Alpha 311

Clean energy and the cost to our countryside

Countryside in Didling, England

Net-zero targets have been set by the Government, clean energy production is underway and areas around the UK have been earmarked for more offshore wind farms.

Offshore wind is just one of the initiatives the Government is investing in, in order to meet these targets. However, as highlighted by Charlotte Smith in Sunday’s BBC Countryfile programme, there are still concerns about the effect that offshore wind farms will have on the UK countryside, inland.

Getting the electricity generated by wind farms to the National Grid requires considerable infrastructure and building this infrastructure is a concern to many.

New cables, crisscrossing the country, are needed to connect the energy generated by offshore farms to the Grid and words like ‘monster trenches’ are certainly making people sit up and take notice. This form of green energy generation could have a major effect on our wildlife.

In the Countryfile programme, a representative from the energy giant Vattenfall, said that the company had to stop the development of two wind farms off the coast of Norfolk due to a “technical decision and that the information wasn’t presented in the right way during the assessment.” She also explained that it’s now only a minority of people who object to wind farms.

There are other solutions

It’s clear that current plans need careful consideration by the Government.

One of the questions asked in the programme was whether we can truly expand our clean energy production without damaging nature?

The proposed answer was that there needs to be better coordination. That’s true, but there are other answers.

Yes, the UK does need more new clean energy solutions, but the UK also needs to look further than offshore wind farms to find it. Like the Alpha 311 VAWT, there are many innovative renewable energy solutions being developed.

The Alpha 311 VAWT will create power where it’s needed most, locally; but it can also mitigate more of the concerns raised about large-scale windfarms. For example:

  • Our turbines can fit onto existing infrastructure thanks to the retrofit design
  • They’re smaller than traditional turbines
  • They’re cheaper to build and install
  • The power generated goes to local communities
  • The 360-degree blades harvest air from all angles
  • They’re recyclable
  • They can generate power even when the wind isn’t blowing

Pushing for a reduction in the amount of cabling needed for offshore wind farms is a positive move, but we believe that there needs to be more of a push for smarter solutions, and for businesses like Alpha 311 to be recognised as viable alternatives to what’s already in development.

So many reports and so many different aspects to consider

The programme also reported that a Government review is underway to make sure that a “balance is struck between the environment and the building of windfarms.” Elliott Chapman-Jones from The Wildlife Trusts, part of this review, made the point that there’s a need for better coordination.

Our recent post ‘Climate change are we going fast enough’ referenced the latest Climate Change Committee report which identified an urgent need to assess the resilience of the UK electricity grid to be able to cope with an increase in demand from greener technologies, including electric vehicles.

And there’s now increasing pressure as we build-up to COP26 to not only continue to review and debate but to act.

No wonder it‘s difficult for most people to understand what the right solutions are to combat climate change when there are so many things to consider.

We must feel positive about COP26 being able to create a moment in time when more than 190 world leaders will not just discuss targets but agree to do more.

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