We have started a new bed-and-breakfast business here at Barrock.
Recent visitors from Canada stayed for over a week and praised the Caithness scenery and what they called the “vastness” of the place. Now this description was a surprise because we have visited Canada and travelled down through America to Texas, and so we know how big these countries are. Our Canadian visitors explained that it was the long views of scenery and openness of the county that they liked. They felt they could see forever.
German visitors told us that they were surprised to see two big wind farms on the moors when they drove north in Caithness. It seems that their government thinks that wind farms are not reliable or efficient and they are being dismantled there. If the wind farms at Stroupster, Durran and Spittal Hill get the go-ahead then looking out from our house we will be surrounded by wind turbines. This will not encourage tourists and certainly will not help our new business.
The electricity from these wind farms is not for use in Caithness and will not benefit us. You do not need to be a scientist to understand that energy will be lost when it has to be transmitted over hundreds of miles. The wind farms should be built close to the places where the power is needed. We are not against renewable energy but why the rush to blanket Caithness in wind farms when other projects, like the work on wave and tidal power, are going on? Well, the answer, of course, is big bucks for the developers and landowners where turbines are built. Tina Irving made sense in her recent letter to the Groat when she said “let those who will benefit most pay the price… make sure that Caithness gets a fair monetary return if the development must go ahead”. But better still would be for the wind-farm developments to stop. There are enough wind farms in Caithness already.
Dolina and Don Mackenzie, Lau-ren House, Barrock.
26 October 2007
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