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Put wind farms offshore and save our landscapes  

Credit:  www.heraldscotland.com 30 September 2011 ~~

Your editorial is correct in questioning the way in which public levies are applied to all our electricity bills to support renewable energy developments (“Obligations that go beyond renewable energy”, The Herald, September 29).

Such levies, which are imposed by the UK Government, must be adjusted so that most public funding support is taken away from large-scale, land-based wind farm and power line development and redirected offshore.

The priority must now be for investment in offshore wind, wave and tidal systems alongside a sub-sea cable between Scotland and Norway, for which planning approval is now being sought.

Earlier this week there was a report on the public meeting called by Stirling Council to discuss the Beauly to Denny power line and ScottishPower’s “mitigation” proposals (“Changes to power line plan rejected by locals”, The Herald, September 28).

Surely by now it should be evident to this company that public and political support is melting faster than spring snow on a stone dyke?

Does it seriously think that painting 50-metre pylons in nice colours and trying to hide them behind bushes and trees represents “mitigation”?

It is an insult to Scotland and you can be sure they would never get away with it in England or any other European country.

More than 21,000 citizens wrote letters of objection to the Scottish Government opposing the Beauly to Denny power line, against just 48 letters of support. Is there anyone left, other than an energy company shareholder, who supports this project? Are our politicians listening?

Anyone who doubted the potential impact of the Beauly to Denny line just needs to follow the A9 trunk road through Drumochter Pass to see the preliminary work being carried out by Scottish and Southern Energy as it starts bulldozing roads across the adjacent hillsides for the northern section of this power line.

Add to this the investment bankers and other landowners submitting endless planning applications for wind farms around the Cairngorm National Park and we can all see how these two multi-national energy companies, benefitting from financial incentives provided by the UK Government, are leading the assault on our wild landscapes.

Dave Morris,

Director,

Ramblers Scotland,

Kingfisher House, Milnathort, Kinross.

I’m as proud a Scot as any. Proud that my country’s contribution to the world has been out of all proportion to its size but let’s not get carried away about being patted on the head by former US vice- president Al Gore (“Scotland lauded as global leader for green energy”, The Herald, September 29).

Scotland’s contribution to the world’s CO2 output is 0.17%, of which less than 20% is caused by electricity generation.

So, even if we were to entirely remove carbon from our electricity generation, the reduction in our CO2 contribution would be minuscule and certainly not worth destroying forever our world famous landscape.

The proportion of our land which is not visually affected by man-made constructions has fallen from 41% in 2002 to 28% in 2009.

We must stop the subsidy-led feeding frenzy that is onshore windpower before we have no wild land left.

There may or may not be economic benefit to Scotland from the rush for renewables but what is not in doubt is the economic and intrinsic value of our landscape.

Andrew Mitchell,

4 Glenpark Avenue,

Prestwick.

Source:  www.heraldscotland.com 30 September 2011

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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