Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Renewable Energy Quandaries

There's a planning application at present in the ward that's proving just a tad controversial.  Teesside High School wants to generate some of its own power - very laudable.  In doing so it wants to educate the pupils about the need for energy conservation and about renewable energy - again, very laudable.  So on the roof of the school they want to install some solar panels - very good idea.  So far so good - what's the quandary?  Where's the controversy?  Well, they also want to install a wind turbine, a 15m high mast, down towards the river bank.  This is the very same river bank that's part of the Tees Heritage Park, so much part of Stockton Council's strategy for tourism, green spaces, biodiversity etc.  And here's the problem - how can anyone seek to encourage in pupils a love of their planet, a caring attitude to the natural world, a desire to reduce their carbon footprint and yet encourage them to think that planting a huge concrete base with a 15m turbine on it in the middle of the Tees Heritage Park is a good thing?  Just how much wind is there down there?  How much power is going to be generated?  And at what cost in the visual amenity of the Park? 

2 comments:

Andrew Duffell said...

As far as I could see, the concrete base is under the ground, and the turbine looks like the ones at Macmillan Acadamy in Middlesbrough. It's in a valley, so will be very unobtrusive.
I fully support applications like this one.
We need to avoid a knee jerk reaction when we think of wind turbines.

Maureen Rigg said...

And I have to represent everyone who lives in the ward - the wisdom of Solomon is needed methinks!