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Poet Nigel Jenkins has words over Swansea wind farm plans

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

By geraint thomas

Swansea poet and writer Nigel Jenkins

Swansea poet and writer Nigel Jenkins

Comments (13)

SWANSEA poet and writer Nigel Jenkins is hoping that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword when it comes to a battle to save a piece of common land close to his heart.

Mr Jenkins, who is head of Swansea University's creative writing programme, a former winner of the Wales Book of the Year award and one of the country's foremost poets, has written a letter to Swansea councillors ahead of a vote on a new wind farm to the north of the city.

In the letter, Jenkins asks the councillors to say no to German company RWE npower renewables' planning request to erect 16 turbines on Mynydd y Gwair, near Felindre.

In an effort to persuade the councillors, he invites them to read a chapter of his forthcoming book, Real Gower, which outlines the beauty of the area.

He says: "So far, Swansea councillors have taken a principled stand against (what I see as) the desecration of this exceptionally beautiful part of our county, and I hope to encourage you to oppose the application by inviting you to read a chapter from my forthcoming book."

The chapter is a result of the writer walking the mountain and talking to some of those who farm it.

He says: "We take our time to cross the mountain, savouring the mile after mile, in all directions, of grassy wilderness, with no trace of humanity anywhere in sight."

This vista would be dramatically changed if the wind farm were built, and so he adds: "It is often, sadly, not until we are threatened with a serious illness that we come fully to appreciate the wonder and beauty of the world that we are suddenly in danger of losing.

"So too with Mynydd y Gwair — the imminent demise of this plaintively beautiful wilderness gives one's experience of the place a heightened intensity."

Firmly stating his opposition to wind power and questioning the large subsidies that they come with, he adds: "Let's not call them 'windmills' or even 'wind turbines', deluding ourselves that they are somehow helping to 'save the planet'; let's call them what they truly are: cash generators."

Real Gower is to be published by Seren Books towards the end of 2014 and if the council turns down the application Mr Jenkins, who has also written two Real Swansea books, has promised to rewrite the chapter.

He said: "If things go well for Mynydd y Gwair on Thursday — from the viewpoint, that is, of those who love this part of the county — then I shall have the happy task of rewriting this chapter, which at the moment anticipates a negative outcome."

A spokesman for RWE npower renewables said: "The proposal has been designed to take into account local sensitivities and impacts.

"It is a proven windy site within a designated wind farm area, and has been amended to take into account changes which minimise the impact of the development on areas of peat on the site."

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13 comments

  • mountainman  |  February 10 2013, 9:33PM

    I could not agree more with Nigel. This is a very special place. When you destroy something like this you destroy part of youself.

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  • siarad2  |  February 07 2013, 6:56PM

    We've built 4,366 turnbines to placate the false god CO2 but he keeps growing, what next human sacrifice!

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  • siarad2  |  February 07 2013, 6:52PM

    The rip-off is quoting power, MW, pretty meaningless instead of energy, MWh. My car has a power of 80kW but thankfully isn't consuming fuel sat in my drive, likewise turbines don't produce energy equal to their power for MOST of the time. Those turbines only produced last year 19,914,295 MWh of energy from an installed power of 8292MW i.e only 27% of power. No conventional power stations have been hurt in the making of this :-) What is the point of wind power's vast subsidies if we have to keep all the existing power stations as backup. This 'spinning reserve' negates 7% of wind energy generated, cutting that 27% to nearer 25%, equivalent to generating just 6 hours a day a 42 hour working week! within the EU working time directive LOL Have to think that value is twice my guess looking at the yearly graph. http://tinyurl.com/6ja8btf

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 07 2013, 11:15AM

    notowind anyone who needs to shout has lost the argument. If you seek to change peoples views, then you are going about this totally in the wrong way lol. And as i've said don't have a go at me, have a go at those in Westminster and Cardiff bay. Unless you change their views then your not going to get anywhere with your aims. BTW what are you talking about me emailing, this is a post not an email lol lol lol

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  • notowind  |  February 07 2013, 11:09AM

    NeathBoy234, As I said.....you have no answer to FACTS !! As I also said......you would only pathetically respond to my CAPITALS! If you had the slightest knowledge of physics.....or COMMON SENSE.....you would know that no-one can SHOUT in print !! NOW......ANSWER THE ARITHMETICAL FACTS , PLEASE !! You were full of yourself in earlier emails ! You "knew" the LOT !! Well, South Wales will be ruined if they erect 475 ft wind turbines on every hill. Make NO Mistake !!

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 07 2013, 9:09AM

    notowind here you go shouting away at me. I've told you before don't tell me, tell those who are in power lol

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  • notowind  |  February 07 2013, 7:35AM

    Neathboy 234, Typo at start of last posting ....should be "How can you close a back-up fossil fuel power station if the wind is too strong or too weak AT TIMES ?" In other words....if wind energy cannot be relied upon AT ALL TIMES, it means that NOT ONE fossil fuel power station can EVER be closed......AND YOU WILL HAVE ALMOST THE SAME RUNNING COSTS FOR A PART-TIME BACK-UP STATION. YOU WILL HAVE :- [a] THE SAME CAPITAL COSTS !! [b] Virtually the same maintenance costs !! [c] THE SAME LABOUR COSTS ! [d] THE SAME RATES AND RENT COSTS !! GO AHEAD......DENY THAT !! HOW MANY BUSINESSES HAVE YOU RUN ???? NOT ONLY THAT .....THE WIND CAN DROP AT SHORT NOTICE IN THE EVENING AFTER A BREEZY DAY !! DO YOU THINK YOU CAN SWITCH A BACK-UP PLANT ON AND OFF AT SHORT NOTICE??? CRAZY !! THEY WILL BURN ALMOST THE SAME FOSSIL FUELS.......WIND OR NO WIND !! THAT IS REALITY !.........BUT THEY WILL STILL COLLECT HUGE SUBSIDIES....PAID FOR BY US !!

