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Events > 2011 > Mid Wales march to Cardiff - May 24 - information and photos

Mid Wales march to Cardiff - May 24, 2011

Text and photos by Emyr and Beverley Griffiths

About 1500 people turned up from all parts of Wales, but mostly from the counties of Montgomeryshire and Powys which are worst affected by the government's wind farm development plans. 4 people walked 112 miles (180 km) from Welshpool (in Montgomeryshire) to Cardiff to draw attention to the wind farm plans for rural Mid Wales.

The wind farm development plans in Montgomeryshire and Powys would be the largest infrastructure plan ever undertaken in Wales - even larger than the coal mines - covering over 1000 sq. miles (2590 sq km) will:

  1. accommodate over 800 additional wind turbines;
  2. require about 300 miles (480 km) of high voltage pylons to connect it to the grid;
  3. require the construction of 19 acre (7.7 ha) grid connection hub.

All of this infrastructure is required for an output of a mere 200 MW.

People also turned up from England to show their support - from Devon and Cornwall and from Shropshire and Cheshire.

A petition of over 13,000 signatures was handed to the Welsh Assembly. One assembly member from each party addressed the protestors. Not one of the government ministers came out to address the protestors, which was shamefully cowardly.

The following day the First Minister (head of the welsh Assembly), Carwyn Jones, addressed RenewableUK (formerly BWEA) Cymru's fifth annual conference in Cardiff.

Following is a quote from his speech:

"Over the next decade Wales will see significant investment in energy, with growth in the renewable energy sector leading the way. We must all work together to make sure Wales gains the maximum benefit from this investment. Energy touches on all of our lives in so many ways, from economic development to our carbon emissions. That is why under this new government I will be taking overall lead for energy policy to make sure we take a strategic, joined-up approach."

Background to Wales's renewable energy planning policy (TAN 8 - Technical Advice Note 8):

  1. In 2004 the Welsh Assembly Govt (WAG) held a consultation process to receive feedback concerning their renewable energy policy. The policy dismissed all forms of renewable energy outright except wind power. 7 strategic search areas in different parts of Wales were chosen for development of large scale wind farms. All 7 areas contain large areas of Forestry Commission managed land - land which belongs to the people of Wales.
  2. Well over 1000 individuals and organisations provided feedback to WAG, and well over 80% of those who responded objected to the TAN 8. The WAG ploughed ahead with their renewable energy strategy, with no obvious consideration being given to the large numbers objections received.
  3. I often wondered why the WAG forced the TAN 8 renewable energy policy through and why each of the area. The WAG will be receiving revenues from wind farm s in Forestry Commission managed land. Is it a coincidence that each of the 7 strategic search areas chosen for large scale wind farm development TAN 8 contain large areas of Forestry commission managed land??? I will leave you decide - my mind is made up.

Emyr Griffiths


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