|The war memorial in Ulley|
Yesterday I strolled for six miles - just beyond the eastern fringes of Sheffield.
I parked Clint safely in Aston on Church Lane, took an almighty swig of water from my flask and set off. I had not walked in that particular area for seven years.
My route took me past a small wind farm. I stood below one of the mighty wind turbines and heard the insistent, unearthly whooshing of the blades. A thought occurred to me... How much fossil fuel is utilised in the manufacture, erection and maintenance of a wind turbine? How long is it before that environmental "cost" is paid off by the revolution of the turbine's blades? If you know the answer please tell.
On to the charming little village of Ulley with its delightful little church. This village was home to the "strictest pub in England" according to "The Daily Mirror". No motorbikers were allowed in and there was a strict dress code. No baseball caps or trainers or skimpy dresses and there was no ambient music. If heard by the staff, swearing could get you barred. "The Royal Oak" was still open to customers in July of this year but now it appears closed for good. There are three massive rocks at the only entrance to the car park. It is always sad when a pub dies, even a strict one.
As I returned to Church Lane, I could hear Clint snoring but when I pressed the "unlock" button on my key fob he woke up. I think the rogue had been dreaming about those cute little Fiats again.
I drank more water and headed home to make our evening meal which was of course ready when Shirley returned from the health centre. I made two lovely bramble crumbles using fruit picked from the bushes at the bottom of our garden. One for us and one for Catherine and her two girls. They live right across the road from us.
You might want to whisper in Clint's horn to start dreaming about something that doesn't have a reputation as a Fix It Again Tony. :)ReplyDelete
I wonder if there are any cars called Mary. I imagine they are all pink convertibles that purr along the highway like leopards.Delete
That's a shame about the Royal Oak. I agree -- I'm always sad to see any pub close. I doubt its strictness contributed much to its failure. You're so lucky to be able to go on these walks any day you like. I'm feeling the pressure of being confined to weekends!ReplyDelete
Many was the time when I looked out from my classroom window and wished that I was free to walk. My knees have been pretty good for months now so I can more or less walk whenever I want to. It's like being rich.Delete
Perhaps they had to close it because no one met their strict standards any more. A damning verdict on today's society.ReplyDelete
I could have met you there for a pub lunch Sir Tasker. In our plus fours with deerstalkers, brogues and tweed jackets we would have surely passed muster.Delete
I don't know the answer to your question about the wind turbines. I know they are supposed to be eco-friendly but I find them very ugly and think they ruin the landscape. On my recent visit to Brighton, I saw they have just built many out at sea and they ruin the outlook from the promenade, although some people said they like them.ReplyDelete
I don't like the look of them either. It would be better if they were invisible.Delete
The Royal Oak is, or was, a Sam Smith's pub. The present owner of the brewery has imposed strict conditions in his pubs. No use of mobile phones or other such devices and even no swearing! While some people may think that is reasonable, it places a great burden on the landlords. It’s as though he’s lost touch with reality, and become as mad as a Prime Minister or a President.ReplyDelete
Surely not as mad as that Steve! That would be ridiculous!Delete
Wind turbines are full of hot air...not unlike....well, I think you know where I'm heading without further comment from me! :)ReplyDelete
The Royal Oak has royally croaked by the sounds of it!
In your first sentence I hope you were not referring to the author of this humble blog Lee!Delete
No...not at all...contrary to what you may think of me, I really am not a nasty person, Yorkie! Why would you think I was referring to you?Delete
My reference wasn't towards you, by any form, shape or means...such a thought never entered my mind...
I took on the challenge of finding the payback time for windmills. While it is easy to find reputable websites that place ENERGY payback at an average of six months, it is more difficult to find COST payback information, presumably because the payback is dependent on how well the turbines are situated; however, this Snopes article refers to an expert who says cost payback may be three years or less: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/wind-idiot-power/ReplyDelete
Personally, I love the sleek elegance of wind turbines. We have quite a number of them in our small province including very near to us, and when we drive past I always think how stately they look, and am glad that we are trying to help reduce reliance on coal which is still being used for electricity generation here. I used to worry about bird fatalities but on further reflection and reading I expect turbines are no worse than airplanes and skyscrapers, and I don't hear anyone suggested we ground all airplanes or stop making buildings more than one storey high . . .
I wonder if the calculations include absolutely everything - for example the mining and transport of the iron ore, the production and application of surface paint, the diesel used by vehicles moving to and from the construction site. I sincerely hope that the three year estimate is reasonably accurate.Delete
I must have been asleep when leaving that comment - the Snopes article describes energy cost rather than dollar cost, just like the rest of the pieces I checked. What the what?? Now I'm just confused, because all the other articles stated energy payback in months, not in years. As far as whether all costs were considered, it would appear so from the book quoted in the Snopes article, but what do I know anymore?!Delete
I completely echo jenny_o's words about wind turbines. O.K. and I have made several hikes/walks in the Black Forest specificially to look at them close-up, and I find the wooshing sound soothing, almost like the Sea.ReplyDelete
As for the cost of maintenance etc., I can only say what I've seen on documentaries; that cost is not a problem but requires specially skilled "industrial climbers", a job not many are prepared to train for I suppose. Also, now that the end of life has come for the first generation of wind mills, a problem has come up which apparently nobody thought about in advance: How to get rid of them. The materials used for the blades were specially created to withstand the most severe weather conditions for decades, which results in them being almost indestructable. I am optimistic, though, that a method will be found. In the meantime, many older wind mills are replaced by newer ones and the older models are set up again in other countries, such as Italy.
Please don't get me wrong Meike, I am 100% behind environmentally friendly methods of producing electric power but the initial and on-going carbon footprint costs are not usually made clear.Delete
Interesting article which carried out a life cycle assessment of wind turbines. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/16/wind-turbine-payback-period-claimed-to-be-within-8-months/ In précis, yes they do generate the equivalent energy used in their production within the first 12 months of operation, but they are not as reliable as coal because we cannot control the wind. In my opinion useful as a suite of energy generation measures whilst we transition to a power source such as nuclear fusion or something not invented yet. Unfortunately we don't want to reduce the power we use, which would make a massive difference to our generated energy needs...ReplyDelete
Thank you for this thoughtful response Steph - and for pointing me to what is indeed an interesting and relevant article.Delete
Steph's article is one of the ones I checked also, one of the energy payback articles.Delete
I suppose cost payback is harder to figure out because there are so many variables for turbines in very different areas, requiring different estimates of material and transportation costs, types of construction of bases, etc.