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  • notowind  |  February 07 2013, 7:22AM

    Neath Boy 234, What are you talking about? It is all waffle ! How can you CLOSE a back-up fossil fuel power station if the wind is too strong or too weak? Electricity is needed at the flick of a switch....24/7.......NOT when the wind HAPPENS to be the right speed. Say you had 1000 wind turbines 475 feet high across South Wales.......which would WRECK EVERYTHING you have down there ! South Wales .....Glamorgan and Gwent are about 1330 square miles in total .....SO IT COULD NOT BE DONE !! THERE IS NO ROOM ! The politicians keep the turbines OUT of the Vale of Glamorgan........BECAUSE THEY LIVE THERE !! THEY ARE COMPLETELY HYPOCRITICAL NIMBYS !! There is not ONE in Gwent either, apart from a couple of small ones in Newport Docks .....AS A PRETENCE AT BEING "GREEN" .... because Neil Kinnock is from Gwent and he wrote an excellent 12 page ATTACK on proposed wind turbines on Mynydd Maen, Bedwellty in about 1995. He used the SAME arguments as myself. I have a copy of his 1995 speech. WHY do you think there are NO WELSH GOVERNMENT TAN 8 zones in GWENT ???? Because Comrade Kinnock now a hypocritical millionaire Lord !!........FANTASTIC THIS "SOCIALISM" FOR WORKING CLASS HYPOCRITES !!!! NEIL AND GLENYS......BOTH "WORKING-CLASS" ....BUT NOW MILLIONAIRES ON MEGA-INDEX LINKED PENSIONS . IF THEY ARE TRUE SOCIALISTS , WHY AREN'T THEY GIVING HALF THEIR PENSIONS TO STARVING AFRICA ???] . Oh no ! Hypocrite , LORD Kinnock is in the background ...STOPPING WIND TURBINES COMING TO GWENT !! HE STOPPED THEM IN THE NINETIES.......THEN SHUT HIS BIG GOB WHEN LABOUR WANTED TO PLASTER THE REST OF WALES !! LOOK AT THE TAN 8 MAP.......WHY NOTHING IN GWENT?????? As for you quoting China to me.......WHY DON'T YOU TELL US HOW MANY FILTHY COAL POWER STATIONS THEY ARE OPENING IN CHINA EVERY MONTH TO DRIVE THEIR INDUSTRY AS WE CLOSE OURS ??? Sure, China will build a few wind turbines......MAINLY FOR EXPORT.....LIKE THEIR SOLAR PANELS !! WIND ENERGY IS TOY TOWN COMPARED TO COAL !! You are really in your innumerate cloud-cuckoo land if you don't think that the Chinese Industrial Revolution is POWERED BY COAL !! WIND ENERGY IS A PART-TIME LITTLE JOKE !! To get back to Wales ! Even if you COULD erect 1000 wind monsters 475 ft [ THE SIZE COMING TO MYNYDD Y GWAIR] high in Glamorgan and Gwent, they would only average 25 pc of their 2 MW installed capacity. So they would generate 500MW ...ON AVERAGE !! What good is that ? We need electricity ALL THE TIME....NOT "ON AVERAGE" ! SOUTH WALES WOULD GRIND TO A HALT IN COMPLETE DARKNESS EVERY FEW DAYS IF WE RELIED ON WIND.......OBVIOUSLY !! HOSPITALS, TRAFFIC LIGHTS, BANKS, FACTORIES, STEEL-MAKING........NO ELECTRICITY EQUALS BANKRUPTCY , CRIME AND ANARCHY !!........AND DEATH DUE TO HYPOTHERMIA ! GROW UP AND LEARN SIMPLE 11 PLUS ARITHMETIC !! Even 100 of those 475 ft turbines would WRECK much of Glamorgan and Gwent ......WITH NONE IN KINNOCK'S GWENT, OF COURSE........leaving 100 in Glamorgan ...FROM ABERDARE TO NEATH AND ALL AROUND SWANSEA ! WISE UP !! .....AND FOR WHAT ???? 50 LOUSY MEGAWATTS .......THAT'S WHAT !! WHAT WILL THAT ACHIEVE ? ARE YOU CLEAN OFF ?? ARE YOU COMPLETELY MATHEMATICALLY INEPT ?? 50 LOUSY MEGAWATTS CAN BE GENERATED BY ONE DECENT HYDRO POWER STATION ! BESIDES, PEMBROKE GAS FIRED STATION IS PROVIDING 2000MW.......WHICH WILL POWER ALL OF WALES ON ITS OWN ! WE ONLY USE 2000MW IN ALL OF WALES ! ANSWER THE FACTS !! YOU ARE SO INEPT YOU WILL ONLY FOCUS ON MY CAPITAL LETTERS ! ANSWER MY MATHS........I CHALLENGE YOU !!

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 06 2013, 10:49PM

    Interesinging info from china China low-temperature wind turbine design and ... - Winterwind

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 06 2013, 10:41PM

    notowind average energy supplied by wind during past 24 hours is 9.7%, so much for your explosions. BTW try googling the new type wind turbines, able to work at much higher speeds and at much lower temps

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