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Eolines / Wind turbines on the Somme


geraint
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Living near Limoges, and having remained there because of  Covid confinement for the last 2 years; I've not travelled our usual thrice a year trips to Wales to visit family. We usually use the A16 Paris Abbeville Boulogne route. Today we took the A1 Paris, to Lille route passing Vimy, and the eastern part of the Somme battlefields. My last journey on that route was about 4 years earlier. Reaching the south eastern entry into the Department of the Somme, I was absolutely gob-smacked by what we saw. Not just a few, but literally, hundreds of eolines erected during the last three years, Villages surrounded by forty eolines. Houses with a visual panorama of 360 degrees of hundreds of eolines, and ALL of them blinking white or red lights at 30 second intervals throughout the night. Horrors of hell on earth! But this is the Somme - well accustomed to the horrors of hell on earth.

 

Which made me think of archaeology; or rather the destruction of archaeology. Each wind turbine has a concrete foundation of hundreds of tonnes of concrete poured in to a suitably sized excavation. Wind farms are constructed in the Somme Department with rows of up to thirty turbines built in a straight line at less than a kilometer apart. Today, I think that I've visually counted a thousand. Are archaeologist, or Great War historians consulted in any way by these eoline constructors? I hate to think of the immense damage done in the Somme region by these excavations.

 

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Do you think that because there was some fighting there more than 100 years ago now, the whole area (exactly what area BTW?) should be left as farmland (or even better: restored to the battlefield it was?). And what does give you/the British the right to demand this?

Local people have returned and built a living again often under very difficult conditions. Houses, industrial areas have been built and now wind turbines, it's a natural evolution. People always claim that the Allies were fighting for "freedom". Well isn't that freedom? The right to be able to make a living and evolve?

I am happy if at least parts of the battlefield would be preserverd and some striking views and bunkers etc.

As far as I know, there is some form of archaeological follow up when these things are built.

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Geriant

this has been covered a couple of years ago on the forum, does spark some anger between members, but as we are plagued in Wiltshire of whole fields of solar panels, at least in our old area of the Pas -de the farmers can cultivate the rest of the fields.

As far as Im aware, there has been consultation with historical representatives BUT I can see that although you dont like them, we always knew when we were in the area and used as landmarks. there is the need for electricity to be upgraded due to bigger expansions of residential areas and presumably with more electric cars being introduced it may be a possibility of putting charging points on the windmills.

digging up the foundations would possibly uncover remains which may lead to an identity which could be a good thing.

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Not just the Somme, the Cambrai and Arras battlefields are covered in them, but doesn’t that matter? Life goes on and things change. Renewable energy is here to stay. 

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Fortunately here on our little piece of the Somme from a bedroom window we can only see about 6 which are part of a series of windmills way on the horizon to the SE.  They are actually turning today, albeit very slowly.  They must be generating just about enough electricity to power my laptop.  Dreadful things and no attempt (here or in the UK) to reduce the visual impact on the open spaces they tend to occupy.  Their impact, relative to their (inconsistent) power output is out of balance. Ah well, roll on my next shopping trip to Bapaume next week when I can enjoy them at relatively close quarters in all their majesty.

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On 20/08/2021 at 08:52, Michelle Young said:

Not just the Somme, the Cambrai and Arras battlefields are covered in them, but doesn’t that matter? Life goes on and things change. Renewable energy is here to stay. 

Quite.

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I'm not against renewable energy. Put an equal amount of renewable eolines and solar panels in each Department in France. The Loire and it's chateaus has far fewer eolines than the Somme, and Haute Vienne where I live. Poorer Departments are inundated by them - the richer ones, where the owners live, have none. Egalite - is the keyword here!

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7 hours ago, geraint said:

I'm not against renewable energy. Put an equal amount of renewable eolines and solar panels in each Department in France. The Loire and it's chateaus has far fewer eolines than the Somme, and Haute Vienne where I live. Poorer Departments are inundated by them - the richer ones, where the owners live, have none. Egalite - is the keyword here!

It's also a matter where the wind is. The high plains of northern France with the wind coming from the Channel are most probably better suited than other departments. And more electricity is needed in the more industrial north of France than in the rural departments (cost of lines). These things have to be taken into consideration as well.

Think of all that as well before you start complaining please.

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On 20/08/2021 at 06:30, AOK4 said:

Do you think that because there was some fighting there more than 100 years ago now, the whole area (exactly what area BTW?) should be left as farmland (or even better: restored to the battlefield it was?). And what does give you/the British the right to demand this?

Local people have returned and built a living again often under very difficult conditions. Houses, industrial areas have been built and now wind turbines, it's a natural evolution. People always claim that the Allies were fighting for "freedom". Well isn't that freedom? The right to be able to make a living and evolve?

I am happy if at least parts of the battlefield would be preserverd and some striking views and bunkers etc.

As far as I know, there is some form of archaeological follow up when these things are built.

I recently sailed through the Channel and along the Brit coast. So far I could see, the ground above the beautiful white chalk cliffs are plastered with ugly windmills. Does anybody from EU demand the Brits to preserve the area where 80 years ago history happened with the air-to-ground battle raging? With targets like radar stations, gun fortresses, bunkers, blockhouses, trenches from home defense? No. It is the undisputed right of each country to develop the former battlefields with whatever they desire. So I concur with AOK4

Edited by egbert
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