07:20 Tuesday 25th September 2012
Cambridgeshire’s Bigger Breakfast
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
PAUL STAINTON: You might want to talk about wind farms. There’s been a sharp rise in the number of applications to build them in Cambridgeshire. Fenland District Council has seen the amount of applications double compared to last year. And Hunts District Council has already overtaken last year’s total in the first six months of this year.But how would you feel having one right next to your house? Let’s speak to a man who’s delighted by all this news. Simon Sedgewick-Jell is the Green Party county councillor for Abbey. You’re delighted?
SIMON SEDGEWICK-JELL: I’m very pleased that we are actually seriously now taking on alternative energy. Because as time goes on the oil runs out, the gas runs out, and we have to import it from overseas. Here we are, sitting on this huge natural resource, which the Fens in particular is a very good place to have. And one of the interesting things I find about wind farms is that before they came in, something like 40% of people say they’ll create problems. After they’ve gone in, 10% of people say there are any residual problems, and panic about it.
PAUL STAINTON: Do they work? Because they don’t work when it’s windy, do they?
SIMON SEDGEWICK-JELL: No power supply ever actually works all the time. Electricty stations that are conventional have to be taken off-line.
PAUL STAINTON: How green are they?
SIMON SEDGEWICK-JELL: Very green indeed.
PAUL STAINTON: What? When you’ve smelted all that nickel and steel and ..
SIMON SEDGEWICK-JELL: Well, when you think about the amount of environmental damage you’re going to cause by manufacturing a nuclear power station or a conventional electricity power station, green technology actually creates much much less of a problem. And when you take them down after twenty years, which is their expected life, you actually return to nice quiet farmland, and everything is taken away. And unlike most power stations, if you’ve got wind farms, you can farm right up to the underneath of them, as happens at the big Co-op one outside March.
PAUL STAINTON: Let’s get them. Let’;s get them right across the Fens. Let’s cover the Fens in them then.
SIMON SEDGEWICK-JELL: No. Well one’s not going to cover anywhere with them. But there are some parts of the world where they make an awful lot of sense. And when I go on the train from Cambridge to Peterborough, as I do quite often, I must admit I like looking at the wind farms, just as I’ve been on holiday to a Scottish island recently. I had views of wind farms in one direction, and a nuclear power ststion in the other. And I can tell you which one was actually more scenic.