As a local member pointed out to me recently, EDF Energy and Eneco want to erect one hundred and ninety four turbines, each up to 650 feet high, in the sea near Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight.
Needless to say there is massive opposition to the Navitus Bay ‘windfarm’.
This offshore wind farm is to be larger than any operating and would industrialise the seascape close to a world heritage site, two areas of outstanding natural beauty and a national park. Currently the Planning Inspectorate has sent its recommendations to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Government’s decision will be announced on or before 11 September 2015.
Cameron said on a recent visit to the region: “It’s a particularly beautiful part of the country. It’s special and it’s part of our heritage.” The Conservatives also pledged to “conserve and enhance our natural environment” in their manifesto. The Government has decided that onshore wind farms must have the support of local communities; Navitus Bay should be treated in the same way.
Developers say it could contribute more than £1,600,000,000 to the economy in its 25-year lifetime. The local council says that that around 2,000 jobs could be at risk and Bournemouth’s economy could suffer a devastating £100,000,000 a year blow if the Navitus Bay windfarm gets the go-ahead – that is £2,500,000,000 over the same period.
If my maths is correct that represents a loss to the locals in Dorset £900,000,000.
But there is a chance of reprieve for the people of Bournemouth – with Osbourne cutting back on subsidies in order to save money and provide better value, there’s a good chance this project won’t get sanction.
With the forthcoming closure of the remaining coal fired power stations and nuclear plants we will be facing a shortage of generating capacity in coming winters thanks to over-reliance on renewables.
North America has had two successive extremely severe winters, what are our chances?