Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Government’s Energy Minister, has rejected plans submitted by Spittal Hill Wind Farm Ltd.
This is the first such rejection in four years and follows a public inquiry into the proposal held after Highland Council’s objection to it.
The Minister said that his decision was based on the negative impact of the proposed 30 turbine farm on views of the landscape and on nearby properties.
This news comes after it was made public that the price of rare earths has risen 2000% over the period of proliferation of wind farms, It also comes after it was announced that research suggests that costs of wind towers may be reduced following plans to reduce the amount of steel (recyclable) in the towers themselves and introduce a higher proportion of carbon (non-recyclable). The turbine blades are already fabricated from carbon.
The issues here fundamentally challenge any description of wind energy as ‘clean and green’.
As we have previously published – with evidence – rare earths exist together but have to be separated as different earths are used in the production of different goods. One rare earth, neodymium, is used in the manufacture of the magnets required for the turbines that convert into electricity the power from wind and water.
Separating the rare earths is a process producing volumes of fluid and highly toxic waste, as has afflicted communities on the fringes of of Baotou in Mongolia, where substantial reserves of rare earths are found and which is a major centre of production of turbine magnets. Our earlier article on this matter – written in response to a disingenuous celebration by the First Minister of the discovery of rare earths at Ben Loyal in northern Scotland – carries the detail.
Carbon materials are environmentally damaging and there is as yet no plan for the eventual disposal of the many turbine blades from existing, never mind forthcoming, on and offshore wind turbine farms. With the planned move to the use of carbon in the turbine towers themselves, the environmental effect of decommissioning wind turbine installations is beyond imagining.
The trouble is that the hard wired connection politically forged between the Scottish independence agenda and renewable energies is simply overriding the science that should give pause to the wholesale development of wind energy.
Wholly rational concerns on the statistics on actual generation performance and the facts of the distance of wind turbine installations from anything that can honourably be called ‘clean and green’ are often overridden by a politically inspired abusiveness that is as dangerous as it is distasteful.
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