Wylfa B Island Benefit a Must
by J R Shufflebottom
Most of the argument so far has only concentrated on Wylfa B, yes or no. Lots of valid concerns over nuclear and opinions on wind and other renewables.
My view is that Wylfa B is going to happen. What we must do is ensure the greatest benefit is gained for the Island.
Surely, the council have it in their power to ensure that it does. Councillors, MPs and AMs seem to be falling over themselves to get Wylfa B new build going to benefit the Island with a few jobs.
There are other employers on Anglesey, most of them small, but together counting for a lot. One of the main industries on the Island is tourism. I'm sure other employers would come if their costs were to be reduced.
We should turn the Wylfa B argument on it's head, and use it's political 'risk' for our benefit.
Wylfa B should be accepted by Anglesey with all it's risks and political negatives provided that a guarantee of low cost electricity for the Island, both domestic and commercial, is achieved, and the removal (underground) of all pylons for the transmission of the power it generates.
Most people know about the Anglesey coastline being designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. What many people don't know is that almost the whole of the rest of the Island is designated as a 'Special Landscape Area'.
Although this is a non-statutory designation, it is used by planners and effectively gives them cart blanche to protect areas seen as sensitive.
Achieving a lower price for our electricity (transmission distances would be low), would benefit all businesses on Anglesey, and hopefully attract new ones, thus helping to overcome
one of our main disadvantages - our relative remoteness.
Getting rid of the Pylons would improve the landscape dramatically. Wylfa B will produce something like four times the power of the original power station.
There are also plans for tidal generation, more Wind Turbines offshore, and no doubt others in the future.
All this power will have to be transmitted. The current plans are for the National Grid to erect another line of pylons which will be taller and closer together than the existing ones.
There will also be an increase in the size and density of the existing line. How's that for treating a 'Special Landscape Area' sensitively!
This, to me, is a bigger issue than whether or not Wylfa B happens. It is also an issue that needs to be decided upon before planning is given for a replacement power station.
If permission is given for the power station first, then the leverage to remove the pylons will be lost.
I don't think we see gas or water pipelines over land. Why should we have to put up with electricity pylons?
The power generated should be transmitted either underground, or under water. The additional cost over the lifetime of the power station would be minimal.
Despite Albert Owen's catch phrase Energy Island
, one of our biggest sources of income is tourism. Improving the appearance of the Island can only help tourism.
Let's use Wylfa B to get some real benefits for other industries, and the residents of the Island.
Wylfa B is going to happen. Let's use it to gain maximum advantage for Anglesey.
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