The HIE chief executive is sadly misinformed, like many other people, about wind farms.
By quoting the Navarre wind farm in Spain he clearly has no knowledge of the huge number of bird deaths there. Surveys of tourist views are coloured by various factors, including their perception of wind farms. If you think they are useful then there is less objection. However, there is no doubt that they mechanise the landscape and destroy nature and the environment on a permanent basis. There are no tourist surveys that include the giant turbines currently being built, nor the huge number of turbines proposed. There are no areas of Europe with comparable scenery and wildlife that are being destroyed by wind farms. People do not come to Scotland to see an industrialised landscape.
Wind farms produce intermittent, variable and unpredictable electricity. Because of this they need constant backup from other power stations. There are therefore no emission savings.
The only reason they are being built is to generate renewable obligation certificates which sell for more than the electricity being produced. This is a consumer-funded subsidy which has been described as “unacceptable” by the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
The Scottish Sustainable Energy Foundation has examined various energy sources and wind-generated electricity comes out worst.
A.R. Nelson, 5 Scarletmuir, Lanark.
21 November 2007
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