The River Tiefi. Pic by Ian McIlgorm.
The Government-subsidised [anaerobic digester] turns animal excrement, human food waste and specially grown rye into methane gas, which is burnt in a generator to make supposedly environmentally friendly electricity for the National Grid. …
Last December, just a few months after it was built, the digester triggered an ecological catastrophe. Unnoticed by the farm’s owners, brothers Jim and William Lloyd, a pipe from a storage vat sprang a leak.
Thousands of gallons of black, toxic slime began sliding slowly downhill across those verdant meadows to a nearby stream – a tributary of the Teifi. The result was a poisonous ‘tsunami’, a flood of putrid sludge that flowed down the stream and into the river for hours. The consequences were devastating, and are likely to last many years. …
At least 1,000 mature trout and salmon were found dead immediately, but the full toll will be many times higher.
Poison levels in an eight-mile stretch of the Teifi [River] were so high almost no living things survived. …
Greeen digester power plant. Pic by Ian McIlgorm
Despite this generous Government support, no official agency checked the plant’s design or safety systems before it was built, or monitored its operation. The ultimate cause of the leak was shoddily installed plastic pipework – and both firms responsible have now gone into liquidation.
Although the Pencefn leak is at least the 20th ‘serious pollution incident’ caused by an anaerobic digester since the beginning of 2015, scores of new ones are being planned across the country – some of the biggest by ‘green’ tycoon and former ‘new age traveller’ Dale Vince of Ecotricity, who advises Labour on its energy policy.
Funny how you never hear about the ecological danger wreaked by renewable power. The high toll on bird life from wind turbines is a running sore, where as before renewables if birds were killed it was often big news. Yet any incident from normal industry or coal is given lots of airplay. “Fair and balanced” just doesn’t come into it — the media is lying by omission all the time.