ONE of the most important issues now facing the people of the Isle of Man is the proposal to build hundreds of windmills in the Irish Sea between Douglas and Liverpool/Heysham, effectively cutting off our main lifeline to the UK.
The turbines will be in an area subject to gale force 6 winds for around one third of the year and simply will not be usable during those periods. The cost of producing offshore electricity has to be subsidised to the tune of 200 per cent.
China is putting 1 million cars every two weeks on its streets. The whole idea is totally mad and effectively sets out to destroy the island.
The huge diversions for the ferries caused by the scheme could add 40 per cent to 50 per cent to our costs of travel across, ie £100 plus per car trip. It could be worse than that, we could be trapped in the UK for several days in bad weather, having to find hotel accommodation in many cases.
Travel insurers won’t want to know Isle of Man residents.
We could miss Christmas with our families – we won’t be able to rely on catching flights from UK airports.
Life saving medical appointments could be missed, heating oil would go up in price, probably around +10 per cent, fuel for cars would increase in price, probably around +10 per cent, food prices would rise beyond the pail, around +10 per cent.
The TT and many other sporting events would no longer be viable.
The windmill area involved amounts to some 497sq kilometres or some 22 per cent of the Irish Sea zone (407/2200) as per Centrico’s public consultation document.
The array will be in the area to the east of the island covering around 45 per cent to 50 per cent of the sea towards Liverpool and Heysham.
If all these things came to pass then the island would very quickly become a thing of the past, far too expensive a place to live or work. (Some might argue that certain people across might be pleased if the island’s economy were to collapse).
The Steam Packet Company could be bankrupted, it would certainly have to increase freight and car passenger prices hugely. Lots of sailings will have to be cancelled, thousands of jobs will be lost.
The waters to the east are some of the most dangerous in the world.
There are no doubt many in the UK who may well relish the thought of the demise of the island.
Where are our MHKs in this? They should be the ones leading the fight for survival. Many islanders haven’t as yet recognised the threat.
Consultations with the UK need to start yesterday. We need to be prepared to fight to the bitter end. The Manx people need to be represented as objector in the planning process.
If a foreign power tried to do this the troops would be mobilised to protect our shores.
The UK needs taking to Strasburg and through the European Court of human rights.
I call on the MHKs to set up an independent public inquiry at the very least.
Islanders need to wake up to the threat and get on to their local MHKs telling them to oppose this madness.
The green arguments simply do not wash, the UK is building loads of nuclear power stations and simply doesn’t need these turbines other than to aim a death blow at our island or to look a little greener. Wind turbines are hopelessly uneconomic.
The proposals could prove to be very dangerous to our ferries and those from Ireland passenger liners and cruise ships.
If, God forbid, the Ben with several hundred people on board got into difficulties due to unexpected storms, high winds or turbulence, would helicopter rescues have to be abandoned because of air turbulence or the risk of contact with rotating blades from the 500 or so wind turbines on route.
The River Dance ferry stranded on the beach at Bispham [in 2008] bares out the fact that the Irish Sea can be a dangerous place. How many turbines could it have hit on the way to the Lancashire coast?
If, for example, the Ben with several hundred people on board got in to difficulties due to unexpected storms or, high winds. How much extra fuel will be used in trying to serve the island with food, fuel, building materials and transport? The best result wouldn’t be very green at all.
Public consultation to be held by Centrica and also Dong Energy (76 per cent Danish government owned) would note that these companies will no doubt be paid millions to build the site, plus millions more over the following few years for producing electricity at an uneconomic rate. Equating to a huge subsidy to Europe and Denmark by the UK taxpayer.
The companies are unlikely to produce reports confirming that Manx people don’t want the things to be built, any reports from them will be hugely biased in their favour.
A full independent public examination is required, organised by our MHKs and Travel Watch Isle of Man at the very least.
The scheme must be fought tooth and nail.
I read that each offshore turbine makes a net loss of around £250,000, subsidised by the energy user at the end of the day, in this case totalling £125 million loss per year.
Turbines are normally switched off 76 per cent of the time.
Wind farm providers were paid £34 million last year to switch off the windmills. (Daily Mail 1/11/12 P8). They are not needed by anyone other than politicians who want to look good on the international screen stage of huge companies wishing to make lots of money out of desperately hard up families.
Will the sea mammals using sonar systems be driven from our shores, including basking sharks, porpoises, dolphins and whales?
Could it upset the breeding system of Manx queenies and local fish?
I understand that an environmental impact report is being produced via the companies themselves – perhaps the island should produce an alternative report.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South west