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29 October 2014

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You are in: Suffolk > People > Features > Wind farms and the Landscape: Your views

Wind farm

Wind farm

Wind farms and the Landscape: Your views

With the depletion of traditional fossil fuels, wind farms are cropping up all over Suffolk. But what do you think about wind farms?

How do they work?

The energy of the wind is captured in the rotation of the blades of the wind turbine and their rotation creates power that is then converted into electricity by a generator. This is then transmitted via submarine cables to land where it feeds into the National Grid, which provides the electricity to power our homes.

Why now?

The sources that have traditionally supplied us with energy (coal, oil, gas) are on the decrease while demands for transportation, electricity and heating are increasing. It is for this reason that we need an alternative energy source to fossil fuels. It is thought that energy derived from the sun, wind and wave power are thought to be inexhaustible sources.

Where?

Suffolk's first commercial wind turbine was built on Ness Point in Lowestoft in 2004. Since then there has been a lot of plans for more. With Yarmouth and Lowestoft earmarked for major regeneration. Lowestoft is to become the regional, if not national, focal point for the industry with a five million pound Centre of Excellence.  Located between two strategic development areas – the Greater Wash and Thames Estuary – this new industry is expected to create 60,000 jobs in the Eastern Region by 2020.

There is also a wind farm with six turbines at the old Second World War Parham airfield site near Framlingham and at Ness Point in Lowestoft.

Other proposed windfarms include Brundish near Stradbroke, Greater Gabbard and St James near Halesworth.

Why Suffolk?

Suffolk is said to be ideal because it has:

Wind farm

Wind farm

  • A Low tidal range: This makes wind turbine installation and maintenance easier and cheaper.
  • Shallow waters: The depth of the water is fairly shallow which means that a cheaper wind turbine can be used.
  • A high wind Speed: The annual mean wind speed is 7.5-9 metres/second, which is perfect for a wind turbine to work effectively. 
  • Good infrastructure: The Norfolk/Suffolk seabed is mostly chalk and sand, both soft rocks that make the hammering in of wind turbines easier.
  • Industry: The region’s oil and gas industry has left undersea pipelines that could be utilised for feeding electricity cables through to connect the turbines with the National Grid.

Also, following the collapse of the fishing industry in Suffolk, there is a qualified marine workforce awaiting a new industry.

Public opinion

The debate continues. Some argue that wind farms disturb untouched natural beauty where as others think wind farms are a good way to produce energy and bring money to the area ..

A few posts from our Message board:

For..

"It’s really quite simple. On the one hand you have power-stations emitting gases and causing global warming - not last week we were told the sea may rise 20+ feet in the not too distant future. We have nuclear energy, but nowhere safe to dispose of the dangerous waste. Then we have barren moors, of no use to humans in way of habitation, recreation or entertainment but, on which we can build wind farms that can harness renewable energy, greenly, with no CO2 emissions. What’s the problem?"

Against..

"Right, so if it's no use to most humans then it's perfectly fine to make a complete and utter mess of it? Mostly because such areas are of limited practical use they have the huge benefit of not having been very badly damaged by our self-interested interference. Considering that when we do interfere we usually make a pretty bad mess of things, it's a good reason to leave well alone. I would really, really hate to live in a world where there are such signs of human interference everywhere. We almost do live in such a world, which is becoming increasingly ugly and depressing. We need these places to keep us sane."

"It would make far more sense to cut electricity use by 10% than to generate 10% by such hideous measures. Even if we had regular blackouts I would find it preferable to wind turbines all over the place."

What do you think?

Head over to our message board and join the discussion. Click on the link below and remember to select 'Suffolk'. It's really easy to set up an account and it's completely free. Also, your posts are put up as soon as you create them so you can chat till your heart's content!

Find out more..

More details about the proposed plans are available at The Future Of Wind farms website following the link on the menu to the right of the page.

last updated: 16/07/2008 at 11:18
created: 10/05/2006

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Anonymous
I think wind turbines are fabulous and add to the beauty of the world, i think they are really helping as they are eco-friendly! however they do cause a few problems. this website is very informative and helpful, and gives lots of information!!

Anonymous
I don't like wind turbines as they ruin out countryside and there are many other ways of providing eco friendly electricity!I think that if there was no other way around providing green electricity then they wouldn't be so bad!

Nerissa
they are fun to wach and i enjoy seeing them go round and round.

lina
i think that they are a good idea but they should be in more sucluded areas as it can affect the price of houses and scare some animals.

josh liverpool
I enjoy watching them and they look nice

Brenda
i really dont want a wind turbine near my garden

dave
if wind turbines so safe why does france not let any buildings with in 2km them and safty zone of 500 metters ?

Linda
How green are they anywayI am up for domestic wind which as Maddy says can be put with their TV stuff. But these huge wind turbines are not efficient. No power stations will be closed because of them, EVER. What happens when it is not windy. The power stations still have to idle because you cant just flick a switch. If it is too windy they have to be braked. using electricity of course. Look at utube for film of them blowing up when they fail. They are put in hundreds of tonnes of concrete which will never go away. Good legacy for our children and are not at all efficient. I am more for spending the money that is subsiding these things and making a lot of people rich, to cutting down what we use of our resourses and finding new ways of running cars etc. Also what about the electricity cables which will eventually come with them

Lizzie in Rendlesham
I like the idea of a wind farm in Suffolk. People spend ages complaining how the wind farms will spoil the view, but if we don't do anything fossil fuels will destroy the earth let alone the view! The wind farms will create power and jobs for thousands of people.

Matthew
I attended a meeting in Hertfordshire about a proposed wind farm. The sea of grey hair had the most to complain about when they had the least to worry about. In the very near future our children will be faced with massive International political issues relating to dwindling energy reserves, Gas Oil and Electricity. By reducing our dependency today on foreign imports (French Nuclear Electricity), this will assist the adults of tomorrow in keeping energy pricing more stable and a continued economic growth. The 16 Nuclear power stations in the UK will be mostly be out of service by 2016-2020, the UK Government needs to invest money today in building new power stations to meet the ever rising requirements of the UK energy market. If we use green power to generate 30% of the UK needs and 70% via Nuclear then we can export any excess and at the same time maintain a stable economy. Many of you will not like this theory (Nuclear Power) but we really don’t have many other options.

Linda
I enjoy watching them. I think they enhance, rather than spoil, the view. Also very eco friendly and safe

daniella
i luv wind energy

anon.
while i agree with some people that they are not nice looking, we have to make do with what we need. If we dont want these put up then cut down on emissions, dont use a car, save energy, recycle, the list goes on. Decide on your view.

kevin
As gulliver the eyesore in Lowestoft now hasn't as much as move for over a week it seems pointless to erect still more of these monstrosities without a reliable back up system in place.

Kevin in Rendlesham
I don't agree that they spoil views. I find their movement entrancing.

Maureen
What an interesting article! Good to see such a balanced argument on the subject.

Ian
I think wind farms are eco friendly and add to the beauty of the landscape. I also agree strongly with what Maddy says.

Maddy
Wind power is a great idea, I think we should go down the route of promoting more domestic wind generators. They're pretty small and supposedly fairly easy to get planning approval for. Considering the numbers of arials/ satellite dishes attached to some houses, wind turbines wouldn't be that much of an eyesore. Of course what would be really nice would be to see some of these huge, out of town supermarkets that have the space (and are already eyesores!)investing in turbines. That would certainly green-up their credentials and would also bring wind power closer to the public domain.

Leslie of Lowestoft
Wind power is great for my town, it brings much needed skilled jobs. But very careful consideration must be give to where they are situated as some of our finest view could easily be distroyed.

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