FoE election letter

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Open letter, sent to all candidates with email addresses Dear Candidate,

Isle of Man Friends of the Earth has been running a campaign to promote the benefits of renewable energy in the Isle of Man for some time.

Last year Tynwald made new policy, which promised to produce 15 per cent of the Isle of Man’s electricity from renewable sources by 2015 as part of the global effort to avert future climate chaos.

Later in 2010 a report by AEA Consulting, commissioned by Tynwald’s Energy and Climate Change Committee, made it clear that to meet this target the government needed to do three things:

l Build an on-shore wind farm – because wind is the only affordable, proven, industrial-scale renewable energy currently available. On-shore wind could deliver around 12 per cent of the island’s electricity with just five or six turbines.

l Continue developing biomass for heating government buildings (as in the new DEFA HQ), thus saving electricity.

l Deliver other energy-saving strategies, such as the MEA’s Energy Doctor programme.

In the longer term AEA recommended off-shore wind, which has the potential to generate very significant income for the Isle of Man.

In the much longer term AEA recommended tidal energy.

Unfortunately the economics of developing tidal power may continue to be unrealistic for 15 years, though investing in prototype technology is obviously something Isle of Man FoE would support. The AEA report findings have been accepted by government.

On-shore wind would be provided by a private developer at the commissioning of government. They would sell energy to the MEA, who would supply it to consumers.

Contrary to information circulating from anti-wind campaigners it is expected that the on-cost of a wind farm would be less than 1 penny per unit of electricity, but that in turn the wind farm would reduce reliance on imported fuel, and actually protect poorer customers from additional levels of fuel poverty as fossil fuel costs continue to increase during the life of the wind farm.

This calculation, of an additional less than 1 penny per unit (featured in the frequently asked questions below), has been confirmed by the Isle of Man government energy officer at DEFA, approved by the DEFA Minister, and agreed by commercial manager at the Manx Electricity Authority.

The figure has also been confirmed by potential wind farm developers.

Isle of Man Friends of the Earth has taken and great deal of time, and worked closely with government, to produce a comprehensive set of information on the Isle of Man’s new wind farm.

All of our FAQs can be found by clicking the ‘wind farm’ button on our website home page: www.foe.org.im

Questions answered with straight forward facts include:

Where will the new wind farm be?

What about prices?

Where will the energy go?

Are wind turbines efficient even though the wind doesn’t always blow? 

What happens when the wind stops blowing?

Is wave power a solution for the Isle of Man?

Are wind turbines dangerous for birds and bats?

Aren’t wind turbines reliant on subsidy?

Are wind turbines noisy?

How much does it cost to make electricity from the wind?

But there are many others too.

IAN COSTAIN,

Address supplied.

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