Your report on payments to landowners for siting wind turbines on their land (27 June) confirms yet again the Alice in Wonderland economics of wind farms. Rather than aiming to reduce energy use or ensure the lights remain on with cleaner conventional or nuclear power stations, our misdirected energy policy is now designed to provide already wealthy landowners with an extra £2.6 million over 25 years for having ten turbines on their land.
Given that 4,000 of these turbines are to despoil our landscape, this is equivalent to a subsidy to landowners of more than £1 billion over the next 25 years.
Whether in the form of increased electricity bills or higher taxes, the cost will be borne by the public at a time when we will also have to fund the replacement of our ageing power stations, which will still be needed to cover for the inevitable fluctuations of supply from inefficient and unreliable wind farms.
News that huge cash prizes are being offered to landowners for wind developments sums up everything that is wrong about the dash for renewable energy in Scotland. Rather than developing a mixed portfolio of renewable technologies, the agenda is being driven by an industry punch-drunk on green renewable energy subsidies. The gravy train is being paid for by electricity consumers, already struggling to meet soaring fuel costs.
As a result a handful of landowners and power companies are getting insanely rich on wind farms, all in the name of “green power”. There is nothing “green” about building turbines across vast areas of Scotland’s countryside without a cumulative impact assessment, a national energy strategy or any serious investment in alternatives such as wave, wind and tidal power.
Chief executive, John Muir Trust
Bill Jamieson’s article (Debate & Opinion, 27 June) was full of robust common sense.
I am sorry to say that Gordon Brown’s call for a debate on wind farms, coming hard on the heels of his claims in favour of building a new generation of nuclear reactors, smacks of a sudden realisation and panic about the insecurity of future power supplies. Sadly, none of the opposition parties have faced up squarely to the problem.
A secure and continuous electricity supply is fundamental to the life of modern society. The report on the subject by the Royal Society of Edinburgh provided an excellent basis for forward planning, but seems to have been largely ignored by the politicians. Let’s stop talking, and get some action!
J KEITH FARQUHARSON
Bill Jamieson shows there is no economic case for wind farms. Politicians’ determination to press ahead with them adds financial insult to the injury that will be done to the landscape. However, voters who do not wish to see Scotland forested with turbines nor to pay an estimated 30 per cent premium on electricity prices will remember who to blame when they go to the polls.
Not only has Bill Jamieson exposed the fallacy of wind farms saving the planet but he has revealed the real cost to the consumer: £100 billion or £4,000 per household.
Linlithgow, West Lothian
1 July 2008
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