With oil prices again on the rise and a real prospect of oil prices sticking at ever increasing levels, people have again begun to start thinking about the mortality of the current energy sources. Here in West Berkshire there are protests going on for a small wind turbine at Sheepdrove farm in Lambourn. Short sighted people often called NIMBY's (Not In My Back Yard) moan about how it would scare horses, kill flocks of birds, produce noise and ruin their land scape (none of these points are, IMHO, real issues). These are, of course, the very people driving car's, running oil central heating and very much like their electricity supply thank you. These are also, of course, the very people that would be first in line to complain when the energy they use becomes too expensive.
Already we have seen here in West Berkshire's downlands how the villages here have been hit by the high oil prices. Lambourn, Great Shefford, Chaddleworth, the Ilsley's and more are all vulnerable as their sources of energy for heating and hot water are seemingly limited. There is no gas up here so everyone is blighted by the high oil prices… oil for heating, bottled gas, electricity and coal/wood all have undergone a bizarre uplift following the price of oil. Competition, it seems, is again not the answer.
Despite this, there still seems to be a short sighted approach to renewable energies here in West Berkshire. Why do all new houses in West Berkshire not include solar powered solar hot water heating? A simple and relatively cheap measure for the developers, but the long term benefit to our community and our society would be dramatic. Why not embrace the use of local renewable energies? If every farm the size of Sheepdrove had it's own wind turbine able to produce 50-100kW, not only would be farms start to become electricity neutral, but the times of domestic high demand are not in common with times of commercial farming high demand – allowing excess electricity to be ploughed back into the local community ensuring a good sustainable supply.
Many people saw and endured real hardship after the second world war – during these times people knew how to re-use, repair, and recycle. We seem to have forgotten this, and people now resist a sustainable future for their children and their grandchildren. Odd, in my mind, that people would be so careless about the people they love and know, assuming that someone else can solve the problem elsewhere. I wonder where they think future energy will come from? I wonder if they have thought that the next world war could be over energy? where would we as a nation stand in an energy war? a question for another blog entry I think.