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Claims for wind farm do not stand scrutiny

Your report (The Herald, April 7) on Whitelee wind farm, on Eaglesham Moor – Europe’s largest wind farm in one of the continent’s smallest countries – said: “According to ScottishPower, the project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 650,000 tonnes per year.”

Erecting a wind farm per se does not reduce emissions. A reduction in emissions only takes place when fossil generation is displaced by the wind generation.

But because the wind is variable, intermittent, sometimes too strong for turbines and is largely unpredictable, back-up power-station generation is required continuously, irrespective of wind conditions, to ensure a reliable electricity supply.

If the 180,000 homes mentioned were to rely only on the output of Whitelee wind farm, they would be unable to switch anything electrical on with any confidence that it would work because of the unreliable output from wind farms.

ScottishPower knows this and also knows its carbon dioxide reduction claim is conjectural. However, the consumer-paid subsidies are very profitable.

Neither Scotland nor Europe has seen a wind farm the size of Whitelee before but you can be sure tourists do not come to Scotland (and nor do people resident here) to admire a pointlessly mechanised landscape.

A R Nelson, Lanark.

The Herald

8 April 2008