Can solar panels be alternative to turbines?

THERE is huge opposition to windfarms in this part of the world, with only a minority of the population appearing to be in favour of them.

Yet we have plans for windfarms and single turbines all over our county.

Apparently, there are 115 consented windfarms in Northumberland and plans in the pipeline for some 200 more. Nationwide at present, there are 325 windfarms consisting of 3,538 turbines, with thousands more in the pipeline.

The Government’s aim is to produce one fifth of our energy from wind power.

The main arguments against wind turbines appear to be that they are very expensive, the subsidy to developers and landowners is huge, they are a blot on the landscape and there will never be enough turbines to do what is expected of them.

Those in favour keep pointing out the clean energy they supply but, in my book, they have little else going for them.

There is also the fear that turbines might have a serious effect on tourism, which is a mainstay of the economy in this area.

An alternative to wind power is solar panels, which are springing up on roofs of houses throughout the country.

Would the government not be wiser to continue to subsidise this form of energy?

It appears to be very efficient, brings a bonus to householders and it is clean as clean can be.

I am told for an average house, the cost is in the region of £10,000, which will be paid off in about 10 years.

I have not heard one cry of outrage over panels being put on roofs.

The only down side is that they rely on the roof angle and the way it is facing.

They must not be shaded by trees or high buildings.

Would the Government not be far better insisting that every new house built must have subsidised solar panels on the roof and keep paying the subsidy to householders who want to convert.

I know I would rather look out onto a house with solar panels than wind turbines, which I think do spoil the view, no matter where they are placed, with one exception – at least four miles offshore in the sea surrounding Britain.

I MUST admit I do like beer and, once upon a time, visiting a pub was part of the regular routine.

All journalists did – it was where you could hear the latest news and gossip and meet friends and contacts.

The above thought came to mind upon learning this week that there are rumours that another two Alnwick pubs are likely to close.

The ill-named Hairy Lemon formerly the Black Swan has already gone and it seems likely that the Blue Bell, now the Alnwick Gate, and what was the Three Tuns, now the Alnwick Arms, are facing closure because of hard times.

Many an old Alnwick drinker will be turning in their grave at the thought.

There have been some rare old tales told over a pint in these establishments over the years and it will be with a heavy heart if we witness their closure.

Times have changed and the march of home entertainment, driven by computer technology, has seen the demise of the evening spent in a pub.

History, though, has a habit of repeating itself and once we realise that we are turning into a generation of zombies staring at a screen and punching messages into a phone or computer, completely killing the art of conversation and face-to-face interaction, then I’m sure we will rediscover the joys of a trip to the local, where we will meet friends and reminisce about the good old days of Tweeting, Facebooking and cyber-messaging!