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Few realise many wind farms approved but not yet appeared

We add our support to all who believe that the government should not approve the proposed Lewis wind power development. The impact of such a development on landscape, wildlife and community interests would not be justified. We believe it is time for the Scottish Government to address some fundamental questions over Scotland's energy strategy. ...The government has time to pause before granting any more wind farm approvals, to ask whether it simply wants to carry on the policies of previous governments, or whether it wants to demonstrate a better way forward for wind energy development. New criteria, set by the government, are needed to define the type of landscape within which modern turbines can be accommodated, along with height limits. We cannot depend on simply excluding such large industrial structures from the areas designated for their wildlife and landscape value and their surrounding mountains and moorlands. A new approach is needed in which a world-class energy policy has due regard for a world-class landscape, throughout Scotland.

We add our support to all who believe that the government should not approve the proposed Lewis wind power development. The impact of such a development on landscape, wildlife and community interests would not be justified.

We believe it is time for the Scottish Government to address some fundamental questions over Scotland's energy strategy. There are increasing doubts as to whether further large-scale wind farm projects should be approved before such a national energy strategy has been produced - given the extent of existing approvals and the increasing difficulty of accommodating further massive turbines within the Scottish landscape. That landscape is a resource of outstanding value to outdoor recreation, tourism and the wider economy.

Few people realise how many wind farm projects have already been approved but have not yet appeared on our landscape. For example, three separate projects are going ahead in the Ochils, the hill range between Stirling and Perth. When completed, 43 turbines, all over 100m tall, will appear across 12 miles of these hills. Across Scotland as a whole, 770 turbines are now operating, with a further 918... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

We add our support to all who believe that the government should not approve the proposed Lewis wind power development. The impact of such a development on landscape, wildlife and community interests would not be justified.

We believe it is time for the Scottish Government to address some fundamental questions over Scotland's energy strategy. There are increasing doubts as to whether further large-scale wind farm projects should be approved before such a national energy strategy has been produced - given the extent of existing approvals and the increasing difficulty of accommodating further massive turbines within the Scottish landscape. That landscape is a resource of outstanding value to outdoor recreation, tourism and the wider economy.

Few people realise how many wind farm projects have already been approved but have not yet appeared on our landscape. For example, three separate projects are going ahead in the Ochils, the hill range between Stirling and Perth. When completed, 43 turbines, all over 100m tall, will appear across 12 miles of these hills. Across Scotland as a whole, 770 turbines are now operating, with a further 918 approved. So existing approvals mean that our landscape already has to accommodate at least double the number of turbines already on the hills. Scotland has already met its 2010 target for electricity generation from renewables and is 66% of the way to the 2020 target of 50% of electricity coming from renewable sources.

The government has time to pause before granting any more wind farm approvals, to ask whether it simply wants to carry on the policies of previous governments, or whether it wants to demonstrate a better way forward for wind energy development.

New criteria, set by the government, are needed to define the type of landscape within which modern turbines can be accommodated, along with height limits. We cannot depend on simply excluding such large industrial structures from the areas designated for their wildlife and landscape value and their surrounding mountains and moorlands. A new approach is needed in which a world-class energy policy has due regard for a world-class landscape, throughout Scotland.

Dick Balharry, chairman, John Muir Trust; Peter Bickmore-Dundas, vice-convener, Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland; Alistair Cant, Convenor, Scottish Wild Land Group; Chris Townsend, president, Mountaineering Council of Scotland; Dennis Canavan, president, Ramblers' Association Scotland, Kingfisher House, Milnathort, Kinross.

Credit will be due to Jim Mather and the Scottish Government if they do, indeed, turn down the huge North Lewis wind farm proposal.

But can they help cure the majority of CNES (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar) councillors in the Outer Hebrides of their tunnel vision?

I am disappointed with many of our councillors who appear deaf to the views of the vast majority of the community. Every test of opinion in Lewis has shown residents to be overwhelmingly against these giant wind farm schemes. Many Lewis and Harris residents would say that CNES has been as ineffective on the job-creation front as the environmental bodies they criticise.

Why are our councillors so enthusiastic about putting all their eggs in the wind factory basket?

Why do they play down the high value and job-creation effects of our biggest industry, tourism, and the benefits from small community wind farms? One regular angling visitor alone can contribute £4000 per year to our island economy and this type of sustainable green tourism, along with golf, cycling, walking and wildlife viewing, should be encouraged. Giant wind farms will chase tourists away and kill many eagles, as happened in Norway. CNES should take note of the millions of pounds brought in by visitors viewing sea eagles in Mull and Skye. This is an untapped resource for Lewis and Harris.

The council has lost time and ground when it should have been helping local communities set up renewable schemes as in other islands such as Gigha, Eigg and Fair Isle.

The most effective action the council could take would be to push the government to confirm that the Road Equivalent Tariff will start in the Outer Hebrides soon. Vastly reduced ferry fares will be the spark needed to rekindle economic prosperity and long-term jobs for the Lewis and Harris economy.

 


Source: http://www.theherald.co.uk/...

FEB 13 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/13280-few-realise-many-wind-farms-approved-but-not-yet-appeared
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