September 27, 2017
Letters, Scotland

Communities should be able to say no to wind farms

The Herald |

How outrageous that ScottishPower Renewables CEO Keith Anderson is asking for more political support (and our money) for onshore wind in Scotland (“Wind power passes output milestone”, The Herald, September 25).

The greed of the wind industry knows no bounds. Not once was the plight of communities targeted by ruthless wind developers even considered.

Communities across Scotland are sick and tired of being chucked to the wind industry wolves by a Government which refuses to give them the same ranking as their counterparts south of the Border and allow them the community veto. If local people want a wind farm that is up to them, and so it should be if they don’t.

We also need to wake Westminster up to the fact that the SNP’s reckless deployment of onshore wind is costing every single UK consumer, domestic and industrial, hundreds of millions of pounds to switch turbines off.

Of course Whitelee is a success – for ScottishPower. It reaps juicy rewards from the subsidies and even juicier ones from the constraints to turn the turbines off.

When all the thousands of turbines we have now are generating and demand is low these rotating cash machines have to be shut down or they will blow the grid. We don’t need more erratic weather-dependent energy that is often at its most productive in times of low demand. We need reliable generation that can be ramped up in colder weather when demand soars to keep the lights on and us warm. If we had a million turbines in Scotland on cold, still winter days they would be standing stock still and we would be wrapped in blankets huddling around candles. It is disingenuous to say that one wind turbine will charge 7,000 vehicles when even the least informed amongst us knows that if the wind isn’t blowing the cars won’t be running if we rely too heavily on wind power.

Why Mr Anderson thinks we should be deploying even more onshore wind when the grid cannot cope with what we have is mindboggling unless, of course, constraints to switch off are so very lucrative he would be doing his shareholders a disservice by not pushing for it. This is not about saving the planet, it is all about putting profits before people, many of whom do not want to live in the shadow or hearing distance of Mr Anderson’s monsters.

Lyndsey Ward,

Darach Brae, Beauly.

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