ to large scale developments. Constraints that have been applied previously such as homes are now viewed as an inconvenience. The use of compulsory purchase powers (alluded to below in the Draft NDF Consultation document WG40429 September 2020) are a real possibility as acknowledged in the Draft National Development Framework Consultation document WG 40429 (Medi 2020). In assuming that everyone shared their value base they are conflating cost / price with value which are very different concepts:

    P.111

    4.6.35 The Welsh Government recognises the contribution that smaller and community scale developments will have to our future energy system, however it is not envisaged that they will produce enough renewable energy to meet our needs. We therefore need to plan proactively for larger scale developments which will make a larger contribution to our targets.
    4.6.36 The Arup report was commissioned by the Welsh Government in 2018 and used a commonly-used methodology for mapping constraints to identify the most suitable areas for large scale wind and solar. These constraints were discussed and agreed with stakeholders through four workshops, which occurred in the autumn of 2018, before modelling of the areas commenced. Representations have queried the additional use of residential properties as an additional constraint along with road, railway and river corridors. Arup have undertaken additional modelling which demonstrates that this would rule out much of Wales and is therefore it is unfeasible to do this. This is particularly so where residential properties could be purchased or form part of an ownership agreement to make a scheme acceptable to nearby residential properties, therefore requiring a smaller or no buffer to be used.

      1. Non

        Diolch, particularly when we know the skill set and experiences of a member of Bute Wales Advisory Board. Surely if the constraints identified (homes as well as road, river and rail corridors) in 2018 by Arup – and agreed during 4 stakeholder meetings – ruled out most of Wales, what is now different? and what mandate allows WG to diverge from this? Losing homes for the greater good? whose greater good?

      2. Jonathan F Dean

        If you track back to 2017 on how we ended up in this situation, you will find a workshop on setting renewable generation targets. The workshop concluded that Wales should only set targets based on things it can totally control. So that rules out anything at sea, any generator above 350 MW, all but the tiniest nuclear stations .., so tiny they don’t actually exist, and leaves just land based wind and solar

        The workshop was called by the WG, and the participants included the onshore wind and solar industry

        Do I need to say more?

        This is why there are now multiple onshore wind projects springing up everywhere, and 3,000 acres of Anglesey alone being considered for solar parks. All because someone in Cardiff refuses to email Westminster and ask “can we have our sea back please”

  7. Dafis

    Those of us who are wide awake ( as distinct from woke!) are well aware of the huge and mostly negative impact that the commercial arms of the green gospel are having on our country. What Jac does so thoroughly is to drill down and identify the assorted individuals and their diverse corporate interests who are exploiting the naivety ( or duplicity ?) of our government in the Bay. We are getting a hefty dose of colonisation, the new wave of greedy grasping bastards who are in it for the money, money, money. Communities should be owning and running these energy parks in their own areas so that surpluses could be distributed as dividend income and reinvested into other projects that would add to the quality of local services and life in general. Instead we have a situation where the vast majority of loot flies out of these communities, flies out of Wales and we are enriched only by the mess they leave behind.

    This will carry on unrestrained unless government sees the light and puts a stop to it. Or must we revisit the direct response techniques of Owain Williams, Emyr Llew, John Albert, John Jenkins, and the unknown and unquantified Meibion members to prevent many more families from losing livelihoods and homes?

    1. ‘Renewables’ is a racket, and the usual suspects are benefitting. The priority, the thing that makes it all worth while, is planning permission.

      A small-time chiseller can start a company, talk a few landowners into agreeing to take wind turbines then, after an outlay of a few thousand pounds, and once the aforementioned chiseller has obtained planning permission, he can sell the company he set up on his laptop, in his spare bedroom, for millions.

      I’ve come across a number of such cases.

      But now the big players are moving in themselves. They don’t need anyone to do the groundwork when they have Labour insiders on the payroll. And this, for me, is the most worrying aspect of it all. It’s naked corruption.

      1. Jonathan F Dean

        The Porth Wen solar park on Anglesey, approved but not yet built, was recently sold to one of the big energy suppliers. The “developer” lived in Kent. The company registered in Jersey!

        With the WG insisting on only used land based technology, and the Localism Act effectively closing down the English market, Wales is the new playground for get rich quick developers

        We need renewables, we just don’t need the spivs!

  8. Mel+Morgan

    Private spaceships …. one can only wish these intrepid cosmonauts a safe and happy onward journey on their next expedition.

  9. I’ve just been reading the article on BBC Online about “GREEN JOBS”.

    “More work needed to create green jobs, report says

    Efforts to create “green jobs” need to intensify if the government is to meet its target, a report says”.
    Observers and commentators need to visit my part of rural north Swansea – have a look at a simple road atlas – it’s the land north of the M4 section at Junction 46 that skirts our city. It is an area of hill farms producing quality lamb and beef. Once an intensive deep coal mining area but that all finished fifty years ago. The former mining villages are still very Welsh speaking but that’s slowly changing as urban wealthier newcomers are pricing locals out of the housing market – same everywhere.

