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Windy Miller – Irish edition – it’s like a Leprechaun rotisserie!

UK and Irish ministers will today sign an agreement that could see some of the world’s largest wind turbines built across the Irish midlands.

Stretching more than 600 feet (180 metres) in the air, the towers are set to generate energy for millions of UK homes from 2017.

The companies involved say the Irish power is a cheaper form of renewable than UK offshore wind.

Note cheaper form of “renewables” and no mention is made of burning coal or oil or gas or trash or uranium.

But environmentalists have described the scheme as “crazy”.

They say it risks damaging Ireland’s landscape.

Well, for once I’m with the Greens here. I mean Mr Magoo himself would manage to spot a 180m tower. That is roughly the height of the BT tower in London. Apparently they don’t look so big if you look at them from a long way away. Neither does Jupiter.

BTW that is an explicit ref to “Father Ted” and cows. And he was trying to explain scale and such to his dim-witted curate Dougal.

Under the plan, a number of companies are seeking to erect hundreds of wind turbines across the boggy midlands of Ireland. The power generated would be transferred to the UK via undersea cables that would join the grid at two points in Wales.

“Boggy midlands”. Dear Gods! Have people been on the Poitín? I mean building a 180m tower in a bog? What could possibly go wrong?

One of the developers, Element Power, says the plan would save UK consumers around £7bn over 15 years compared to other renewable sources.

Again with the renewables Moriaty! Electricity is the life-blood of modernity. Without the electricity we might as well dig-up Jimmy Maxwell and bugger the remains. I mean for fuck’s sake! Let’s make the most important thing in the World – the thing that separates us from the brutes in the most half-arsed manner imaginable! But that’s OK because this utter fuckeration is happening in Paddyshire. And they are stonier than an Old Testament execution.

The developers also say that thousands of jobs will be created in Ireland and the economy as a whole will benefit.

But it creates jobs! What Keynesian madness is that? You might as well just pay Pat to dig a hole in the bog and Mick to fill it in. I hate this. It is the key fail of BBC News. Always with the jobs Moriaty! Economic development is about destroying jobs not make-work for the sake of it. I mean how many dung-chewers or pig-pokers do you know? We had this thing called an “Industrial Revolution”. This meant we made things quicker, cheaper, faster and with less general effort. We might as well climb up a 180m tower and piss on the grave of Lord Armstrong. And yes, his gaff was the first home in the world with electricity. He had a hydro station because he wasn’t a numpty.

But concerns are now growing that the turbines needed to provide the power will be of a size and scale not seen in Britain or Ireland before.

Because the bog lands are relatively windless, the company behind the scheme says they will need to stretch high into the sky to catch sufficient wind to generate power.

Some old-time buggers in Babylon had a similar idea. That’s in fucking Genesis. Do we ever learn?

“We felt it was better to built slightly larger turbines but fewer of them and that’s the best way to minimise the impact on the local area.”

180m is slightly larger. I am a former student of astrophysics so I have a technical term for 180m, “fucking enormous”.

But opponents say that local people have not been consulted and few actually realise just what an impact the turbines will have on the landscape.

“People don’t actually understand the scale of them,” said Andrew Duncan, an auctioneer and spokesman for the Lakelands Wind Information group, who are opposed to the plan.

Is Mr Duncan lobbying for windy milling in the Lakes. Because if so he can fuck off too. Cumbria has a major role in power generation – it’s called Sellafield.

“Putting up the largest turbines in the world without consultation – I think it is ludicrous, to be honest.”

Yeah, well I live in a grade II listed building and technically I’m not allowed a Sky dish. And that is less than a metre across! It was hidden round the back of the chimney by the Sky-man. Of course in order to get “council telly” I could perfectly legally erect a monstrance of a 5 metre Yagi dipole which is odd because just down the road from me is a fucking ginormous dish. We call it Jodrell Bank. Oddly enough that is also a grade II listed building. A few years back it was faced with closure for the want of GBP 3.5 million. I almost did an MSc there but I also had an offer from Queen Mary in London and I kinda figured Stepney would be more fun than Macclesfield which is (in a weird way) is how I wound-up in Cheshire anyway. In the end though London was fun – as ever.

