A Scottish Natural Heritage report suggests that the current system of substantial Government subsidies to land-based wind farms gives no incentive to developers or landowners to consider alternatives. In 2005, 97 per cent of all proposals for renewable energy production were for land-based wind farms.The Scottish Executive has promised to generate 40 per cent of Scotland’s electricity using renewable sources by 2020. By land-based wind farms this will have an horrific effect on the beauty of Scotland’s natural environment and the tourist industry.
Evidence from Denmark, Germany and Ireland shows that because wind power is intermittent and unpredictable, overall a national grid can’t safely rely on more than 10 per cent of its input from wind farms.
The report by the Renewable Energy Foundation entitled Reduction in Carbon Dioxide Emissions, Estimating the potential contribution from wind power (2004) written by David White comprehensively dismantles the case for onshore wind farms.
This foundation’s study of more than 500 turbines now in operation on data supplied by companies to Ofgem, the energy regulator, shows: Cornwall’s wind farms operating at only 24.1 per cent of capacity on average, Mid Wales 23.8 per cent, Yorkshire Dales 24.9 per cent, Cumbria 25.9 per cent, Southern Scotland 31.5 per cent, Caithness, Orkney, Shetland 32.9 per cent, Offshore (north Holyne and Scrobe Sands) 32.6 per cent, Kings Langley (M25) 7.7 per cent and GlaxoSmithKline, Barnard Castle 8.8 per cent.
The study concludes that the most effective place to site the turbines is at sea near major cities where they can harness the greater power of off-shore winds without losing much of the electricity in transmission through the National Grid from remote areas such as the north of Scotland.
Power generation from renewable sources should also be accompanied by substantial improvements in energy saving, both in the home, industry and commerce.
We can help the planet by growing hemp, one of the most useful, strongest, toughest, longest lasting materials. We can’t produce a better fibre for clothes and the pulp used for paper would prevent the need for trees to be cut down.
We also require electric cars, solar heat, solar power and heat pumps in homes. Scotland would be capable of producing all its electricity from hydro-electric schemes.
Chairman, UKIP (Scotland)
13 March 2007
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