    So why write to your BLOG Jack?

    The issue over past five years or so has been the “green industry”. Many farms are being plastered with Solar Panels over large areas of acres. Nearly all the Panels were imported from places like China and erected by mobile teams mostly from Spain. Nobody local got a green job here although some farmers did very well – but that wealth came from green subsidies we the public pay for on our energy bills – creating fuel poverty. The farmers do not own these panels – they just lease their fields. Another issue is that the output of these Solar Panels are always boasted as CAPACITY i.e. MAXIMUM in the most favourable cloudless mid noon mid summer whereas their actual annual output is on average only 10% of capacity. Yet the Green Industry together with the media always quote the CAPACCITY and never the reality which is just 10% effective.

    Then we have a large Wind Turbine complex on Mynydd y Gwair Common which land is owned by the Somerset Trust i.e. the family of the Duke of Beaufort of Badminton Gloucester. He is one of the wealthiest of non Royal Dukes – a descendant of a Marcher Lord – he is still the feudal Lord of Gower here. These Turbines were imported from Germany by a German developer and wired up by a French company and constructed by an Irish mobile gang of workers with the Germans doing the technical work. The Duke gets the lion’s share together with the Germans. The local farmers effectively get “bangles and beads” for the disturbance imposed on their grazing stock and a peat bog was destroyed for good measure.

    Indeed I am the person who asked Freedom of Information Questions that exposed that across Wales Millions of Trees in Peat bog areas have been destroyed for building of Wind Turbines e.g. at Pen y Cymoedd and Brechfa etc., and the BBC and Press and Media at first would not believe it and then when they knew the facts they have refused to use it.

    Lastly to finish this rant – whenever the media (including BBC) show pictures of “massive chimneys emitting smoke” – those pictures are generally giant industrial COOLING TOWERS emitting steam.

    So where are these green jobs locally here? We do see a white van with two strangers in it every few weeks popping by to perform a little maintenance. I know my village well (apart from the new yuppies) and I do not know anyone here who has had a green job despite masses of solar panels and giant wind turbines all about us in north Swansea.

    I am not a climate change denier – a slur used by the greens to expose their critics as being equal to the awful holocaust deniers! I am a realist who sees at first hand the hype in this industry and its unreliability caused by the erratics of wind and sunlight by our weather. We certainly need to cut carbon footprints by all means – nobody talks about limiting concrete. If the global concrete industry was a fictitious nation it would rank third in the world after the USA & China as the biggest carbon emissions culprit in the whole world. Solar Panels do barely anything on northern latitude Welsh farms in comparison to climate change.

    By the way Jac – you aimed a little criticism at Carmarthen County Councillor Gareth Thomas for equating this situation to the drowning of Tryweryn. He is correct. I’ve been saying this all along.

    So I phoned him politely to offer advice from our years fighting these land grabs. He was too busy to talk and he never phoned back. So is he again is just a Nimby who cannot see the whole picture. Maybe his Party Plaid Cymru has ordered him to drop opposition to the Solar take over in his backyard, as Plaid is all for Re-Wilding Wales (to force Welsh speaking hill farmers to give up Lamb and Beef production) and Carbon Offsetting and Solar Panels and Wind Turbines all over the relic of our small nation. They say Wales needs to be a world leader to halt Climate Change to offset China & USA & India & Russia & Australia and all others that emit carbon. As if !

    1. Mel+Morgan

      Spot on – an Aeolian Tryweryn. How many families has this menace displaced, and how many livelihoods erased? We could do with some numbers to crunch.

      1. M&M, Many menaces are displacing Welsh speakers from our hills and Cymdeithas Yr Iaith and Plaid Cymru are ignoring this perpetual leaching of our traditional land and language in many ways. Mostly so far, it’s by the cheque book second home brigade, and to a lesser extent, but rapidly growing out of all proportion, the Renewable Energy businesses who take up land for Wind Turbines and Solar Panels in exchange for giving locals a few groats! The second bigger cheque growing book brigade are those in the UK city financial sector buying land for carbon offsetting – yes whole farms – outbidding the locals – who in the main are Welsh speakers. Tryweryn saw the displacement of 67 villagers and twelve farms flooded. Today we can start counting a far higher displacement. Maybe you M&M, can ask your five own local Senedd members to collate an annual count of those being squeezed out and then you can crunch the numbers that will put Tryweryn in the shade. In Tryweryn’s day Plaid Cymru and Welsh Language Campaigners and other Shadowy Groups cared. Today the people who call themselves Plaid Cymru are encouraging it and the Language Campaigners are falling all over themselves to work in the Third Sector or Cardiff Bay, and those in Shadowy Groups have settled down on their rocking chairs and never been replaced. Whilst “Yes Cymru!” recently destroyed itself under an internal phobic welter of weird gender issues of which such a phobia does not exist in the general fair minded public of Wales. Yes M&M there is growing displacement in this new Welsh Highland Clearance.

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