Another good letter from Wales this week again.
Problems from both rain and wind
Two letters in the Western Mail on March 6 caught my eye.
Firstly, the excellent missive from Dave Haskell regarding the removal of trees in upland areas of Wales contributing to flash-flooding downstream (“Foolish remarks on the cause of flooding”). If anything, he has understated the problem with “thousands and thousands of trees”.
Freedom of Information data obtained by Mr Ioan Richard of Swansea, from Natural Resources Wales, has discovered that to make room for the concrete and road network of giant wind farms no fewer than 330,000 healthy trees were removed from Brechfa Forest, Carmarthenshire, and another 737,600 from Pen-y-Cymoedd at the Heads of the Valleys.
There were also 320,000 trees removed from the Clocaenog Forest in Denbighshire for a TAN 8 wind farm. That totals 1,387,600 trees removed in our Welsh uplands to make room for the concrete and roads of wind farms, which must have contributed substantially to flash-floods. So Mr Haskell is not exaggerating.
Secondly, Nigel Baker (“Here’s to wind power!”) claims “wind power is a safe and clean way to generate energy which means the UK can decarbonise faster than previously thought”. Really?
A quick check on the National Grid website, gridwatch.templar.co.uk, at 1.34pm on March 6 proves that, while the UK was using 40.79 gigawatts, the fickle wind was only contributing a measly 2.06 GW from both offshore and onshore.
If we decarbonise the UK, we’ll need at least 160GW, possibly far more. If Nigel Baker thinks that the trivial yo-yo wind can power a nation of 67 million souls, he is living in cloud cuckoo land.