A National Development Framework proposing the potential erection of wind turbines on Ynys Môn that could measure up to 250m in height is completely inappropriate and ignores the island’s significant potential for creating renewable energy by innovative means offshore, according to the island’s Plaid Cymru AM Rhun ap Iorwerth.
There is currently a public consultation ongoing regarding Welsh Government’s National Development Framework Draft for 2020-2040, which has identified sites on Ynys Môn that should be considered as priorities to develop solar and wind energy projects, based on the assumption that the turbines reach heights of up to 250m.
Turbines of that size would reach higher than the highest land on the island – Holyhead Mountain – which is only 220m in height, and more than twice the height of the former Anglesey Aluminium chimney, which is 122m in height.
Mr ap Iorwerth raised concerns with Welsh Government Minister for the Environment, Lesley Griffiths, in the National Assembly recently, stating that wind energy developments on a smaller scale would be much more appropriate to the local landscape, and argued that the framework should recognise the island’s significant potential for offshore renewable energy generation.
Mr ap Iorwerth said:
“In the face of this Climate Emergency, we must increase the amount of electricity we produce from renewable sources, and we also need to ensure that we have the public’s full support in doing that.
“The National Development Framework Draft recognises a significant area of Ynys Môn that should be considered as a priority site for creating solar and wind energy on the island, but the research supporting this is based on raising turbines of up to 250m in height.
“If we think of the tallest things on Ynys Môn, Nelson’s Column measures at just 106m, Anglesey Aluminium chimney is only 122m and the highest land on Ynys Môn – Holyhead Mountain – is only 220m. On Ynys Môn’s low landscape, it is perfectly clear that recommending turbines of this size – or anything even close to that height – is completely inappropriate.
“There is room to consider wind energy on a scale appropriate to the landscape, but I don’t know if the Minister realises that all that has happened here is causing fear and concern among the public.
“There is so much scope around Ynys Môn to create renewable energy offshore – whether that be tidal or wind – but this isn’t even referenced in the framework, so I wonder if the Minister sees that this is the best way for us to produce the clean, green energy that we need, and to secure the public’s support for it?”