Following on from the public exhibition held by Infinergy, displaying the proposals for a mammoth new wind farm, called the Dorenell Wind Farm, on the Glenfiddich and Cabrach estates, I was not surprised to see a “thank you” letter from them that continued to peddle misinformation about the effectiveness of wind farms.
They said, and I quote: “Renewable energy developments such as Dorenell will assist in the fight against climate change and provide an alternative method for electricity generation other than relying on the burning of fossil fuels.”
However, they neglect to mention one or two important facts that I feel people should start to be aware of.
Wind farms have no effect on climate change. In countries such as Germany and Denmark, where there are thousands of wind turbines, not a single coal power station has been closed. Why? Because wind cannot generate power continuously, and the grid distribution companies need a continuous controllable power supply. When you switch on an electrical appliance you expect to have power.
They do immense damage to the environment. The area of the Glenfiddich and Cabrach estate is an important habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal life. Waters from these hills ultimately flow into the River Spey and Deveron. If the proposal gets the go-ahead there is scientific evidence to suggest that the damage to the peat and heather could cause major problems for these rivers. Each turbine will require a base the size of an olympic swimming pool filled with reinforced concrete. Together with the new roads that will have to be driven into the hills, this concrete and the damage to the environment can never be removed or repaired.
Tourism, with whisky manufacturing, is amongst the largest businesses in Scotland. Richard Lochhead MSP has, in the past, relayed the message that tourism to Scotland should grow by 50%. Visit Scotland sells Scotland around the world based on an image of breathtaking scenery. People will not want to come here to look at an industrial site.
Finally, there is the issue of Money. Wind farms generate huge profits for the company building them – of course the taxpayer (all of us) have to pay huge subsidies and for the landowner. In this case the landowner, who is, by his own reckoning, astronomically wealthy, would be looking to gather in an estimated £2 million per year for permitting the wanton destruction of a large swathe of an unspoiled area of natural wilderness.
I would urge people reading this to take an interest in the spreading menace of wind farms throughout Scotland. Find out the facts about the experiences of wind farms in other countries. Look at the sheer number of wind farms planned – when you look at a map, it’s staggering. In 20 years will there will not be any part of Scotland where you cannot see a wind farm. Look at the money that we, the taxpayers, are pouring into these projects.
Oh, and by the way, did you know this wind farm will only have a life of 25 years?
Then, according to Infinergy, they take down the turbines and go away, leaving irreparable damage to part of Scotland’s landscape (arguably it’s the country’s most important asset) and their wallets bulging with our cash. – Yours etc,
Rob McHugh, Auchinhandoch, Dufftown
30 November 2007
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