It is no surprise that those charged with promoting an industry bloated by subsidy are predicting doom over the news that David Cameron is considering pulling the plug on onshore wind (“Warning over curb on wind turbines”, The Herald, April 3).
Niall Stewart, the chief executive of Scottish Renewables, insists “thousands” of jobs would go. However, his own research shows onshore wind accounted for only 3397 full-time equivalent jobs, with the vast majority of these associated with the process of applying for and constructing wind farms.
These are not sustainable or permanent jobs unless we believe that the capacity of Scotland to accommodate wind turbines is unlimited and that the growing resistance from besieged communities and environmental NGOs can be dismissed.
Already Scotland has many more turbines than the rest of the UK, and far too many for the grid to cope with (although, of course, that doesn’t bother the wind farm operators as they collect their compensation payments).
In fact, research studies have repeatedly shown that subsidised jobs created by the wind industry cause between two and four jobs to be lost elsewhere in the economy. Cutting subsidies would curb profiteering, stimulate much-needed innovation in energy production, and protect everyone’s job by reducing electricity costs. “Bad news for the economy, the environment and employment across Scotland?” I think not.
Dreel House, Pittenweem, Anstruther.
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