Global environmental challenges
By Kwok W. Wan
This time, it was a total surprise. In a taxi on the road towards the beach, Gunfleet Sands appeared out of no-where and without warning. Huge offshore wind turbines lined the English horizon.
My last encounter had been a far more distant affair, requiring a helicopter to see Robin Rigg in Cumbria, but Dong’s offshore wind farm was visible on the shore, visible from a car inland actually, and the giant machines pop up and startle you.
As we drove over the Frinton-on-Sea rail track earlier, the taxi driver pointed to the automatic electric barriers and said they replaced the hand-operated gates only last year, after the rail company overcame a three-year battle by residents who resisted the change.
Due to the conservative nature of the town, the driver said there was a myth that the town didn’t have a pub or fish and chip shop. But it wasn’t true. It got its first pub and fish and chip shop about ten years ago, he said.
by Kwok W. Wan
As I travelled up to Cumbria to visit E.ON’s offshore Robin Rigg wind farm in northwest England, I passed through the Lake District, a place famed for its natural beauty. Out of the train window, I saw grassy banks, craggy hills, farm fields rolling into moody skies — and lines of giant electricity pylons.
I wondered if the 125 metre tall wind turbines I was about to see would be as much of a scar on the coastline as these unnaturally straight man-made structures on the English countryside. Would they also poke out like huge metal thumbs across the Irish Sea and distract us from the wild beauty of the surrounding lowland hills?
Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy’s shares gained 8 percent on Tuesday, after sources told Reuters that Suzlon’s founders are looking to raise up to $48 million through the sale of a 2 percent stake in the world’s fifth-largest wind turbine maker.
Shares in leading solar cell maker Q-Cells closed the day up 2.39 percent after it reported profits that missed market forecasts and CEO Anton Milner and CFO Hartmut Schüning tried to assuage investor fear over solar project funding.
This past weekend, a wind turbine spinning out of control forced California police to shut down a stretch of highway because of concerns that it could break into large, heavy, and very fast-moving pieces.
Something sinister is happening to bats in the United States — not only are their numbers declining due to a mysterious malady, but large numbers of them are also being caught mid-flight in the spinning wind turbines that are cropping up rapidly across the nation.