I just heard that plans to construct one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms on the blanket bog of the Isle of Lewis has been refused by the Scottish Government. This was for 181 turbines with a combined capacity of 702MW. This is slightly larger than Viking Energy, but on the same relative scale.
The scheme had the backing of the local authority but there were almost 11,000 objections from the local community to only 98 for the scheme. Even though the reason for refusal was that the project would have a ‘significant impact on the Lewis Peatlands Special Protection Area’, the overwhelming degree of public opinion must have been a large factor in the Holyrood decision. The power of public opinion can and does sway our political masters.
Over the last while a number of people have voiced their concerns on virtually every aspect of the Viking Energy proposal in Shetland. This has ranged from peat failure, visibility, house prices, noise, human health risks, animal welfare, carbon savings, economics and many more.
All that Viking Energy says in response to these legitimate concerns is that we are all scaremongers. However, dismissing these concerns in this way does not invalidate them. In my view, if the Viking Energy proposal does go ahead, the Shetland as we know it will be gone for good.
It would take me a long time to reiterate all the issues, but I would like try and encapsulate them in a poem. I apologise for the poor literary standard but I hope the content will be appreciated and more people will wake up and take note of this monstrous juggernaut that is heading towards us.
Business collapse, but that’s just tough
Flash floods and wildlife carnage
Built on peat
Natural carbon sink destruction
Bogalanche and peat failure will result
Windfarm grid connection
Hillwalkers beware of electromagnetic radiation
Attract boy racers and 4x4s in every mode
Fossil fuel backup 90 per cent all told
Windfarm peat disturbance
Resulting carbon audit in abeyance
Windfarm motion smear
Tumultuous bird deaths every year
Windfarm shadow flicker
Strobe on hill
Zombie status could not be quicker
House price fall
Tourists will abandon this vicinity
Cuts through to the soul and destroys one’s poise
Old folk pay the penance
Effect on all life will be chronic
Proposers chase these in their greed
Viking bust, nuclear capability
Shetland’s future in the balance.
Windfarm land rent
Windfarms cover Shetland’s landmass by 20 per cent
Shetland’s natural heritage gone in reality
Once this windfarm passes planning law
Shetland, as we know it, will be no more.
22 April 2008
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