A few questions for the more knowledgeable than me.
I presume that if you drive your boat into a rock, or your liner into an island, the liability rests with the operator and their insurers. Similarly, if you hit an oil platform or an offshore wind turbine.
What happens if offshore wind farmer (or oil company for that matter) goes bust? Can they leave their derelict structure sticking out of the North Sea? Is it "tough luck sunshine", or is there a requirement to make it safe?
The question of derelict wind turbines came up in my neck of the woods recently. Supposedly there are rusting hulks of failed farms in some places, owned by bankrupt $2 companies...
A lot of environmental damage can be done not by operating wind farms on land but by building heavy load bearing roads to often difficult sites in order to install the massive foundations and to carry the turbines to the site.
These days a lot of due diligence etc is done on would be operators and guarantees and insurance are required to cover removal and making good.
Considering that one of the relatively new offshore turbine farms off Morecambe Bay recently had to have ALL of its turbines reseated on new bases because the tide was scouring them out, then I wouldn't give too long a life before these things topple over into the sea of their own accord
I say ban them now and mow all the ugly stupidities now.
Ugly they may seem to you, but I for one quite like them, and when we're talking off-shore wind farms the whole point of aesthetics is a bit mute, as they are - generally speaking - not visible from land. There is also the not insignificant matter of being independent of energy imports, particularly from hot and sandy places.
Finally, while the outrage bus is out of the barn, I'll let you know that my home country is meeting around 25% of its electricity demand from wind, and plan to raise that to 50% within the decade. Less money for future wannabe Bin Laden's can only be a good thing, even if it does mean it'll cost me a smidgen more to turn on the lights.
Maybe you can't see yours, but the plans in the English northwest is virtually for a coastal barrier of them all the way from Barrow-in-Furness to North Wales.
With the "farms" currently built, or in construction of Barrow, or planned off the Fylde coast, Morecambe Bay will for navigation purposes be almost cut off from the North Sea. Ferries are already having to take diversions, the fish population is dropping (the noise seems to drive them away), the sea-bed is scouring badly and there are serious concerns about migratory birds. You're going to have similar issues off the Ribble estuary, and major shipping navigational problems off the Mersey. If you want windfarms (what a horrible word) the obvious pace to put them is in towns, on top of buildings close to where the power is requried.
As to putting them on hillsides, if I took you to the moorland sites and showed you the irreversible environmental damage caused, you would be horrified. Massive destruction of the soil structure resulting is massive erosion and run-off. Not to mention the number of birds and bats killed
even if it does mean it'll cost me a smidgen more to turn on the lights.
And therein lies the problem with the green brigade. Somehow it is OK to gauge people in order to "save the planet". When it comes to power generation there is nothing wrong with coal or nuclear, but hey that's not as sexy as 100s of windmills in the middle of the ocean to make us feel good about ourselves.
Agree with Milo. On the whole it looks much like the biofuel-thing - sounds terrific, but the so-called side-effects... With wind energy it's the balancing capacities for the whole grid that get complicated. Looks like the hydropower (excess power used for pumping water back behind the dam) thing is the next 'big one'.
It will not be cheap to take down all the Wind Farms out at sea
Here in Cumbria the numbers of these awful, awful, useless things is increasing exponentially. land-based and lurking around every corner. most of the time they just sit there not turning because (a) there's not enuff wind (b) there's too much wind (c) the price/demand isn't there.
And they get bigger & bigger & bigger... and closer & closer to inhabiyed areas. AND they're very very noisy - I can hear the ones on behind Lowca from up to a kilometre downwind.
and still they want more.
And of course, when we get a new nuclear plant at Windscale (oh, sorry Sellafield) we will be over-run by giant pylons maching across the land. Because of course "it's to costly to run these under the sea". Oh and we taking them though the National Park....
If these things are so good and safe build them where the demand is - Manchester, Liverpool, London, Birmingham
Location: A civilised little County..with a bit of eccentricity to boot
On the subject of hazards, a query please.
Last weekend, crossing from Harwich-Hoek and rtn, and seemingly in the middle of the North Sea, I saw numerous buoys, some flashing red ( fairly obvious, apart from no obvious hazard ) and also, flashing white / amber buoys, again with no apparent hazard.
What do the latter indicate to ships therefore?
Last edited by Krystal n chips; 16th Sep 2012 at 07:26.