February 18, 2008

Save Our Scenic Moray

The SOS Moray [1] website highlights the concerns of a group of people who fear that the development of a number of windfarm sites across North East Scotland will not only be detrimental to wildlife and landscape, but also prove to be inefficient in generating renewable energy.

The website lists the many windfarms already operational in Moray, as well as those in development and urges concerned individuals and communities to action, registering their objections with the relevant authorities in a bid to protect this beautiful and wildlife rich area.

The most urgent campaign sited is that around Glenkirk Wind Farm [2] which is subject to a current planning application before the Scottish Executive.

If you are an interested party and wish to register an objection to this application, you can download a prepared document at:

http://www.sosmoray.org.uk/glenkirk_objection.doc [3]

The Wilderness Foundation UK strongly supports the drive towards stabilization and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with Kyoto and other accords.

However an overview is urgently required – of wind farm location policy and energy strategy in general. This should incorporate evidence from other countries further advanced in wind power installation, such as Denmark and Germany .

Six Policy Pointers

* Onshore wind farms should be permitted only in landscapes already incorporating a significant level of built development and/or otherwise lacking aesthetic value. Greater emphasis should be directed towards micro-technology installations rather than giant turbine farms.
* The Foundation opposes the location of wind farms in areas where landscape is currently of wild, open, attractive or otherwise unspoilt aspect.
* Much greater emphasis should be applied to offshore locations, providing these do not despoil wild coastlines or marine environments – and where no significant concerns arise based on experience of similar locations already established.
* Planning permission for any wind farm should be preceded by a full Environmental Impact Assessment providing assurance on bird mortality, human health, landscape intrusiveness, and, where relevant, marine environment and coastal geomorphology. The long-term impact on local livelihoods and property values must also be taken into account.
* The underlying economics of the situation should be carefully reviewed. How much saving in greenhouse gas emission can be gained for a given level of investment in wind power as against other approaches? What are the relative cost-benefits of wind farms?
* There is a need to develop a coherent measure of the value of wildlands and landscape. Using maps of existing and prospective wildland, it should be feasible to devise an alternative location strategy that can be effectively represented on commercial as well as more traditional grounds.

The Wilderness Foundation UK [4]

[Note: the text of this entry has been edited to correct a misspelling of “Moray”]

18 February 2008

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2008/02/18/save-our-scenic-morray/

URLs in this post:

[1] SOS Moray: http://www.sosmoray.org.uk/index.html

[2] Glenkirk Wind Farm: http://www.sosmoray.org.uk/glenkirk.htm

[3] http://www.sosmoray.org.uk/glenkirk_objection.doc: http://www.sosmoray.org.uk/glenkirk_objection.doc

[4] The Wilderness Foundation UK: http://wildernessfoundationuk.blogspot.com/2008/02/save-our-scenic-morray.html