With energy, in all its guises, high on the political agenda at the moment, in both Holyrood and Westminster, the minds of the great and the good have been given over to deciding what’s hot and what’s not.
Many believe that the only way ahead is to concentrate on nuclear energy, while Alex Salmond has recently been promoting the virtues of a return to coal-fuelled power. There are also champions round every corner for “renewables”.
Although a lot of work has still to be done, many people believe that some of the renewable technologies are nearing the level where they could be competitive. Harnessing the power of the sea, or ““ as recently highlighted, tidal power in rivers, such as the Severn ‘Bore’ ““ has been investigated for years, but to date, the experiments have seemed unable to produce anything truly sustainable.
The work in this field goes on, hidden for the most part from public view.
The development of wind power, on the other hand, is much more public.
Moray and adjoining areas of Highland have been earmarked as perfect territory for the development of wind power. The terrain, the wind, the low density of population, have all been held up as acceptable reasons why it should be so.
However, although people probably are few and far between in these areas, those who live there can be forgiven for wondering why their former peace and tranquility has been shattered.
The Dava Moor, which lies between Forres and Grantown in the south, is just such a place. The people who live there are asking why the wild land around them has been picked out for what they reckon is an over-abundance of wind farm developments.
Campaigners against the development of these wind farms claim that if they all get the go-ahead, giant turbines will dominate the landscape wherever they look. There is no doubt that this is an area of great natural beauty, but there is also no doubt that it is a wild, windswept place.
Therein lies the problem. It would appear that councillors, both in Moray and Highland, will have to decide whether a wind farm is a real opportunity to cut down on greenhouse gases, or simply a blot on the landscape.
30 May 2007
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