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An itinerant observer and thinker about life in general, sharing some moments of wandering and wonderment.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014


Well in yesterdays post I promised you a closer look at the two tall turbines standing behind Pen-Y-Fan pond. I am a day behind time at the moment but yesterday we drove over to the site. It is the best preserved canal feeder reservoir in Wales but now a Country Park run by Caerphilly Council, much used by dog walkers like myself and many others.
As we parked up, I could see the two recently completed turbines at the far end of the pond, they stood out against the grey and rather rain threatening skies but yes it was windy and no sign of either of them turning.
Caerphilly Council put in for planning permission in 2011. According to an article in the South Wales Argus, on 31st July 2013, it will be a "25-year scheme by renewable energy developer, Partnership for Renewables .." powering at least 2000 homes. "The turbines will generate eight gigawatt hours of green electricity a year." Considering recently published figures that the U.K currently only provides 53% of our own electricity, it seems to me that the more wind turbines that can be usefully utilised on our own land, the better.
Now ... I know that viewpoint does not go down well with those that want to see an "unspoilt landscape" marred by these tri sailed leviathans of modern technology but given our massive dependence on electricity for our day to day living, something has to give way and appreciate the fact that as a small  collection of islands, we need to be more self sufficient by providing our own power sources. Now I know that is not a popular viewpoint but ... we are a country with electric pylons marching in long lines across it's landscape with almost regimental precision and seem to me to be far more unsightly.
Maybe  it's due to my aeronautical engineering background but I would rather see a gracefully designed turbine stood either individually or in small groups than the pylons.
Even seen from a distance, two wind turbines  seem far less intrusive in the landscape.
and then, from a closer viewpoint, the two turbines stood alone and the high pylon wires
that stretch for miles and miles, ribboning across vast acres of our island landscape.
Why waste the energy provided by free wind, something very current in our recent weather patterns causing all sorts of problems and yet we could be farming it to our advantage. Alongside hydro electric power we could be providing more than the 53% of our own electricity that we currently create and not be held to ransome by other countries outside of the U.K even if they are part of the European Union. We are still indebted to others and their need to make a profit for their own survival in what is let's face it an increasingly fragmenting union as each country within that amalgamation of countries, seeks only it's own survival. There are tough times ahead and need sensible solutions.
By creating our own energy sources, we are investing in survival for our future and if that means what some may see as disfigured views then it is something we have to get used to.
Meanwhile there are still "turbine less scenes" that can still catch our eye, like this swan ...
slowly remaining seemingly stationary on the turbulent windswept water of the pond but ... what can you see on the horizon? The two turbines or the years old electric pylon! 
One of our local farmers, officially has had recorded, one of the windiest fields in Wales.
Not only could he economically supply all that his small farm needs but create electricity for our local community and yet the opposition to his application for a turbine has been vociferously fought against by some local residents, why?  Come the need for electricity in our cold, harsh winters, well one day they might be grateful for a local turbine. I often wonder if there was such an outcry against windmills burgeoning over our countryside landscape providing so many with flour for their daily bread. Now they are 
rare working windmills relying on donations from others to keep them restored and in the case of Wicken Mill it relies on donations to keep it going as a working, flour producing museum piece, Maybe one day in the future, someone will preserve some electric pylons and even (almost unimaginably now) there will be nostalgic groups preserving wind turbines. Technology will as throughout history advance  and then slowly decay into a "lest we forget" history. So maybe ... one day ... both of these will be museum pieces ...
meanwhile, that which is biodegradable will be long turned back into the living soil ...
the remains of a beech pleached boundary hedge that will eventually return to the soil never to be seen again unless this photograph survives in hundreds of years to come.
Where as maybe in the future there will be an electric pylon and a wind turbine in some museum, possibly lovingly restored as a part of our cultural heritage and history, who knows. Perhaps future archaeologists will unearth and preserve the tall metal objects ...
who knows what the future will preserve as a part of human history?

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