The war over Rampion has begun…

Well, the public consultation for the Rampion Offshore Wind Project has only just started and already the anti-wind farm brigade are in full cry with a barrage of letters to the local newspapers, full of misinformation and myths about wind power in general and wind farms in particular. A letter in the Eastbourne Herald of February 17 begins with the title ‘Wind farms are not efficient’, whilst a letter in the Sussex Express for February 17 mentions E.ON’s figure for the installed capacity of Rampion (700MW) and makes the amazing assumption that this figure of 700MW is the total output per year of the entire wind farm! He fails to mention that E.ON’s own figure for the total output per year is in fact 2,100GW, which is a whole lot bigger than 700MW! Both letters also go on about subsidies for wind power as some kind of proof that wind farms are not economically viable and that wind power is inherently inefficient anyway, without giving any evidence for this, and without putting the subsidies in the wider context of subsidies for all existing forms of conventional power generation. So I am already in the process of drawing up rebuttals to these letters which I hope the local papers will print next week. I suspect that this is just the start of a long haul and that a campaign to put accurate information into the public domain locally will have to be sustained if there is to be any chance of an accurate, balanced debate about the merits or otherwise of the proposed wind farm. It seems to me that one of the early tasks for Eastbourne FoE will be to create a ‘rapid rebuttal unit’ for dealing with this propaganda onslaught by the anti-wind farm lobby and that creating press releases for the local media may be a big part of the group’s workload.

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2 thoughts on “The war over Rampion has begun…

  1. But many people in different regions (Wales, Castilla la Mancha, Aragon spring to mind) have seen their environment scarred by turbines. They are nervous about it happening in the Channel. I look forward to seeing the Rampion roadshow, and if need be shall not hesitate to oppose it on grounds of inefficiency and visual pollution. Helen Gibbons, Lewes.

    • Thanks, Helen, for your comment. I am heartened to note that you are willing to see the Rampion roadshow first before making up your mind on the issue. I too look forward to seeing the Rampion roadshow, and will ask E.ON officials there some hard questions if need be. I hope we can all agree that each and every specific wind farm planning application needs to be assessed on its merits whichever side of the debate we may be on as far as issues such as the general efficiency of wind farms is concerned. My big hope is that the debate also includes the wider context of the risks we all face from global warming and the environmental risks, pollution, and costs of conventional forms of power generation such as coal, gas, and nuclear.

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