Renewable Energy

Some Facts & Figures

At the start of our journey into renewable energy generation we were warned to be ready for an aggressive negative reaction from a tiny minority. It appears that some people in 'middle-England' will stop at little to discredit efforts to install both solar and wind generation equipment. This might seem strange, especially considering that the actual daily-bread of previous generations of rural people could not have been provided without harnessing the power of the wind. In practice of course, it is not the descendents of these people who make the objections, but generally those who move into the area and demand that all change and development stops immediately they arrive.

The scale of objection we received mirrored that in most of rural England and was less than 15% of local householders. Objection to wind turbine projects does appear to be age specific and it was unfortunate for us that the local villages are effectively retirement dormitories. Generally young people support renewable energy, but locally there are very few younger residents to balance out the 'retirement vote'.

Warnings of accusations of death threats, threats of arson and physical threats to school children of landowners who installed wind turbines, were amazingly all a reality - and our projects at Hamerton have not been immune from a torrent of threats and miss-information, even if only a tiny number of people are ever involved. This section will be used to detail and correct some of the huge amounts of comments published by these activists, and will be expanded in the future as the Renewables Centre at Hamerton Zoo Park is established as a educational resource.

'Some Facts & Figures'

* - Even now (July 2015) less than 15% of the English public is opposed to on-shore wind.
* - On-shore wind remains the most cost effective way of meeting the UK's CO2 emission targets.
* - Exactly the same turbine is built at sea as part of an off-shore wind-farm, produces electricity costing 380% more per kWh than that produced by the same machine on-shore.
* - The UK has enough wind to be more than 100% self-sufficient in energy - from wind alone.
* - On-shore wind does not pollute - like coal, nuclear and fracking
* - On-shore wind does not disturb coastal ecosystems - like coastal barrages
* - On-shore wind does not use huge amounts of valuable agricultural land - like solar p-v
* - On-shore wind works at night and in the winter - unlike solar p-v
* - Despite the inherent uncertainty of the wind blowing, on-shore wind has less 'down time' than coal or nuclear powered power stations.
* - On-shore wind turbines can be installed and removed, and re-positioned quickly and cheaply.

Our useful links page gives you access to some more information on renewable energy generation.

UPDATE (March 2016) - our plans for the Renewables Centre at Hamerton have been shelved because our planning application to erect two more Endurance turbines to fund it, was rejected by the Appeal Inspector in February 2016.

Whilst she agreed with us that Huntingdonshire District Council's reasons for refusing our application were not justified, she had no alternative other than to refuse our appeal because new Conservative Government policy bans the permitting of any more on-shore wind turbines where ANY (even a single) local objection has been raised, even if they have no material concern.

In our case objections were received from a very few locals, plus dead people and Londoners falsely claiming to be local residents. These were all considered valid objectors under the new Government policy. Please browse to the HDC web-site for full details, as everything is publically documented there, including all the lies, and false statements and allegations.

The appeal which would have been successful (save for a purely political change in central Government policy)cost in excess of £30,000 which could have been put towards our animal conservation work, as could the 65p in every £1 of your entry fee take by central and local Government in tax.

We hope you agree that we do very well with the tiny remainder they allow us to keep?

We continue to generate most of the power we need for the Parks operation and would have installed capacity to cover the remainder had we been allowed. In the meantime we wait for a change in Government (and/or policy) and will then try again.

When World oil prices climb again, policy is likely to change - especially as Nuclear and Coal fired power stations cannot supply the countries needs. A few rolling national power cuts, empty supermarkets and non-functioning hospitals, will soon result in a policy reversal.

In the meantime the education department at Hamerton Zoo Park can tailor sessions to National Curriculum topics covering renewable energy generation, with practical work and visits to our installations. If your school would like to take advantage of this facility, please contain the main office.

  • Gaia Turbine
  • Endurance Turbine
  • Hamerton church
  • Steeple Gidding church
  • Buckworth church
  • Hamerton Village