The Bruyelle wind turbines

19
March 2011

The news can, at times, offer quite astonishing contradictions.
No need to go back over the earthquake and tidal wave that occurred in Japan on March 11, 2011, as well as the dramatic consequences at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The environmentalists are, in a way, funny enough : they are proclaiming from the rooftops that we must get out of nuclear power as soon as possible. I agree.
The recent passage of a convoy of radioactive waste through Mouscron is reminiscent of the problems posed by the operation of a nuclear power plant. And the list of more or less serious accidents continues to growNote1.

Very well...
But what do we replace nuclear power plants with ?
The regions of Mouscron, Kortrijk and Tournai (to sum up) are supplied by the RuienNote2 thermal power station, which runs on coal and gas. It has a power of 800 MW, and it is the most powerful of its type in Belgium (5 production units). In comparison, the Tihange nuclear power plant has an electrical capacity of 2,985 MW for only 3 units.
Wind turbines ? It would take 5,000 over a distance of 250 km to compete with a 1300 MW nuclear or thermal power plant. And again, in optimal conditions... The calculation is quickly done.
Solar thermal or photovoltaic energy ? Like wind turbines, this is good back-up energy. But not more.
This means that we are faced with a dilemma : massive emissions of CO2 with thermal energy or highly potential dangers and problems of waste management with nuclear power. In short, the plague or cholera.
The situation is not going to get any better as long as our energy greed remains as we know it today.
Other technologies (including nuclear fusion) should emerge, but... it's blocking. Energy has become a business, even a major politico-strategic issue. And the lobbies are particularly powerful there.
Granted !

Wind turbines in the United States

Is this the silver bullet ?

Burying wind turbine blades

At the end of their life, blades are... buried because they cannot be recycled.
Very ecological...

Alerted by Cédric to the presence of seven unused wind turbines 145 meters high on the territory of his village, I decided to go there.
I learn that the company VentisNote3 has installed a 21 MW wind farm there (3 MW per unit). That this installation has been ready since November 2010 but that since then, the enormous mills have been on stand-by. But why ?
Cédric explains to me that the company Ventis would have promised, in exchange for the construction of this park, a partial redistribution of energy to the benefit of the surrounding municipalitiesNote4, which would have allowed a significant reduction in electricity bills. But like any good company, Ventis looked for profitability above all else. A quick calculation showed them that reselling the entire electricity production to Electrabel would have guaranteed them generous profits. And that's what they did.
Feeling legitimately wronged, the communes of Antoing and Brunehaut are suing Ventis for unilateral breach of contract. This caused the cancellation of the commissioning of the wind farm.
Moreover, the incidence studyNote5 would have been conducted with a certain lightness.
Basically, Cédric is the fall guy. Wind turbines are installed near his home but it's ugly, it makes noise and he will not benefit from it...

Who is right ? No need to elaborate.
However, an inauguration is announced on the Ventis site on March 25.
We will see a little more clearly at that time.
As Japan faces its most serious nuclear crisis since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Belgian municipalities are waging war against a wind turbine developer who allegedly uses ecological fiber only for the purpose of enriching itself.

Finally, thank you to Cédric for guiding me through the countryside of the Plains of the Scheldt Natural Park.

Pictures

The Bruyelle wind turbines

The peaceful countryside of Bruyelle.

The Bruyelle wind turbines

The first houses are just behind me.

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

The nacelle housing the electricity generating turbine.

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

New kind of mills that have never worked before.

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

The masts, the color of which harmonizes with the landscape (sic !).

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

Drop shadow from one of the towers.

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

The blades are carbon fiber. We still don't know how to recycle them...

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

Is nature already trying to take back what has been stolen from it ?

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

They are now everywhere! You can't have a landscape without these filthy things.

The Bruyelle wind turbines

 

The Bruyelle wind turbines

A storm in a glass of water ?



Notes

  1. Recap on Wikipedia.
  2. Central visible here. Stopped and demolished since 2013.
  3. Company website (in French).
  4. Article from the daily newspaper l'Avenir (in French).
  5. Review of the incidence study by a group of residents of Antoing, Brunehaut and Tournai.

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