Today is Global Wind Day, an annual event co-ordinated by the European Wind Energy Association and Global Wind Energy Council. It is a day, according to the event’s website, “for discovering wind, its power and the possibilities it holds to change our world”.
This view of wind energy as a progressive force for good has been enthusiastically adopted as a key mantra of the SNP government in Edinburgh, with ruinous consequences for Scotland.
To take but one example, in August last year, rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead held a press conference at Culzean Castle to celebrate the award by Unesco of Biosphere Reserve status to Galloway and South Ayrshire in recognition of sustainability efforts in the area. He used the opportunity to state that: “The biosphere designation offers a very exciting opportunity to demonstrate how to do things differently and I’m sure it will allow businesses and communities to thrive whilst protecting and conserving our environment for future generations.”
In the ten months since that press conference, more than 1,500 industrial wind turbines have been erected, consented or are in the planning pipeline within the biosphere buffer and transition zones.
That such an area is not off-limits to turbine development demonstrates just how far the Scottish Government will go in pursuit of its wind energy agenda. This attitude was confirmed in a press report this past week which revealed, through a Freedom of Information request, that government officials have bullied councils across the country to build more turbines, pushing them to open up even more areas for development.
Instead of this untenable situation, Scotland should be following the lead of the Westminster coalition, which has recently passed new rules aimed at giving local people a greater say in the planning process for renewable energy projects. I fear, though, that this sensible plea will fall on deaf ears.
On this Global Wind Day, as Scots continue to grapple with the unfettered proliferation of wind turbines, it is well to remember just how far the SNP government is willing to go to bulldoze local decision-making in order to satisfy their green ideology.
Struan Stevenson MEP
I NOTE that the Spanish firm Gamesa has sold the 15.3MW Carscreugh Fell development near Glenluce in Wigtownshire to John Laing, a specialist investor and asset manager, (Business, 13 June).
Gamesa has said that the deal was part of its new strategy to develop and sell wind farms without having to put up its own funds.
While I don’t understand high finance, I do understand the horrendous damage that wind turbines do to our precious landscape.
For the last eight consecutive years I have spent three or four glorious days each spring walking with friends along the many long distance trails that criss-cross Britain. Six weeks ago, after a five year absence, I returned to Wigtownshire to walk a section of the Southern Upland Way from Portpatrick to Bargrennan. I was both horrified and heartbroken. For as far as one could see and wherever one turned, these brutal monsters whirred incessantly. What are we doing to our countryside? I left Wigtownshire with a heavy heart having sadly renamed the walk The Southern Windfarm Way.