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Others look toward renewables; Views of Wales.

SIR - The letter from L J Jenkins entitled "Tidal barrage needed to protect coastline" (January 6) would obviously be an answer to protecting Aberystwyth from future ravages by the sea whipped up by storm-force winds, but unfortunately the big snag is the money to do these things.

The Welsh Government which is responsible for repairing the damage to Aberystwyth's sea defences have told the town council it can't sign an open cheque as there are lots of other places round the coast requiring help.

The Westminster Government has plenty on its plate rectifying the consequences of the Christmas and New Year storms round the English coast and damage from flooding of inland areas.

In their wisdom the UK Government has cut the money available for emergencies such as flooding resulting in a reduction of workers available in times of need. The government has to realise that climate change is having a more extreme effect every year and they should increase the money available for flood defences.

Regarding barrages to protect vulnerable places round our coasts, the UK Government would have to change its priorities very considerably if it were to make the money available, but I can't see this happening.

I don't think scrapping of the gigantic wind farm at Nant-y-Moch on the western flank of Pumlumon would necessarily produce a capital saving. I have no doubt the outfit that builds and runs this development will foot all the development costs and the only losers would be electricity consumers who would be deprived of a small proportion of their renewable energy.

The effect on tourism is debatable. In East Anglia they have onshore wind farms in various counties and offshore wind farms along the coast, including in many areas considered tourist attractions. I haven't heard of any 475-foot high turbines being built inland, but I'm sure there are, or if not, they will be.

BBC1 News recently showed pictures of the world's biggest wind farm in the Gobi desert in China.

While Europe is struggling to meet its renewable energy targets, China has outpaced us completely and is erecting a power grid to take this power to the China's heavily populated areas in the east.

Six wind power projects are now being built around China, each with a generating capacity of more than 16 large coal-fired plants. This year China is on track to become the world's largest market for wind turbines.

Scientists in America have made a breakthrough in developing a battery that will enable generators of renewable energy like wind farms and solar arrays to store several days' output to be released when needed.

Construction of coal-fired plants in China has been reduced by 50% - to one a week.

China doesn't count hydroelectric power in its renewables output, but it accounts for 21% of the country's electricity. Nuclear power accounts for 1.1%. Coal-fired plants still account for the lion's share of their electricity and will do so for many years, but obviously they are trying to cut back on fossil fuel burning.

Trefor Davies Llanfrothen, Gwynedd
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 11, 2014
Previous Article:In the meantime, the children suffer; Views of Wales.
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