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Energy plan needs more thought  

In the wake of the defeat of the massive wind farm proposed for Lewis, readers might like to consult a document available in Forres Library to get a flavour of what is in store for us.

This is the Supplementary Environmental Information relating to the Berry Burn proposal, a wind farm of 29 turbines extending over 18 square kilometres on a site east of the A940 including Carn Kitty and Carn Ghuibhais.

What people may not realise is that this is only the most easterly of seven planned wind farms extending almost to Tomatin, a total at present of more than 100 turbines, each over 300 feet high.

These groups of turbines will dominate the whole of the Dava area and change for ever the character of a landscape which has been so typical of upland Moray and Nairnshire for generations. No more quiet outings to beautiful Lochindorb to experience the serene spaciousness of the moorland: the whole western skyline will be filled with groups of giant turbines. As well as loss of landscape and the experience of wild land, the developments will inevitably damage fragile moorland habitat and local wildlife.

And for what? Without a Government strategy to curb the appalling waste of electricity we already generate, the switch to “renewables” is pointless. In addition, the cost of industrialising large areas of rural northern Scotland in this way is so great, what with installation, roads, power lines and large subsidies to developers and landowners, that electricity bills are expected to rise by at least 40 per cent as the targets for renewable energy are approached.

Yet it is estimated that no conventional power stations will be decommissioned as part of this process, because wind-generated power is too unreliable to exist without back-up. We in the north are being expected to make a very great sacrifice for a very dubious outcome.

Wind farms may well have their place in the strategy to reduce carbon emissions, but they should be matched to communities, with the largest ones sited close to the major consumers.

If Lewis can withstand the pressure to industrialise its traditional landscape and damage its ecosystems for the benefit largely of interests elsewhere, so can Moray. I urge everyone who feels strongly about this issue to consult the website: www.sosmoray.org.uk for a great deal of factual information and details of how to protest effectively. – Yours etc,

FRANCES KNIGHT, 178 Findhorn.

Forres Gazette

30 April 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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