Jodrell Bank is fucking awesome. I go there when they have does. I go there because it is the future, not the past. I recall being disgusted when it was to be scrapped and folk were on about what an iconic thing on the Cheshire skyline it was. Yes, it is but is that the point of it? There’s a Universe out there and that is our telephone. It is not about being cute. It’s about being an enormous steerable array. It’s about astronomy, not heritage. This is Britain. This is the birthplace of the industrial age and the nation of Newton and Darwin. We are not a fucking museum. My boss at Nottingham University won the Nobel Prize for inventing the MRI scanner. There is no blue plaque on the door. We are now going for the Blue Paque and twinning with Hobbiton. I have stood on the reactor plate of the first ever nuclear power station at Calder Hall in Cumbria as a kid (A-Level Physics school trip) and I shall be buggered if I’m giving up that to build cunting windmills in Irish bogs. You couldn’t get Fathers Ted, Jack and Dougal to come up with something more half-witted! And at least Craggy Island was windy.

Oh for God’s sake electricity, the motor car and heavier than air flight are like cool. They are the second industrial revolution. They are the reason I can get fro Manchester Airport to Paris in just over an hour or to Istanbul in like four. It is the reason I don’t go into the stream and bang my washing with rocks like some medieval cunt but stick it in the electric machine instead. Dear sweet Jesus! Do I want to live like my grandparents? No. And they appreciated new stuff too. My Grandad went to primary school without shoes. I went to university in Nike Airs. I’d say that was an improvement and so would he if he was still with us.

But not everything has been cured yet.


  1. JuliaM says:

    “…says they will need to stretch high into the sky to catch sufficient wind to generate power.”

    Christ, is it April 1st already? Only in Ireland….

  2. mike says:

    On the other hand they’ll have somewhere to put a big fecking power station when the wind farm thing blows over.

  3. Lynne says:

    Really there is only one sensible and family friendly riposte the Irish should make to this proposal:

    Bog off!

  4. Paul Marks says:

    Wnd power makes no economic sense – other than for micro generation for small isolated communities.

  5. RAB says:

    Utter insanity! The cabling to Wales alone will cost billions, and lose half the power in transition.

    And it will create jobs… Ah yes the legendary prowess of the Irish worker.I feel an Irish joke coming on…

    Foreman to his workers who are re-turfing Lansdowne Road…

    Don’t forget now lads… Green side up.

  6. John Galt says:

    But Nick, you forget this is Ireland were talking about. If this starts annoying somebody (especially if they’re not seeing some €€€’s to compensate for the eyesoriness and noise), then they just have to have a word in the ear of ‘the boys’…you know who I mean…

    A couple of pounds of C4 (or even the all-time-favourite fertilizer combo) at the base of 180 metre tall flying whirligig will do an awful lot of damage. It might even fall into another one. If they were owned by an English company, it might even happen all on its very own.

    On the night of the ‘unfortunate event’ everyone will be full accounted for and blathered at O’Flanaghans bar, especially ‘the boys’. Drinks will be drunk, song will be sung, possible even timestamped photographs taken. The Garda Síochána aren’t stupid, they know when shits gone down and they also know when to keep looking the other way.

    How sad would that be?

  7. NickM says:

    I recall in the ’80s there was amongst the PIRA high command a discussion about the sinfulness of using condoms to hold the H2SO4 because they were “immoral objects”. They had a problem with condoms but not with blowing people to buggery. Nice fellows.

  8. John Galt says:

    As a citizen of the Irish Republic, I acknowledge the utter wickedness of what ‘the boys’ did and continue to do. There is no getting away from it, it was pure bloody murder and no mistake. That they try and balance their religious views with their terrorist machinery is ironic at best.

    There are no redeeming features, but if ‘The English’ put their eyesores on Ireland’s soil, I’ll have to pass on underwriting the insurance on that installation, because there’s going to be one hell of an accident if someone doesn’t put a decent guard on it or pay ‘the boys’ off to leave it be.

    Just one kind of terrorism, facing off with another really. I expect a shocked response from the World Watermelon Fund and other Warble Gloaming propagandists if it does all kick off…

  9. RAB says:

    The tragic irony of Ireland is that it spent centuries trying to free itself from England, with much mayhem and thousands murdered, but at the first opportunity signed up to the EU, which is far worse than British rule.

    Now they find themselves slaves to the burgeoning Super State, not even able to set their own budgets.

  10. Mr Ed says:

    Presumably this entire plan is driven by a (Stalinesque) target that x% of UK energy must come from renewables, and as they haven’t yet invented methane-powered fuel cells to insert in individual human anuses to generate power and reduce CH4 emissions in one fell swoop (that’s for 2020) the next plan is to build big-enough wind farms and for the power to be used in the UK.

