Ill wind still blows across renewables

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The letter from WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland and RSPB Scotland (18 October) questioning Professor Trewavas (Friends of The Scotsman, 16 October) is itself subject to challenge.

For instance, a year ago the team from Aberdeen University whose work is used by the wind farm industry and the government wrote to ­Nature magazine arguing that “wind farms on ­peatlands will probably not reduce emissions”.

This piece of research surely cast serious doubt on the claims made by Scottish ­Renewables, its political ­allies and those in some sections of the environmental movement about the degree of CO2 emissions achieved by commercial wind farming on the uplands of Scotland.

We in the Scottish Wild Land Group suggest that the claims and counter-claims made by the wind farming lobby and its opponents are getting the debate nowhere.

This is why we, the John Muir Trust and the CBI have called time and time again for an Independent Energy Commission, free from the undue influence of vested commercial and ideological interest.

John Milne

Scottish Wild Land Group

Ardgowan Drive

Uddingston

Lang Banks of WWF Scotland and Lloyd Austin of RSPB Scotland justify the destruction of the our wild landscape on the basis that renewables displace 10 ­million tonnes of carbon ­dioxide. They may think using a big figure is clever, in which case perhaps they should also have told us that the estimated total cost to the Scottish economy of ­reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 is likely to be £10 billion to £11bn.

However, small numbers are also useful and I am ­surprised they did not tell us that Scotland’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is a miniscule 0.15 per cent.

In other words, despite the great cost to the ordinary people of Scotland and to our beautiful landscape our ­renewable policies will have almost no effect on world carbon emissions and ­certainly no effect on climate change.

Alan Black

Edinburgh

I refer to D M Stott’s letter (17 October) cheering ­Professor Trewavas’s article in support of nuclear power generation and denegation of renewables.

I recall the early days of ­nuclear power when we were assured by various professors with more intelligence than sense that electricity would be so cheap it would not be worth the expense of ­metering consumption.

The privatised nuclear ­industry has subsequently offloaded the unquantifiable costs of decommissioning and waste disposal on to the taxpayer and of course there is no provision for the inevitable disaster when one of the facilities explodes.

What a contrast with the island of Aereo, Denmark. The community of 7,000 decided some years ago to go green and have achieved self-sufficiency with a mix of six onshore wind turbines, solar panels on roofs, solar farms, heat pumps and small-scale bio-mass power stations ­serving district heating grids.

Having cycled and sailed around most of the island I can personally testify to its scenic beauty and the low to non-existent visual impact of the various installations.

The inconvenient truth for the anti-wind power lobby is that the turbines are ­virtually silent in operation and what little noise I could discern from 100 metres was a therapeutic swish not dissimilar to the sea gently breaking on the shore.

Nor did I see a single bird carcass.

Clive B Scott

Falkirk