will be no escaping the green revolution, with all its disastrous consequences for consumers, if Alex Salmond and Nick Clegg have their way.
According to deputy premier Clegg the Coalition plans to be “the greenest Government ever”. Not to be outdone by Westminster Wee Eck has reiterated that 100% of Scotland’s electricity will come from renewables by 2020.
By renewables the SNP mean wind, because the only hope of achieving their self- sufficiency target is to cover our uplands with inefficient, over-subsidised turbines. Now, scandalously, manufacturers of these eyesores are to be offered up to 100% rates relief and fasttracked planning applications by the Scottish Government in a desperate drive for more windfarms.
How can it be green to pollute Scotland’s most valuable natural asset, its landscape, with giant metal windmills mounted on tons of concrete?
The great lie peddled by Salmond and Clegg is that we have a moral duty to reduce greenhouse gases to save the planet. The truth is that Scotland’s contribution to world emissions is almost negligible. Indeed the annual increase in China’s carbon gases is greater than the UK’S total emissions, and Scotland accounts for only 10% of those.
So, in exchange for a meaningless dash to reduce carbon emissions faster than any other country, Scotland is to be rewarded with Europe’s highest electricity charges.
Last week a top global energy consultancy predicted if Scotland went independent average household fuel bills would be nearly five times higher than in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
While residents in an undivided UK would expect to pay £58 a year towards subsidising renewable energy, customers in an independent Scotland where the subsidies wouldn’t be spread over the rest of the country would have to pay a whopping £194 per year.
A recent Edinburgh University survey confirmed that every wind turbine generating £150,000 worth of electricity a year actually costs Scottish consumers a staggering £250,000 in subsidies. We all pick up that tab in our ballooning electricity bills.
“Windbag” Salmond argues that since Scotland could actually have a surplus of electricity from renewables we’ll be able to sell it to customers south of the border and so reduce bills at home.
But that argument is blown out of the water by Professor Jane Bower, until recently Professor of Enterprise Management at Dundee University, who poses the killer question: “Why would an independent England (or any other country) buy expensive Scottish wind power when it could generate much cheaper electricity using shale gas or import cheap nuclear from France?”
Sure, renewables have a valuable place in Scotland’s energy future, but not renewables so over-subsidised they are no longer economic.
It will come as not surprise to regular readers that this column doesn’t see eye to eye with Alex Salmond about much. That said it has never doubted his talent as a people pleaser. Nobody knows better than Salmond that people do not vote to be worse off. Which makes his obsession with overpriced windpower all the more baffling.
Saving the planet is a noble ambition, but despite support from the notorious NASA global-warmer, Jim Hansen, might reversing climate-change not be a trifle overambitious even for Super-Eck? All the more so when Hansen’s native USA along with China and India, the world’s fastest-growing economies, stubbornly refuse tto sign up to the emissions targets agreed at the Kyoto summit.
When actor Woody Allen was asked if he liked the idea of living on forever on the silver screen he replied that he’d rather live on forever in his apartment.
Similarly, when it comes to voting in the forthcoming referendum will it be a surprise if Scots choose to stick with the fuel bills they know, rather than joining Salmond and his Bravehearts in their crusade to save a planet which according to many reputable scientists seems to be getting by OK?
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