The people of our island should be very concerned at the decision to go ahead with wind and solar energy farms.

It must be pointed out yet again, wind turbines despoil the environment.

They have significant, and permanent concrete footprints, create large no-go areas and intrusive vibration, and kill birds in significant numbers. Their visual impact will spoil our island’s beauty and its appeal to tourism. And if that’s not bad enough they are not even ‘green’!

The initial build uses rare-earth minerals which are being rapidly depleted and better used elsewhere.

Both have limited life times (albeit in years) requiring total replacement of moving parts for wind and the complete replacement of solar panels. These costs seem somehow to be ignored in economic evaluations.

The worn-out parts cannot be recycled and usually go to land-fill (carbon-fibre blades, rare-earth elements anybody?)

Both sources require 100% back-up for when the wind does not blow and the sun doesn’t shine, which can be 80 to 85 % of the time. Our present inter-connectors apparently could not cope.

Here is the alternative: geothermal energy.

The island is ideally placed to exploit it. Reference the United Downs project in Eden Park, Cornwall, which exploits a similar geological feature.

It is clean, green, unobtrusive, and available 24/7/365, with a lifetime in fifties if not hundreds of years.

Initial development costs are coming down as governments recognise the benefits and specialist drilling companies evolve.

Maintenance costs are minimal, the only moving parts are the steam powered generators.

It would give the island total energy independence, under the control of the government.

Graham Fox-Hulme

Promenade, Port Erin

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