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Wind farms despoil Scotland’s wild places

So another sizeable chunk of our landscape is to be industrialised with the enthusiastic support of the Scottish Government (“Fear of new Clearances’ as wind farm gets go-ahead”, The Herald, April 10).

Energy Minister Jim Mather says: “There is no reason why wind farms cannot exist alongside local wildlife.” What about local people? What about those of us who enjoy visiting wild places? Another large area is to be despoiled to provide an insignificant, uneconomic and unreliable generating capacity that will contribute not at all to the saving of the planet.

Alex Salmond once again trumpets the mantra that Scotland can become “the green energy capital of Europe”. What does this mean in terms of benefit to the people of Scotland? Who, apart from developers, is going to benefit from wind farms? They only require a significant number of employees at the construction stage (with very few from the local area), the hardware is manufactured on the continent and they need minimal staff to control them centrally.

Mr Salmond also complains that the charging system for transmitting energy encourages generation near large centres of population. This is as it should be, instead of blighting Scotland’s wild landscape with wind farms and the associated Beauly to Denny power line.

Andrew Mitchell, Prestwick.

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Every wind electricity generation site proposal is supported by a claim that it will provide electricity for some thousands of homes and will save a quantified level of carbon dioxide emissions, by displacing fossil fuel power generation.

Analysis of these claims and adding up the alleged total number of homes supplied shows in excess of one million homes (almost half the total in Scotland) should now be powered by wind farms. Thus, one of our fossil fuel power stations should have been closed by now. It has not.

This exposes the lack of credibility and veracity in the environmental benefit claims made by politicians and the wind lobby. The despoiling of our countryside, plus subsidies and higher electricity costs would seem to be for no benefit, except, of course, to developers and landowners.

Dr G M Lindsays, Kinross.

The Herald

11 April 2008