    The questions that spring to mind (there is no question about the economics) are:

    Where do they manufacture these devices? (they probably haven’t designed them yet, this site claims 126 metres giving 7MW! )
    How do they transport and assemble them in situ?
    Why not send the power to Northern Ireland? (reducing transmission costs and getting the energy to be used in the UK, and for those who disregard the border, keeping it in Ireland).
    Whose pension funds will back this scam?

    And would it be cheaper to buy and reverse a load of these?

  11. John Galt says:

    I agree, but as I pointed out to Paul Marks over at Samizdata the other day, the reason that the Republic of Ireland, Denmark and Norway [subsequently rejected] joined the EU along with the UK in the 1973 ascension was their economies were deemed so intertwined with the UK that they were forced to.

    Now we both know that with hindsight this was a stupid thing to do, but the people of the Republic of Ireland benefited greatly from EU investment during the 1980’s and 90’s, although they are unlikely to get further future investment.

    Equally, by having a constitutional requirement for a referendum on new EU treaties, the Irish Republic has been able to secure far greater leverage for itself despite it’s small population.

    To my great shame the people of the Republic of Ireland still prefer the hegemony of the EU over the perceived hegemony of the UK if they were outside the EU. While this is a delusional, dark fantasy, it still holds captive many of my fellow Irishmen.

  12. RAB says:

    Not that much leverage John when they vote no and keep getting asked to vote yes until they do. Are the Irish mice or leprechauns?

  13. John Galt says:

    You will recall that the last time they had to ratify a treaty (Lisbon), they initially rejected it with a 53.4% majority on a 53.1% turnout. The EU was then forced to offer numerous concessions (guarantees on abortion, taxation and military neutrality) to have the treaty ratified next time around.

    Since modern democracy seems to have reverted to bribing people with their own money, it’s perhaps a logical conclusion. I would certainly argue that the Irish people carried far more weight on the subject than say Finland (the next largest EU member by size of population)

    If a similar constitutional requirement had existed in the UK, we’d probably have never ratified any treaty after 1975. Whether that would have changed the nature of the EU or resulted in the UK’s exiting the EU between then and now, who can say?

  14. Julie near Chicago says:

    Nick, you live within “do” distance of Jodrell Bank? Color me jealous, jealous, jealous!

    Do they do only science events, or also fine-arts performances? Argonne used to do lots of those, oh, and they had photo contests for the employees…*blush* … Alan got himself involved in a kerfuffle because he he once entered a (stellar, IMO) B&W fantasy nude. I think Fermilab still does many of them.

  15. NickM says:

    Yes, the do quite a lot at Jodrell Bank. A couple of months ago I went to a talk given by Jocelyn Bell-Burnell. They also have star parties during meteor showers – quadrantids and such. The have BBQs for them. It’s great.

  16. Paul Marks says:

    John Galt.

    You know the Republic – and I do not.

    Is Waterford worth a visit? My grandfather’s people came from there.

  17. John Galt says:

    Waterford is a nice enough town on it’s own I guess. Similar in many ways to some of the more developed mixed tourist / pleasure ports on the Welsh coast and Bristol Channel.

    There is quite a lot of tourist industry in-and-around Waterford because of the manufacture of Waterford Crystal glass. Due to the recession, a lot of the smaller arts and crafts venues have gone under so it’s more drab than it was and has lost a certain amount of Celtic buzz.

    I’ve been through it on my way from Rosslare, but it’s not a place I’ve stopped for anything more than lunch or a snack as my haunts are in the rural southern & western part of the island of Ireland from Tralee and Dingle bay around to Galway bay.

    I’m a lover of strong seas and harsh weather, preferably from the vantage point of a pub with a roaring fire going a steady flow of decent Guinness and an occasional lightly seasoned trout.

  18. Julie near Chicago says:

    Sounds fabulous, Nick. I’m sure you and Mrs. Nick–and Timmy–won’t mind if The Luce and I move in with you. :>)))

  19. John Galt says:

    Sounds like the starting line-up for a sit-com.

  20. Julie near Chicago says:

    Now John, be nice…. LOLOL

  21. John says:

    Mr ED…at this moment the Irish interconnector to the UK is drawing 310 MW from us…we are drawing 900 MW from the French interconnector and 330 MW from the Dutch one.
    So the hardware is installed anyway.

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