Let me just take a couple of steps back. It was my impression that the take up of renewable energy, sun, wind and water, would finally bring cheap energy to a population caught in an upward spiral of rising costs for depleting fossil fuel consumption. All of a sudden wind farms started springing up across Britain and for a while, it felt like those in control actually cared.
It seems now, 20 years on, that the opposite it true. Energy companies, like other areas of need such as food, health, education and training, have become corporate giants answerable only to shareholders and focussed entirely on profit. The evidence of this is clear. Prices have never come down. Energy now is more expensive than it has ever been, with price rises every year. Many homes suffer. The elderly shuffle into one room for the bitter Winters we now experience due to our flagrant disregard over the past 60 years for climate change and the effect of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Energy, like all the essential needs for life, has become, prohibitively expensive, and while energy corporations make massive profits, people die!
This is just my opinion but I find wind farms ugly, and a little eerie if you ever get up close to those grinding monstrosities. They sprawl, and just when you thought you had reached a beautiful part of the British countryside, you turn a corner and there right in front of you, scarring the distant landscape are the towering metal turbines, out-of-date, and a scathing eye-sore both in design and technology.
Moreover, these wind farms are not always serving any particular community, or even the people of Britain but are in effect a money spinner for large corporations whose business is often unrelated to the supply of energy. And though they may state that they are trying to cover astronomical energy costs of their own, they are also collecting huge cheques from the energy companies for the generated surplus.
It is a mystery to me that the price of energy in the home keeps rising! Perhaps I am being naive, but renewable means, it’s never going to run out, right? Throw up a turbine and you can enjoy infinite free energy bar a few maintenance costs. The big six energy companies are making over a billion in profit year on year.
When wind technology became accessible to the domestic market, a number of companies developed a small roof top turbine for family homes. Once fitted this would subsidise the existing supply, almost instantly making individual energy costs much cheaper. This was quoshed by the government who, through local councils, announced that rooftop wind turbines would incur an increase in council tax. That was the end of the domestic market. All turbine technology and infrastructure became the exclusive and unfettered development of the large energy companies who probably lobbied government to kill domestic use and whose sole purpose was profit over community support or the sharing of abundance.
Now they are everywhere. Invasive, ugly, monstrous giants speckling not just the countryside, where remoteness and natural habitat are sacrosanct, but offshore. Often now, from our favorite beaches we see them in the distance, the lofty beacons, symbols, not of new found individual prosperity through low cost energy, but bastions of corporate greed that pay lip service to serving our needs.
Apparently, offshore wind installations in European waters hit a record level last year, with turbines becoming increasingly larger, covering greater areas of water, often seen from beaches previously enjoyed by thousands of summer visitors. WindEurope have said that Britain is responsible for almost half of the new capacity. Is this really something we can be proud of?