It would seem that the industrialisation of rural Scotland is gathering pace with the approval by the Scottish Government for the largest wind farm in Europe in south Lanarkshire (The Herald, July 22). The article suggests that lovers of the hills and moors of our beautiful little country are destined to lose “a lot of battles” in future opposition to further wind farm development. Well, perhaps not.
The SNP government was voted in by the Scottish electorate and its MSPs can be voted out just as easily. Voting the SNP out of office at the next election for the Scottish Parliament would send a powerful message to the SNP, and all other parties, about public reaction to desecration of the Scottish countryside by hideously unsightly wind farms. Alex Salmond is an astute politician, but I believe he may have seriously misjudged the mood of the public on this issue.
It is bad enough to be told by the First Minister that Scotland’s landscapes are to be sacrificed to achieve irrelevant SNP targets for renewables but he now claims that another reason is to help Europe achieve theirs. I refer to the disgraceful announcement that the gateway to Scotland, the A74 at Abington, is to be covered by 152 x 406 foot (that’s 90 feet taller than Big Ben) turbines spread over 11,707 acres (18.3 sq miles) of our countryside. The plan includes 41 borrow pits (quarries) to extract stone to provide the aggregate for the miles of access roads required. The turbine foundations alone will require about 150,000 tonnes of concrete.
At current prices the Clyde windfarm will cost us about £78m per annum in subsidies and will not generate any despatchable electricity, and once again because of the intermittency of wind, all the normal generation from coal/gas/nuclear etc will have to be kept running, rendering the electricity from the wind farm effectively surplus to requirement.
This is the third occasion in less than a year where the SNP administration has over-ruled local authorities which have tried to stop wind farm applications in their area.
This decision shows that Salmond and his cronies are more than prepared to sacrifice Scotland to achieve their personal ambitions, and underlines what a totalitarian country we have become.
Bob Graham, Inchberry, Orton, Moray.
Alex Salmond, “saint of renewables”, is First Minister of a government which seems determined to proliferate Scotland with wind farms. These erections are unsustainable because of the 24/7 power station backup required in all wind conditions. It is not expected that wind farm companies publicise these inadequacies yet E.ON recently revealed the backup needs and Scottish Renewables has admitted that windfarms will not provide the base load for electricity. What will? Even the Scottish Government recently said there was no evidence of emisssion reduction as a result of wind farms.
Elected public representatives should know the facts and represent the public and national interest. Instead, this government is like a weak, limited-powers government of an undeveloped country ripe for exploitation.
A R Nelson, Lanark.
Excerpted from The Herald
28 July 2008
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