No, Lamb's Hill is not a windfarm...and the opening picture is not Lamb's Hill, but it is beautiful. Imagine this landscape with half a dozen or more 125 metre high wind generators deposited ingloriously on those green-clad slopes. How would it
Of course, there is only a very slight possibility that wind farm developers would attempt to convince us that this isolated location was a potential site. First of all, they need the desperation of intent to make money. This is getting much
harder since the investors get cold feet in the chill of dawning realisation that the gravy train is running into the buffers. Government, once wooed and lobbied with fantastically over-optimistic forecasts of cheap energy have the benefit of hindsight now,
and can see that the predicted power outputs from these onshore windfarms have of necessity been revised downwards. What does the government do when proven gullible? Well, what all sensible governments do...they blame their advisors and take swingeing
action. They cut subsidies and will ultimately terminate the scheme permanently. This makes the developers business model untenable and the investors run for cover before the whole castle on sand collapses.
Building on a remote hill, mountain or moor
is difficult and costly so developers look for opportunistic locations, understandably near to point where the intermittent "power" can be "fed" into the National Grid. Not your "local" grid, the National Grid. You get nothing for hosting these theatrical
charades. Actually, that is not fair. Some desperate developers offer a scheme for reducing "local" energy costs, mostly down south where aesthetics are considered of more significance than "up north". Banks Renewables, who are wobbling over their
financial commitment to small-scale on-shore schemes in the face of diminishing returns and epiphanies amongst the few remaining investors, have grudgingly agreed to "discuss" the possibility of compensation to locals, but keep it quiet...the investors may
not like it.
Talking of building on sand, or rather more wisely NOT, we have been recently notified of a late bit of pre-build site investigation on Lamb's Hill. Apparently we can expect some drilling activity to determine the sub-structural suitability
of the grassy slope down to the stream which flows along the little valley west of the hill. Well, I can help here. Lamb's Hill was and is slowly but inexorably sIipping downwards. Not surprisingly as beneath the pasture surface there is a considerable depth
of sandy ash and clinker from the old Stillington Ironworks. Oh, did I say sand? Hmmm.
In the 35 years I have walked the stream along Lamb's hill the lay of the land has changed hugely. There is an increasingly obvious landslip down in to the valley
which is indicated by a developing stepped "amphitheatre" of sheared land and tilted trees. Best not to dwell on this (or build on it) as it is not good news. Banks Renewables would appear to increasingly "borrow" to cover the build-cost of their wind-farms
(well documented, just google http://www.thejournal.co.uk/business/business-news/banks-renewables-secures-multi-million-pound-7398241) as against using the hapless investors. Of course, if you borrow you MUST pay back, if others invest it is at their own risk.
No one sane would invest in a remote and beautiful mountainside scheme...funny how they may be tempted to build castles on shifting sand. Or are they?
STOP PRESS! June 18th. Government announces ALL subsidies to cease for
onshore windfarms one year ahead of previous deadline.