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New hope for ‘devastating' wind farm campaigners

The wind farm has faced opposition from environmental groups Plans for a massive Shetland Islands wind farm which campaigners believe will have a devastating effect on the environment could be blocked by a landmark report. A report by the Scottish Parliament last week warned of the "significant adverse" impact of another wind farm on Lewis in the Hebrides.

The wind farm has faced opposition from environmental groups Plans for a massive Shetland Islands wind farm which campaigners believe will have a devastating effect on the environment could be blocked by a landmark report.

A report by the Scottish Parliament last week warned of the "significant adverse" impact of another wind farm on Lewis in the Hebrides. The report cited the loss to the remoteness and natural beauty of the area as the main concern and now campaigners are hoping the Shetland Island wind farm will receive similar recommendations.

The company behind the wind farm plans, Viking, has claimed the farm will provide over 37 million a year to the Shetlands economy but several environmental groups are concerned about the carbon footprint of building the farm on peatland. It is estimated it could take up to 48.5 years to payback the carbon emissions from disturbing the land. The lifespan of a wind turbine is 25 years.

Viking however, believes the wind turbine will more than pay back any carbon emissions. In the assessment of the plans, they say: "There are no published data on determining the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The wind farm has faced opposition from environmental groups Plans for a massive Shetland Islands wind farm which campaigners believe will have a devastating effect on the environment could be blocked by a landmark report.

A report by the Scottish Parliament last week warned of the "significant adverse" impact of another wind farm on Lewis in the Hebrides. The report cited the loss to the remoteness and natural beauty of the area as the main concern and now campaigners are hoping the Shetland Island wind farm will receive similar recommendations.

The company behind the wind farm plans, Viking, has claimed the farm will provide over £37 million a year to the Shetlands economy but several environmental groups are concerned about the carbon footprint of building the farm on peatland. It is estimated it could take up to 48.5 years to payback the carbon emissions from disturbing the land. The lifespan of a wind turbine is 25 years.

Viking however, believes the wind turbine will more than pay back any carbon emissions. In the assessment of the plans, they say: "There are no published data on determining the significance of the payback period of a wind farm on peat bogs. The SNH guidance on calculating the effects of wind farms suggests that many wind farms pay for themselves within 3 years. A payback period in excess of 10 - 15 years is deemed unacceptable."

Lisa Linowes, Executive Director of Wind Action, who oppose the plans for the wind farm, said: "We are heartened by the Scottish Parliament report that found the proposed Lewis project will cause a significant adverse impact to the nature beauty of the area.

"It is likely this decision will have a chilling effect on further wind proposals slated for Scotland's coastal and island areas including the rugged Shetland Islands. This will certainly be the case for large proposals. We may still see smaller projects proposed consisting of 2-3 turbines in an effort to slowly eat away at the landscape."

However, Linowes has expressed concern about the decisions effect on Scotland's attempts to reach renewable energy targets as part of the Kyoto Protocol. She added: "At the same time, this decision could put substantial pressure on the Scottish Government to fast track wind development in other areas of Scotland.

"The siting of wind energy facilities requires permitting entities to carefully consider local, national and global issues. It is essential for the benefits of any project to be weighed against the costs before it is permitted."

The consultation period for the proposed wind farm closed last Tuesday. The RSPB, John Muir Trust and other environmental groups all submitted their reservations about the plans. A decision on the controversial Shetland Wind farm is expected in 2010.

The £800 million wind farm would provide Scotland with 20 percent of its onshore power and would be the largest community owned wind farm in Scotland.


Source: http://www.clickgreen.org.u...

AUG 10 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21677-new-hope-for-devastating-wind-farm-campaigners
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