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Decision to block Lewis turbines project has revealed the myth of wind power

Reaction to the Scottish Government’s refusal to construct one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms, 181 turbines on Lewis in the Western Isles (your report, 22 April), has exposed the myth of wind power.

In response to Scottish industry’s concerns that its lights may go out, Britain’s power industry had to admit it would not make one iota of difference as wind power is too unstable to be included in any calculations of how much power is needed to satisfy the country’s needs – whether or not the wind is blowing our power stations will still burn the same amount of fossil fuel.

A spinning turbine’s only value, for the environmentalists, is as an icon of their power over the vulnerable and as an “at least we are doing something” comfort blanket for gullible politicians, plus, of course, an exponential currency generator for the wind industry.

BRIAN CHRISTLEY

Bryn Gwyn

Abergele, Conwy

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With Scottish ministers having rejected Lewis Wind Power’s proposal to build a massive 181-turbine wind farm on the Isle of Lewis, the renewables industry can now be seen for what it truly is: not a saviour of the planet, but an environmental vandal driven by financial greed.

Lewis Wind Power and the few supporters it was able to persuade to come on side for this ill-conceived proposal, which included the Western Isles Council, will no doubt continue to see the Scottish Government’s decision as a “huge missed opportunity” for Scotland. However, I suspect the many thousands who objected will see the decision to reject in a far more sensible and less blinkered light.

NEIL McKINNON

Tulchan Garden

Glenalmond, Perthshire

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Perhaps PhD student Richard Crozier (Letters, 21 April) should read the Sustainable Development Commission’s Windpower in the UK, for it states that at wind farm installations of 20 per cent, fossil power station back-up of 80 per cent is required and that at greater proportions even more back-up is required. This sort of defeats the purpose doesn’t it?

Power stations cannot be adjusted to suit variable wind generation and without this back-up there would be no reliable supply of electricity.

Can you imagine running an electric train service on wind power? Tear up the timetables.

A R NELSON

Scarletmuir

Lanark

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The Scotsman

23 April 2008